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ADULT PROGRAMS | 2018-19 THE LEADER IN CROSS-CULTURAL + EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION SINCE 1993


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ARE YOU READY FO R A DIFFERE N T KIND OF ADVENTU R E ? If you value meaningful engagement, if you seek greater awareness, and if you hope to realize in each day the biggest learning amidst the broadest and most colorful experiences imaginable, you’ve come to the right place.

Cover: A warm welcome. Christina Rivera Cogswell This spread: A time for reflection. Ryan Gasper

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Like many Dragons parents, we had always hoped to experience that intangible Dragons elixir of immersive and transformative cultural experience on a trip of our own. So glad we did; our family of Dragons at home now shares this fabulous spirit together.� – M A R K B A U H A U S , PA R T I C I PA N T & A L U M N I PA R E N T

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WHO WE AR E Dragons is a global community united by a mission of nurturing empathy and understanding across borders through authentic cultural exchange. For over 25 years, Dragons has offered students and educators transformational learning adventures along the map’s edge. We now present a select collection of curated programs for adults designed to deliver the same once-in-a-lifetime experiences that Dragons has long been known for providing. With Dragons, you’ll find yourself in places of unimaginable beauty. What might surprise you is the depth of engagement provided once you get there. Are you ready for an extraordinary investment in yourself that’s much more than a vacation? PROGRAMS NORTH INDIA, p.10–11

GUATEMALA, p.16–17

SENEGAL, p.12–13

CAMBODIA, p.18–19

PERU, p.14–15

NEPAL, p.20–21 5


HOW WE A RE DI FFERENT When you join a Dragons program, an extraordinary opportunity unveils itself. You are invited to enter into a cross-cultural experience unique in the field of overseas travel. Here are some ways in which our programs stand out…

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AUTHENTIC IMMERSION

ETHICAL TRAVEL

We connect participants to place through meaningful engagement.

Responsible travel is environmentally conscientious, culturally

Whether it be through a homestay experience, a conversation with

aware, and invested in developing mutually meaningful connections

a religious leader, or an apprenticeship with a master artisan, we

with local communities. All aspects of a Dragons program, from

offer rare opportunities to listen to, connect with, and learn from

ground transportation to hotel selection, consider the impact on

people with radically different cultural perspectives.

the communities and environments in which we engage.

HOLISTIC LEARNING

SAFETY & CARE

Our programs are well-rounded, holistic learning adventures that

A typical program consists of 10 participants and 2 instructors.

unveil the complex layers of the human experience. Our world is an

Small group travel fosters intimacy of experience, greater

increasingly online, fast-paced, and complicated place. When we

personalized care, and an ability to lean into our learning zone.

create space for personal introspection, discovery, and renewal, we

A healthy engagement with risk is essential for growth. We

discover a profound capacity for a more invigorating perspective

understand and minimize that risk by hiring expert guides, and

on our lives and the world.

providing personalized attention to all participants.

Previous spread left: Machu Picchu, Peru. Yarden Garonzik Previous spread right: A local mentor in Nepal demonstrates his metal-working expertise. Micah LeMasters Right: Meeting with local Hindu ascetics in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Amrit Ale Next spread: A participant gets a lesson in the art of thangka painting. Amrit Ale


There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar; it keeps the mind nimble; it kills prejudice; and it fosters humor.� – S A N T AYA N A

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P RO G RA M CO MPONENTS Each Dragons adult program is carefully crafted to emphasize specific program components. These help guide the journey and give each participant opportunities to engage with the host community. COMPARATIVE RELIGION & PHILOSOPHY

FOCUS OF INQUIRY (FOI) Participants delve into a specialized

By living with homestay families, visiting

Participants are paired with a local mentor

line of questioning through academic

religious monuments, observing local rituals,

to study an intellectual question or artisan

themes. We explore the FOI by hosting a

and conversing with religious leaders,

craft. ISPs allow for an opportunity to tailor

series of guest speakers, reading articles

participants explore the belief systems of

the program to meet each participant’s

on relevant topics, and engaging in group

the host culture.

specific interests.

discussions.

