Navajo Service Learning
Navajo Service Learning in Arizona is a sponsored program of the Center for Civic Engagement and a service-learning class during the January term. It combines learning gained through service and cultural activities in the Navajo community with academic knowledge from readings, discussions, and videos. During the experience, Pacific students stay at the boarding school in Lukachukai, Arizona. For the community service aspect, the group is divided into two teams. One team assists in the boarding school classrooms and the other chops wood for elders who live in remote houses throughout the countryside.
Cultural experiences may include sweat lodge, traditional dances and ceremonies, visits with Navajo elders, traditional meals and activities. Also there are opportunities for hikes to ancient sites and in the beautiful canyon lands. Past participants have characterized this program as a life-changing experience. The class is Navajo Community Service Learning, PSJ 230, for 2 credits, and it satisfies Pacific's Civic Engagement and Diverse and International Perspectives Cornerstone requirements.
International Civic Engagement Courses
Courses in which students travel to different countries to study with an instructor are available every year and offer a range of destinations, activities and focus areas. Recent courses include:
Tapalpa, Mexico Teaching Practicum, Spring 2012 & 2013. This 3-week travel course immerses students in the language, culture and educational system of rural Mexico. Students observe and teach in elementary/middle schools in the small town of Tapalpa, Mexico and participate in workshops that focus on a variety of regional indigenous cultural expressions.
Ecology, Development and Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador, Spring 2006 & 2007. Academic study during the semester followed by a three week immersion in Ecuador. In the Amazon, students learn from the Runa people and assist with their agriculture, children's education, and building projects.
Ghana Service Learning, Summer 2005. Students in this class lived and worked with the people in the village of Amedofe in the mountains of eastern Ghana. Student projects involved teaching AIDS education to middle and high school students, building energy efficient stoves, and assisting in classrooms.
Kenya Service Learning, Summer 2002. Class stayed with the people of Maweni, a village on the coast south of Mombasa, built a classroom, and tutored school children. This project was begun by Pacific graduate, Wintry Whitt Smith, and her husband Paul Smith. Their work there continues through the Amani Education Project.