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ADULT TRAVELERS | 2020-21 SMALL GROUP + CUSTOM DESIGNED TRAVEL IN ASIA, AFRICA & LATIN AMERICA


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ARE YOU READY FOR 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 window to the world. © Sylvia Snow This spread: A gathering at dusk. © Japhy Dhungana

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Dragons is a life-changing experience…and does a fantastic job of rendering that experience in such an intentional, reflective, and supportive way that allows you to not just visit these new places, but interact with them and become very much a part of them.” –A L L E G R A C , PA R T I C I PA 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 transformational learning adventures in unique international locations. This 2020/21 collection of curated programs is designed to deliver the 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 a monumental investment in yourself that’s much more than a vacation?

PROGRAMS CHINA p. 10–11

PERU p. 16–17

GUATEMALA p. 12–13

SENEGAL p. 18–19

NEPAL p. 14–15

CUSTOM + FAMILY p. 20–21 5


OU R A PP ROACH 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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CULTURALLY ENGAGING

TRANSFORMATIONAL

We are experts at connecting participants to place through

When we create space for personal introspection, discovery, and

meaningful engagement within local communities. Seeking out

renewal, we often find we possess a profound capacity for a more

opportunities for discovery within the fabric of daily life, we listen

invigorating perspective on our lives and the world. Traveling

to, connect with, and learn from people with radically different

with Dragons is not just an opportunity to intimately explore

cultural perspectives. You may cook home-made chapati bread

vibrant world cultures, but also a chance to investigate your inner

with your Nepalese homestay host, drink sweet attaya tea under

terrain. We ask reflective questions about who we are, what brings

a mango tree with a Senegalese Chief, or greet a merchant in

meaning to our lives, and how we would like to live as empowered

Mandarin in a bustling market in China.

members of a global community.

EDUCATIONAL

SMALL GROUPS

Our programs are well-rounded, holistic learning adventures that

A typical program consists of 10 participants and 2 instructors. A

unveil complex layers of the human experience. Participants learn

small group fosters intimacy and a high level of personalized care

through active engagement within local communities: studying

while lessening our impact on local communities. At Dragons we

with a master artisan or musician, visiting development projects,

believe traveling in a small cohort provides the most unique, safe,

or taking a guided tour with an expert on archaeological history.

and educational experience possible. The people who are attracted

Through observation and participation, we reflect on what it means

to Dragons are enthusiastic about learning, open-minded, flexible,

to be human in an increasingly global world.

and ready to share themselves with new people.

Previous spread left: Sacred Valley, Peru. © Japhy Dhungana Previous spread right: A Nepali mentor demonstrates his metal-working expertise. © Micah LeMasters Right: An Andean blessing. © Japhy Dhungana Next spread: Participants receive a lesson in thangka painting. © Amrit Ale


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P RO G RA M ELEME NTS Each Dragons program is carefully crafted to emphasize specific program elements that guide the journey and give participants opportunities to engage with host communities.

COMMUNITY STAY Participants stay in a wide range of

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DAY HIKING We explore by foot. Whether

APPRENTICESHIPS Participants are paired with a local

accommodations including guest houses,

walking through cities, on market alleys or

mentor to study an intellectual question or

ecolodges, monasteries, and in the homes

along cattle trails, participants can expect

artisan craft, providing an opportunity to

of community members. During our 2–3

to do a moderate amount of walking.

explore specific interests. Whether making

nights with a family, we have the rare

More difficult day hikes are an option for

jewelry, learning a traditional weaving

opportunity to engage personally with our

interested participants. By foot, we enter

technique, or inquiring into the main tenets of

hosts, sharing meals and stories with family

and engage with extraordinary places not

Mahayana Buddhism, participants investigate

members.

accessible by car.

a topic in depth with a local expert.