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES We learn from local activists and

LEARNING SERVICE We use a framework to listen, assess,

ETHICAL TRAVEL We are travelers not tourists.

use regional examples to prompt discussion.

evaluate, and act when engaging in any

Staying in family-owned accommodations

Participants are encouraged to challenge

service activity. We don’t measure success

and traveling alongside locals creates

their assumptions and question what it

by the number of bricks laid, but rather by

space for un-orchestrated moments of

means to be “developed.”

the number of critical conversations had.

engagement.

HOMESTAY Participants are matched with a

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INDEPENDENT STUDY PROJECT (ISP)

LANGUAGE STUDY Spanish, Nepali, Khmer… On all of

DAY HIKING We step away from the advances

local family and invited to engage firsthand

our courses we introduce participants to the

of modern development and walk into the

in the day-to-day rhythms of life. Families

local language. This empowers participants

wilderness, exposing participants to the

are selected based on their enthusiasm for

to interact more with locals and enables

pristine beauty of nature. Surrounded by the

cross-cultural engagement and are screened

them to navigate a new culture, while

natural world, we find that a space opens for

through a comprehensive safety assessment.

earning the respect of our host community.

deep reflection.


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Dragons was a great way for me to gain a new perspective in a transitional time of my new adult life. The experience was unique and expansive, unlike any travel experience I could have provided on my own. You are fully immersed and sharing the experience with a great group of people.� – M AG G I E H A R WO O D, PA R T I C I PA N T

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NORTH INDIA SACRED LANDSCAPES June 10–24, 2018 | June 9–23, 2019 DURATION

14 Days

OVERVIEW

Step into an ancient Himalayan kingdom: explore sacred sites, live with Ladakhi families, and converse with Buddhist monks, oracles, and seasoned pilgrims amidst exhilarating mountainscapes.

SITUATED ON THE CROSSROADS OF ANCIENT HIMALAYAN TRADE ROUTES, IN THE REMOTE, WINDSWEPT EXPANSES OF NORTH INDIA, the land of Ladakh is home to Tibetan cultures that have been preserved for centuries by geographic isolation. The landscape, stark and awe-inspiring, reflects the profundity of Ladakhi spiritual systems, as well as the timeless wisdom found within the local communities. From the towering peak of Stok Kangri to the fertile upper reaches of the Indus River, we discover spiritual views that honor both outer and inner worlds. Our sojourn takes us to monasteries, cave hermitages, and storied geographical

LEH

sites. Through engagement with Buddhist teachers, village elders, and shamanic

CHINA

oracles, we investigate ancient spiritual traditions and the influence they have had on contemporary Western ideology. A day’s walk brings us to a community only accessible by foot, where we stay with local families. Connecting with the people of Ladakh, we have the opportunity to witness and reflect upon rich Himalayan traditions and traverse the confluence of landscape and human experience. Left: Aspens quake below Hemis Monastery. Dragons Archives Right: Shanti Stupa. Cara Starnbach

PA K I S TA N

TIBE T DELHI AGRA

NEPAL

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GO GO GO!!! Prepare to be inspired, provoked and changed!” – K AT H Y M I L L A R , PA R T I C I PA N T

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SENEGAL

MUSIC & MYSTICISM July 19–31, 2018 | February 16–28, 2019 DURATION

12 Days

OVERVIEW

Discover West Africa: investigate unique interpretations of Senegalese Islam from Sufi Imams, study with master artisans and musicians, and lose yourself in captivating live concerts.

