Posts Tagged:

About Dragons

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    [ID] => 157585
    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2021-01-12 14:56:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2021-01-12 21:56:01
    [post_content] => Across cultures stories are told about a hero’s journey to distant lands, only to find that what they seek is where the journey began: home. 

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot, 4 Quartets


On December 28th I embarked on a personal journey, a journey that resembled my first foray into the American West after graduating from college two decades ago. Last week I hugged my family goodbye and hopped into my van. Outfitted with warm layers, sleeping bags, food, and podcasts, I headed toward the “Four Corners” region, where CO, UT, AZ, and NM meet. I had no idea how far I’d get or where I’d sleep, other than knowing I’d be in the back of my van, somewhere. For a week I meandered. I roamed Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa, their dried canyon river bottoms blanketed in snow; I sat on the edge of the Grand Canyon, confused by the deafening silence and overwhelmed by the full nighttime galaxy, unadulterated by city lights; I descended the Colorado plateau into the great Sonoran Desert, and felt its soft winter warmth. After a challenging year, reconnecting with the American West, and my twenty-year old self, was like drinking from a well after a long period of thirst. I felt a deep gratitude for my post-college journeys into these landscapes, which were closer to the surface of my consciousness than I had ever realized. For nearly three decades Dragons has taken participants on journeys to discover the world and, in the end, themselves. When the pandemic closed down the world, Dragons turned inward to North America. This fall we offered two outstanding domestic Gap experiences: the Rio Grande Semester and the Colorado River Basin Semester. Because of their success, we are excited to announce that this new programming will extend into the 2021/2022 season and will continue to  be an important core of our work.

Keep an eye out for our new 2021 domestic program announcement!

The confluence of COVID-19, a heightened awareness and reckoning of racial injustice, and vast political divide in the United States has increased the need for domestic programming and specifically for a Dragons-style education. Our domestic programs strive to understand the complexity that arises when diverse peoples inhabit a land, looking closely at settler colonialism, power and privilege, and racial, social, and environmental justice issues. We examine how people have changed landscapes, for better and worse, and how those landscapes have in turn shaped our present realities. At a time when connection is hard to come by, the Dragons experience seeks to connect us to each other, our natural world, our collective and shared histories and, in the end, ourselves. Like all of our programs, our domestic courses help students confront important realities and understand their agency in shaping our collective futures. As we slowly return to the soulful international programming that has always been the hallmark of a Dragons experience, we’re moving into 2021 with increased self-awareness of our home here in North America. That rediscovery will weave itself into our global tapestry, augmenting even more depth and breadth to our programming.
After college I moved to New Mexico, and then California. I spent my time guiding wilderness trips for youth. It led me to Dragons, and in my late 20’s I found myself on the Tibetan Plateau, leading a Dragons group from Lhasa to Mount Kailash, a sacred pilgrimage route for Buddhists and Hindus. I was struck then by how much the Tibetan Plateau reminded me of the Colorado Plateau and the vast American West. And now as I travel and live in the southwest, I’m reminded of Tibet. Future Dragons students will now share the rediscovery of a place many people call home, and come to know it for the first time with new eyes and understanding. As you start thinking of your plans for 2021, I hope our domestic programming is something you will consider. And if you decide to join us, I hope your experiences in the American West will always be with you, right beneath the surface, waiting to reawaken you, as it did for me this past week. With hope for the future,
Reed Harwood, Executive Director
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    [ID] => 157321
    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-07-06 10:23:43
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-07-06 16:23:43
    [post_content] => Dear Dragons Alum Families and Community,

Today is July 1st: Week one of our summer courses. In normal times, students would be getting to know their instructors and peers, tasting and smelling new cuisines, and beginning their Dragons experience. These are clearly not normal times, and this year we are feeling what many of you experienced when your child left home: the empty nest. Until international borders reopen, the majority of our customary work is put on hold; as temporary empty nesters, we are afforded the time and space to look at ourselves in new ways. These past months of crisis have helped us to ask old questions with renewed urgency, expand our vision, and deepen our purpose. I'd like to share these developments with you:
 

Bringing our work closer to home

At our core, Where There Be Dragons is about discovery of and connection to self, others, and our shared planet through immersive and responsible travel. With international travel on pause, we want to expand our mission to meet new realities. Over the past several months we've developed new domestic programs for our SummerGap and Adult participants. We've long wanted to bring our work "closer to home." These courses do just that, allowing us to bring participants in contact with critical issues and impactful experiences in the US.  

Supporting communities

  • While we know Dragons will get through this and be stronger for it, the slowdown has acutely impacted many of our overseas staff and partner communities. In response, The Dragons Fund (a 501c3 program of the COMMON Foundation) started a
  • Community Relief Fund to help provide small grants to affected communities in the places we visit. These communities have always been the bedrock of a Dragons education. We are continually inspired by their creativity, strength, and resilience. They continue to teach us how to navigate this complex world.
  • Julianne Chandler, our Latin America Program Director, recently wrote a beautiful blog post about how one of these communities in Bolivia has been impacted by the pandemic and responded in creative ways.
 