LANGUAGE LEARNING

CULTURAL STUDIES

COURSE THEMES

Quechua, Nepali, Wolof...On all

Participants explore the host

We delve into a specialized line

our programs participants are introduced

culture by visiting historic and religious

of questioning through themes such as

to the local language. This empowers us to

monuments, observing ceremonies and

indigenous identity, music and the arts,

interact with locals and helps to earn the

rituals, conversing with religious, political,

and the intersection of culture and culinary

respect of our host community. Language

and social leaders, touring community

traditions. We learn from local activists, by

trainers teach interactive classes offering

projects, and learning from activists and

hosting guest speakers, reading articles

relevant vocabulary to practice throughout

development workers. We also reflect upon

on relevant topics, and engaging in group

the program.

personal beliefs and values in contrast.

discussions.


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

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CHINA

F I E L D, K ITC H EN, TA BL E

14 DAYS

2020 DATES: September 17–30 2021 DATES: September 17–30

“HAVE YOU EATEN YET?”This everyday Chinese greeting underscores just how central food is in Chinese culture. From the Hui Muslim noodle makers of the northwest, to home cooking, foraging, and tea cultivation in rural Yunnan, this is a journey not just for the adventurous palate, but for the head and heart. We travel to farms, temples, street stalls, and kitchens of all sizes to learn about China’s rich and varied food traditions and how food is connected to concepts of

RUSSIA

body and health, religious beliefs, identity, and China’s turbulent history. • Learn about China’s regional, ethnic, and religious diversity through the lens of culinary traditions • Enjoy a meal in Chengdu that features medicinal dishes and ingredients, while examining Chinese concepts of traditional health

MONGOLIA

• Listen to elders share stories of survival through famine and hardship • Hike to a mountainside temple to eat and learn about Chinese Buddhist vegetarian cuisine

CHINA

• Live with Naxi families in Yunnan Province, cooking with hosts in wood-fire kitchens

XIAN CHENGDU

KUNMING

Left: The fields of Yunnan. © Megan Fettig Right: Enjoying a cup of tea. © Yingzhao Liu

INDIA

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G U AT E M A L A L A N D & S PI R I T

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DAYS

2020 DATES: November 1–7 2021 DATES: October 31–November 6

GUATEMALA OFFERS US AN OPPORTUNITY TO QUESTION OUR IDEAS ABOUT IMPERIALISM, IDENTITY, AND THE VALUE

ME XICO

OF TRADITION. Unique to Central America, the majority of Guatemala’s population is indigenous. The country thus offers an especially rich context to explore the crossroads of traditional wisdom and ideas of development and progress. Against a backdrop of rolling green mountains and an azure lake, we BELIZE

explore the ways in which Mayan communities maintain traditional lifestyles while adapting to an increasingly globalized world. • Learn about sustainable agricultural practices and local relationships to plants at the Meseoamerican Permaculture Institute (IMAP) • Weave and paint with artisans while learning about the intersection of history and Mayan artistic traditions

G UAT E M A L A LAKE AT I T L A N

• Enjoy a slow-cooked traditional Mayan meal with homemade wine on the rooftop of a homestead • Witness Mayan priests performing ancient spiritual ceremonies • Stay with a family of Mayan descent in a rural community nestled alongside the stunning Lake Atitlan

ANTIGUA

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Left: A local ceremony. © Sydney Yang Right: Sunset on Lake Atitlan. © Laila Skramstad

EL SA LVA D OR


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

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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 , PA R T I C I PA N T

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N E PA L

AS H R AM S & ART ISA N S

13 DAYS

2020 DATES: March 8–20, October 11–23 2021 DATES: March 8–20, October 11–23

CUT OFF FROM MODERN INFLUENCES FOR CENTURIES, THE REMOTE HIMALAYAN KINGDOM OF NEPAL HAS LONG BEEN A HOME TO 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 question: How can Nepal’s ancient traditions survive in a time of radical globalization?