WELCOME TO A CULTURE RENOWNED FOR ITS WARMTH, WHERE STRANGERS CALL YOU TO SIT UNDER THE SHADE OF A MANGO TREE AND SHARE A CUP OF TEA. Welcome to a country of contrasts, where new development exists beside centuries-old customs and emerging

MAURITANIA

musical styles echo this conglomeration of traditional and modern. Known for its vibrant and amicable people, distinctive drum rhythms, and unique interpretations of Islam, Senegal invites travelers into a vivacious cultural reality. During our journey, we are immersed in a diversity of urban and rural environments, from the sandy alleyways of a traditional Sufi neighborhood in the capital to a congenial island community in the Saloum Delta region. We

DENE DAKAR

discover the tradition of West African hospitality while staying with host families, exploring colorful markets, and tasting delectable homemade Senegalese cuisine.

SENEGAL MALI

NIODIOR

Through discussions with religious leaders, music lessons with local teachers, and riveting live music concerts, we examine the crossroads of belief systems and musical expression in this land home to a generous and spirited people. Left: Niodior, Sine Saloum, Senegal. Crystal Liu Right: A participant learns the kora. Micah LeMasters

GUINE A

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PERU

S A C R E D VA L L E Y August 20–30, 2018 | March 21–31, 2019 DURATION

10 Days

OVERVIEW

Celebrate Peru: Walk ancient pilgrimage paths, learn from local healers and community leaders, and visit active archaeological sites amongst the breathtaking peaks of the Andes.

VENEZUELA

THE MOUNTAINS OF SOUTHERN PERU ARE HOME TO SOME OF

COLOMBIA

THE HIGHEST PEAKS AND GREATEST BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN THE AMERICAS. They are also home to the hemisphere’s oldest continuously inhabited city, Cusco, which was considered the navel of the Incan empire of

ECUADOR

Tawantinsuyu. Just outside of Cusco, along the honored Vilcanota and Urubamba rivers, runs the Sacred Valley, where many of the Inca’s most important cities and agricultural lands existed. Here resides both a historic and a living culture, where mountain traditions mix, and sometimes clash, with modern Peruvian life. BR A ZIL

environmental issues through site visits and discussions pertaining to Andean

PERU

agricultural diversity and climate change. Through homestays with descendants

S ATI P O

of the Incas, a guided excursion to Machu Picchu, and conversations with healers

LIMA CUSCO

and spiritual teachers, we encounter the sacred and ancient aspects of Peru, as BOLIVIA

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Traveling to the mystical highlands of southern Peru, we explore famous Incan sites, as well as remote and off-the-tourist-path communities. We delve into

HUARAZ

PUNO

well as explore our own living connection with the earth. Left: Posing with a homestay mother in Peru. Tom Pablo Right: Llamas! Julianne Chandler


This trip has been a perfect confluence of big hearts and big ideas.” – C H R I S TO P H E R A R B O R , PA R T I C I PA N T

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G U AT E M A L A LAND & SPIRIT

October 25–November 4, 2018 | October 24–November 3, 2019 DURATION

10 Days

ME XICO

OVERVIEW

Explore the convergence of tradition and modernity: investigate Maya spirituality, live with local families, and practice Spanish while basking in Guatemala’s idyllic landscapes.

MORE THAN A COUNTRY, GUATEMALA IS A COLLECTION OF PEOPLES WHO RANGE FROM THE HIGHLAND MAYA IN THE TIKAL

MOUNTAINOUS NORTHWESTto the descendants of African slaves on the BELIZE

Caribbean coast. All have distinct histories and cultures which have melded into the broader identity of this nation with a majority indigenous population. Guatemala is a place where traditional wisdom runs deep and often comes into conflict with Western ideas of development and progress. Our journey takes us through a myriad of landscapes ranging from the magical shores of Lake Atitlan to the colonial capital of Antigua. We explore

COBAN TODOS SANTOS

the ways in which Maya communities maintain traditional ways of life while adapting to an increasingly globalized world. While staying with families in a

G UATE M A L A

highland Maya town, we visit milpa agricultural sites, weave and paint alongside local artisans, and gain an understanding of primordial concepts of time and the

S A NTI AG O ATITL A N

cosmos. On this investigation of culture and historical relationships to the land, we open our eyes to Guatemala, a land of profound beauty and deep contrast.

