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Leadership in the Southwest!

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YGL JumpSince their last post, the Youth Global Leaders have journeyed from the Navajo nation near Tuba City, AZ to the Grand Canyon, to Moab, UT. As their 2013 Insight Trip continued, they explored their guiding question, “Who’s in charge?” 

We were certainly sad to say farewell to our hosts in Arizona, Tim and Belinda Johnson. The Johnson’s are a Navajo couple that have resisted a treaty between the Hopi and Navajo people for 15 years. Under this mandate, 300 Navajo families were to be relocated from a previously jointly shared area of land. During our stay with Tim and Belinda, we felt honored to have the opportunity to participate in sacred Navajo rituals. We gained a fuller perspective on the complex issues pertaining to a people rarely observed from within.

Next, our journey led us to the Grand Canyon, which was magnificent. We loved exploring multiple trails, stargazing, and slack-lining from North to South Rim. The culture shock of being surrounded by so many tourists after spending many nights with the peaceful company of each other and the wild was an unexpected trial. Our visit served as a chance to witness a beautiful natural wonder as well as a reflection time. Although a bit bitten and burned, we looked forward to see the magical wonders of yet another state.

The final stage of our Insight Trip had us camping near the reddish-orange sandstone fins and arches of Moab, Utah. Although the desert heat was intense during the days, we stayed cool with a refreshing rafting trip on the Colorado River, milkshakes, and a celebratory pizza buffet in town that included the first ice cubes we had tasted in weeks! Brilliant sunsets and a full moon lit up the skies for us at night. A smooth ride across the continental divide brought us back to the Philanthropiece Barn and the end or our journey!

Through this experience of cultural immersion within the US, the YGLers have strengthened their leadership core, served with local communities and organizations, and learned more than they thought possible about themselves and their group. This is their final installment from the road, but certainly not the last that you’ll hear from the Philanthropiece Youth Global Leaders! To find out more about who they are and what they do, please visit their website: www.yglboulder.com

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