CHINA

• Examine the concepts of cultural heritage and development, exploring the question of what constitutes “quality of life” in a modern world • Explore temples and sacred sites throughout the surrounding hills on optional day hikes • Study a craft that has been passed down for generations with a local Newari artisan • Travel to ancient Buddhist monuments and do a short stay in a Buddhist monastery or Hindu ashram

TIBE T NEPAL K ATH M A N D U VALLE Y

BHUTAN

• Enjoy a three-night community stay in the medieval city of Patan, with the possibility of another two-night community stay in a rural village Left: Boudha Stupa, Kathmandu. © Benjamin Felser Right: Visiting a thangka painter’s studio. © Amrit Ale

INDIA

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PERU

SACR E D VA L L E Y

10 DAYS

2020 DATES: May 18–27 2021 DATES: May 18–27

WHEN WE STEP INTO THE MOUNTAINS OF SOUTHERN PERU, WE VENEZUELA

FIND OURSELVES AMONGST THE HIGHEST PEAKS AND GREATEST BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN THE AMERICAS. Our journey takes us just outside of Cusco, where the Sacred Valley once hosted many of the Inca’s most

COLOMBIA

important cities and agricultural lands. Navigating small communities nestled between high peaks as well as the vibrant cityscape of Cusco, we adventure into both a historic and living culturewhere mountain traditions mix—and sometimes

ECUADOR

clash—with modern Peruvian life. • Delve into environmental issues through site visits and discussions pertaining to agricultural diversity and climate change BR A ZIL

• Explore your own connection with the earth through ceremonies facilitated by renowned wisdom keepers from the Q’eros Nation

PERU SACRED VALLE Y

• Learn basic phrases in Spanish through interactive classes and excursions

LIMA CUSCO

BOLIVIA 16

• Journey by foot along antiquated paths with breathtaking views of lakes and waterfalls

• Stay with a family of Incan descendants in the village of Paru Paru, an offthe-tourist-path community in the Sacred Valley Left: A happy homestay meeting. © Japhy Dhungana Right: An alpine hike. © Japhy Dhungana


The homestay was an unbelievable and incredible experience. The people of Paru Paru are warm, kind, and wise. This was more than I could have hoped for.� – C A R LY C , P A R T I C I P A N T

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If all of your programs are as authentic and immersive as the Senegal program, then I’m sold and ready to sign up for more!” – N A L I N I S , PA R T I C I PA N T

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SENEGAL M US IC & M YST IC IS M

13 DAYS

2020 DATES: January 19–31, July 19–31 2021 DATES: January 19–31, July 19–31

WELCOME TO A CULTURE RENOWNED FOR ITS HOSPITALITY, 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 sits beside centuries-old customs. Even the music echoes a mix of traditional and modern styles. Known for its vibrant and amicable people, sophisticated polyrhythmic music, and unique interpretations

MAURITANIA

of Islam, Senegal welcomes travelers into a rich and dynamic cultural landscape. • Explore Sufi mysticism, development, migration, and gender roles • Experience teranga, the Senegalese concept of hospitality • Delve into musical and artistic traditions by studying with master artisans and attending live concerts • Explore bustling markets, historic monuments, and modern cafes in the capital of Dakar • Plant tree saplings in a mangrove forest while learning about environmental conservation and grassroots development • Travel by boat to the welcoming island community of Niodior for a threenight family stay Left: Along the shores of Dakar. © Crystal Liu Right: A homestay portrait. © Nalini Sharma

DAKAR THIES

SENEGAL MALI

NIODIOR

GUINE A 19


CU STO M + FA MI LY PROGRAMS Looking for customized travel for your small group of family, friends, or colleagues? We bring our 25 years of experience offering transformational learning adventures to create a once-in-a-lifetime trip that suits you and your small group’s particular travel dates, needs, and aspirations. When you choose to join us on a custom-designed program, you access our extensive network within our global community that represents over 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Explore the world in a way you never have before! PROCESS

INCLUDED ON EVERY CUSTOM PROGRAM

• Find 3 or more travel companions.

• Custom itinerary designed for your group

• Tell us your vision.

• All lodging, meals, in-country transportation, & entrance fees

»» Where do you want to go?