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EL

SALVADOR

Left: Todos Santos. Dragons Archives Right: The spirit of the mountains meet the town. Dragons Archives


The homestay experience was the most valuable for me because it provided for human connection and gave a realistic framework for the development issues we had been discussing.� – A N I T A K E S H AVA N , P A R T I C I P A N T

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This course was a gift that I will always treasure and I know has changed my life and my future.� – D E N I S E M A R I K A , PA R T I C I PA N T

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CAMBODIA

CROSSROADS OF THE ANCIENT & EMERGENT January 15–27, 2019 DURATION

12 Days

OVERVIEW

Step into the heart of Southeast Asia’s forgotten gem: explore the ruins of Angkor, nourish yourself at a Buddhist monastery, and delve into the nuances of development in post-conflict Cambodia.

IN A LAND CELEBRATED FOR THE TEMPLES OF ANGKOR AND WRESTLING WITH THE COMPLEXITIES OF ITS RECENT PAST, Cambodia is a nation of stark contrasts. Among the world’s most poignant CHINA

examples of the limitations of international aid and development, Cambodia is also an exemplar of the triumphs of peace and conflict reconciliation. We gain firsthand insight into contemporary issues through engagement with activists

THAIL AND

L AOS

and experts committed to improving the state of the nation. Our journey takes us from the bustling, increasingly chic neighborhoods of Phnom Penh, to the mist-shrouded temples of Angkor, to the idyllic shores of the Gulf of Thailand. We visit major cultural and historical sites, including remote

SIEM REAP

jungle-encrusted temples, as well as the infamous Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge, to better understand the complex trajectory of Cambodia’s push toward

CAMBODIA

BAT TA M BA N G

modernity. Our journey into the heart of Southeast Asia’s forgotten gem, weaves meaningful interactions with Buddhist monks, burgeoning entrepreneurs, and

PHNOM PENH

host families into a tapestry of cultural exploration and spiritual inquiry. Left: Strolling in Cambodia. Dragons Archives Right: The infamous Angkor Wat. Colby Tucker

KEP

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Soon we will be home in our familiar, comfortable lives. What will be new is a warm place in my heart that will hold Nepalese Newari smiles and cosmology... New fires rekindled. In gratitude, Namaste.� – M A R K B A U H A U S , PA R T I C I PA N T

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N E PA L

ASHRAMS & ARTISANS August 18–30, 2019 DURATION

12 Days

OVERVIEW

Encounter the essential Kathmandu: journey through a captivating fusion of contemporary and ancient, visit sacred historical sites, and study alongside a Nepali master artisan.

CUT OFF FROM MODERN INFLUENCES FOR CENTURIES, THE REMOTE HIMALAYAN KINGDOM OF NEPAL HAS LONG BEEN A SEEDBED OF UNIQUE ARTISTIC AND SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS. Now, influenced by tourism and supported by development aid, the country is undergoing rapid change. In the shadow of the tallest peaks on earth, we

CHINA

encounter awe-inspiring beauty while engaging in the seminal question: How can Nepal’s ancient traditions survive in a time of radical globalization? Through the Kathmandu Valley, we explore ancient Buddhist monuments, stay in a Hindu ashram, and navigate a city recovering from the effects of the 2015 earthquake. We delve into an exploration of Newari culture while staying with families in the heart of a medieval city and study crafts that have been passed down for generations. Through expertly guided tours, lectures by accomplished

TIBE T NEPAL POKHARA

scholars, and interviews with spiritual leaders, we explore the concepts of cultural

K ATH M A N D U

BHUTAN

heritage and development, as well as cultivate our understanding of what constitutes “quality of life” in a modern, globally connected world. Left: New perspectives on an old square. David Haffeman Right: Visiting a thangka painter’s studio. Amrit Ale

INDIA

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ME ET A F EW O F OU R INSTRUCTORS Dragons instructors are carefully selected based on their facilitation skills, local language fluency, and regional expertise. Meet a few who facilitate our adult programs.

