ADULT PROGRAMS | 2018-19 THE LEADER IN CROSS-CULTURAL + EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION SINCE 1993
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, youâ€™ve come to the right place.
Cover: A warm welcome. Christina Rivera Cogswell This spread: A time for reflection. Ryan Gasper
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.â€? â€“ 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
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
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…
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.
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.â€? â€“ S A N T AYA N A
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.
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.
HOMESTAY Participants are matched with a
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.
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.â€? â€“ M AG G I E H A R WO O D, PA R T I C I PA N T
NORTH INDIA SACRED LANDSCAPES June 10–24, 2018 | June 9–23, 2019 DURATION
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
sites. Through engagement with Buddhist teachers, village elders, and shamanic
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
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
MUSIC & MYSTICISM July 19–31, 2018 | February 16–28, 2019 DURATION
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
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
discover the tradition of West African hospitality while staying with host families, exploring colorful markets, and tasting delectable homemade Senegalese cuisine.
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
S A C R E D VA L L E Y August 20–30, 2018 | March 21–31, 2019 DURATION
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.
THE MOUNTAINS OF SOUTHERN PERU ARE HOME TO SOME OF
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
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
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
and spiritual teachers, we encounter the sacred and ancient aspects of Peru, as BOLIVIA
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
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
G U AT E M A L A LAND & SPIRIT
October 25–November 4, 2018 | October 24–November 3, 2019 DURATION
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.
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.â€? â€“ A N I T A K E S H AVA N , P A R T I C I P A N T
This course was a gift that I will always treasure and I know has changed my life and my future.â€? â€“ D E N I S E M A R I K A , PA R T I C I PA N T
CROSSROADS OF THE ANCIENT & EMERGENT January 15–27, 2019 DURATION
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
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
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
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
host families into a tapestry of cultural exploration and spiritual inquiry. Left: Strolling in Cambodia. Dragons Archives Right: The infamous Angkor Wat. Colby Tucker
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.â€? â€“ M A R K B A U H A U S , PA R T I C I PA N T
N E PA L
ASHRAMS & ARTISANS August 18–30, 2019 DURATION
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
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
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
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
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
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 insiderâ€™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 Cornellâ€™s Office of Engagement
that he is first and foremost a student of their unique perspective
Initiatives promoting community-engaged discovery and learning
for students, faculty, and staff in local communities.
“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, email@example.com
CLAIRE BENNETT, NEPAL M.A. History, University of Cambridge Claire is driven by a passion for global equality
• Megan Fettig, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 email@example.com -OR- firstname.lastname@example.org WWW.WHERETHEREBEDRAGONS.COM/ADULTS
For over 25 years, Dragons has offered transformational adventures along the map’s edge. We now present a select collection of curated progr...
Published on Mar 28, 2018
For over 25 years, Dragons has offered transformational adventures along the map’s edge. We now present a select collection of curated progr...