• 4-to-1 guide-to-participant ratio

»» When do you want to travel?

• Airport greeting & 24/7 personalized care

»» What do you want to explore?

• Facilitated educational experiences & learning activities

• We’ll take care of the rest.

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• 24/7 on-call Emergency Response Team

Left: Llamas! © Julianne Chandler Right: Namaste from Nepal. © Tim Hare


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MEET A FEW OF OUR EXPERT INSTRUCTORS Dragons instructors are carefully selected based on their facilitation skills, local language fluency, and regional expertise.

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SAMBA SOW, SENEGAL

CLAIRE BENNETT, NEPAL

BA Phonetics & Languages,

M.A. History, University

Cheikh Anta Diop University

of Cambridge

Samba grew up in a small

Claire is driven by a

agricultural community

passion for global

in a remote and beautiful

equality and social justice.

nook of southern Senegal.

She first ventured to Asia

As a teenager, he moved to

as a volunteer in Nepal and

Dakar to complete high school and

later returned to found the rural

attend university, obtaining a joint degree at Senegal’s Cheikh

development organization, PHASE. Since then, she has spent time

Anta Diop University. Samba has a long-standing history in the

volunteering in Cambodia, coordinating regional strategies for

field of education. He has served as a supervisor for CADRE,

global education within the U.K. school system, and facilitating

an education and development NGO, has taught French and

Global Youth Action—a global work project for disadvantaged

English at a private school, and has worked as a language and

youth. Claire is an incurable optimist and has boundless energy—

cross-cultural trainer for the U.S. Peace Corps for six years. He

mainly fueled by caffeine from her British tea-drinking habit. She

has amassed over 600 field days instructing profound learning

has recently published a book on the value of learning service,

adventures with Dragons and brings an enthusiasm for sharing his

currently supports Dragons Himalayan courses, and works as a

home culture to each trip he guides.

freelance development consultant.


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. Her knowledge about Nepal is deep and grounded in her love and respect for the culture.” – C H R I S T I N A S , PA R T I C I PA N T

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

CONTACT US Give us a call at 303.413.0822 or send an email to:

JOSEPH (JODY) SEGAR, CHINA M.A. Anthropology (Ph.D. ABD), Stanford University Jody grew up in the woods of New England but woke up one day to find that

• Shannon Harriman, Co-Director of Adult Programs sharriman@wheretherebedragons.com • Megan Fettig, Co-Director of Adult Programs megan@wheretherebedragons.com

READY TO JOIN?

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

massive Chinese cities had come to feel just as familiar. Since 1996, he has spent more than a decade living, working, studying, and conducting research all over China. Fluent in Mandarin, Jody has worked in China as a teacher, a financial reporter, the host of the Chinese television program, Chongqing Today, a guide on the Yangtze River, a musician, an advertising designer, a writer and editor, and most recently, in the field of Study Abroad. He is drawn especially to the remote areas of China’s southwest and far northwest, where he’s also become fluent in the local version of Sichuan dialect. Jody is currently Dragons China Program Director.

PROGRAM CHINA, p. 10–11 GUATEMALA, p. 12–13 NEPAL, p. 14–15 PERU, p. 16–17 SENEGAL, p. 18–19

DATES 2020: September 17–30 2021: September 17–30 2020: November 1–7 2021: October 31–November 6 2020: March 8–20, October 11–23 2021: March 8–20, October 11–23 2020: May 18–27 2021: May 18–27 2020: January 19–31, July 19–31 2021: January 19–31, July 19–31 23


China | Guatemala | Nepal | Peru | Senegal | Custom

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 Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified accountability, transparency, and social and environmental performance.

Dragons 2020-21 Catalog: Adult Programs  

If you're looking for a meaningful way to engage with the world, you've come to the right place! In our 2020/21 catalog, you will find a sma...

Dragons 2020-21 Catalog: Adult Programs  

If you're looking for a meaningful way to engage with the world, you've come to the right place! In our 2020/21 catalog, you will find a sma...