BABACAR MBAYE, SENEGAL

DHYANA KUHL, GUATEMALA

MA English, Cheikh

M.A. in International

Anta Diop University Babacar is an educator at

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Education Development, Columbia University

heart and has held several

Dhyana became interested

positions as a teacher

in education prior to

and administrator within

entering the field of

the Senegalese public school

International Development.

system. He has been involved with

Her career as a teacher followed a

Dragons since our first student group voyaged to the

zigzagging path through northern California, central Mexico, New

African continent in 2005. Initially he was supporting summer

York City, Nicaragua, and the Ancash Region of Peru. Following her

courses and in recent years moved into a full-time position with

time as a classroom teacher, Dhyana became the founding director

our Princeton Bridge Year program. Babacar brings an insider’s

of a cultural exchange program. For seven years she coordinated

view to the unique sects of Sufi Islam and teaches how religion

development projects in Nicaragua that brought together youth

infiltrates much of Senegalese life. Although participants see

from different parts of the world. Currently, Dhyana is the New

Babacar as their fearless and benevolent leader, he maintains

York State Partnership Liaison in Cornell’s Office of Engagement

that he is first and foremost a student of their unique perspective

Initiatives promoting community-engaged discovery and learning

and wisdom.

for students, faculty, and staff in local communities.


NEXT STEPS

“As someone who hires & supervises extraordinary educators for a living, I can honestly say that Claire is one of the most gifted instructors I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.” – C H R I S T I N A S A I N T- L A U R E N T, PA R T I C I PA N T

VISIT OUR WEBSITE Explore photos, specific program descriptions, and itineraries: WHERETHEREBEDRAGONS.COM/ADULTS

CONTACT US Call 303.413.0822 or email our Co-Directors of Adult Programs: • Shannon Harriman, sharriman@wheretherebedragons.com

CLAIRE BENNETT, NEPAL M.A. History, University of Cambridge Claire is driven by a passion for global equality

• Megan Fettig, megan@wheretherebedragons.com

READY TO JOIN?

1 Enroll online. 2 Submit a deposit to hold your space. 3 Schedule a consultation.

and social justice. She first ventured to Asia as a volunteer in Nepal and later returned to found a rural development organization, PHASE. Since then, she has spent time volunteering in Cambodia,

PROGRAM North India: Sacred Landscapes

DATES June 10–24, 2018 June 9–23, 2019

coordinating regional strategies for global education within the UK

Senegal: Music & Mysticism July 19–31, 2018 February 16–28, 2019

school system, and facilitating Global Youth Action - a global work

Peru: Sacred Valley

August 20–30, 2018 March 21–31, 2019

Guatemala: Land & Spirit

October 25–November 4, 2018 October 24–November 3, 2019

Cambodia: Crossroads of the Ancient & Emergent

January 15–27, 2019

Nepal: Ashrams & Artisans

August 18–30, 2019

project for disadvantaged youth. Claire is an incurable optimist and has boundless energy - mainly fueled by caffeine from her British tea-drinking habit. She’s currently writing a book on the value of learning service, managing program direction on Dragons Himalayan courses, and working as a freelance development consultant.

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Cambodia | Guatemala | Nepal | North India | Peru | Senegal

MAPMAKERS ONCE DREW DRAGONS TO REPRESENT LANDS UNKNOWN. BOLD EXPLORERS WHO VENTURED BEYOND THE MAP’S EDGE WERE SAID TO GO

“ where there be dragons ”…

PHONE: 303.413.0822 EXTENSIONS 118 & 124 sharriman@wheretherebedragons.com -OR- megan@wheretherebedragons.com WWW.WHERETHEREBEDRAGONS.COM/ADULTS

Dragons 2018-19 Catalog: Adult Programs  

For over 25 years, Dragons has offered transformational adventures along the map’s edge. We now present a select collection of curated progr...

Dragons 2018-19 Catalog: Adult Programs  

For over 25 years, Dragons has offered transformational adventures along the map’s edge. We now present a select collection of curated progr...