Deepening our work towards justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion

Over the past few years we've made tangible strides in more fully articulating and realizing our mission, vision, and values. We hope our actions loudly reflect our words. And yet, as with all things aspirational, the journey is endless. COVID-19's unequal impact on vulnerable communities and movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter remind us of how far we have to go-as an organization, as a country, and as a global community-to actuate meaningful and systemic change. International travel, and Dragons programming, are fundamentally entangled with legacies of colonialism and contain deep inequities. We are using our "empty nest" to develop a long-term strategic plan for deepening our work toward justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, which we look forward to sharing in the coming months.
  Dragons will always seek to provide profound and unfiltered experiences that expose us to the beautiful and painful complexities of our world. Through our shared learning, we can step beyond our cultural and self-imposed limitations, awakening to who we want to be for ourselves and our communities.
Thank you for all your support in the recent months, and over the decades. We look forward to updating you on our programming as it returns.
 
Reed Harwood
Executive Director
 
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
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    [post_date] => 2020-06-15 17:30:56
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-15 23:30:56
    [post_content] => 

Building Sustainable Relationships With Land & Water in the Western United States

Catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dragons is excited to facilitate new low-impact domestic programs closer to home. Our Colorado River Basin Semester continues to advance our mission to offer immersive and responsible travel by exploring the history, culture, and environments of the North American West. Taking health risks into account, we are initially prioritizing programs that remain in-line with public health recommendations and which do not pose a greater risk to vulnerable populations. Coming September 1st, 2020, 10 Gap Year students will travel slowly by foot, train, and boat to connect the Colorado River's ecosystems from alpine peaks to desert canyons. Participants will backpack to the source of the Colorado River. Get their hands dirty studying permaculture and sustainability on local farms. Float through the desert canyons of Utah and sleep under a blanket of endless stars. Forge lasting friendships and connect to landscapes that will call you back for many years to come.

Program Highlights:

[caption id="attachment_157040" align="alignleft" width="356"]domestic gap year program where there be dragons colorado utah Photo by Tim Hare, Instructor.[/caption]
  • Engage with movements for food justice and food sovereignty
  • Meet with scientists, activists, ranching families, Native American communities, and recreational groups to gain a deeper understanding of the demands on land and water
  • Study permaculture with sustainable farmers and learn about practical solutions for climate change
  • Develop a complex understanding of the human history and a deeper connection with the natural environment in the high mountains and winding desert canyons
  • 2-week backpacking expedition along the Continental Divide including possible summits of 13,000 and 14,000+ foot peaks
  • Float the red rock canyons of the Colorado River Basin while you learn about complicated demands on this precious resource and how water has carved the magnificent natural beauty of the Southwest
  • Study controversial land use issues and natural resource extraction practices in the Bears Ears National monument and other public lands
  • Learn how communities of the Southwest carve out their existence amidst the greatest drought in centuries and strike a delicate balance in a competition for scarce natural resources
 

Learn more about the semester on the program page. 

 
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
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    [ID] => 156821
    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-05-26 11:49:52
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-26 17:49:52
    [post_content] => 

Director of Student Programming, Aaron Slosberg, was interviewed on Dr. Heidi Forbes Öste's podcast, Global Nomad Hacks.

global nomad hacks podcast where there be dragonsIn the interview, Aaron and Heidi Discuss:
  • How Aaron’s love of learning has brought him to over 30 countries around the globe as a student, teacher, and traveler.
  • His experience as the Program Coordinator for UCLA Outdoor Adventures.
  • His experiences in Guatemala and Indonesia that led him to get involved with Dragons.
  • Dragons travel philosophy and immersive programming.
       
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
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    [ID] => 156750
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    [post_date] => 2020-05-11 18:10:24
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-12 00:10:24
    [post_content] => Buddha Bhutan Summer Abroad

To keep advancing our mission to foster a more compassionate, just, and inclusive world, we're bringing you more FREE Dragons talks to keep sharing the things we're passionate about. We hope you'll join us and learn something new!

Register now. Space is limited. Missed a session? Watch the recorded webinar on YouTube.    

Intro to Ayurveda: Self Healing in The Time of Covid-19

An introduction to this 5,000-year-old system of understanding how our bodies and minds interact with nature and society with simple techniques to remain balanced in times of stress and uncertainty. Presented by: Jenny Wagner, Dragons Princeton Bridge Year Program Director. Jenny shares her passion for Ayurveda drawing on her experience as a Dragons instructor, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), and life coach. May 13th, 10am MST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Resume Building 101: Planning for Your Future Career

Feel empowered and productive with Ellery's guidance on resume building best practices to show that you're qualified, stand out, and translate nuanced experiences to paper. Presented by: Ellery Rosin, Dragons Staffing Director. Ellery's coveted tips are rooted in her behind-the-scenes knowledge of the hiring process and experience as a field-educator and Peace Corps volunteer. May 15th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Packing 101: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Travel Packing

We may not be able to travel yet, but why not keep the travel stoke alive by practicing your packing skills? Ellery will walk you through best practices in packing for extended travel experiences. Presented by: Ellery Rosin, Dragons Staffing Director. Ellery shares her packing expertise learned during her time as an international experiential education leader and Peace Corps volunteer. May 18th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Urbanization in China and the Biggest City You've Never Heard Of

Drawing on life experience and a passion for Chongqing's local history and economic transformation, Jody will introduce students to this city of 12 million and discuss migration and urbanization in China today. Presented by: Jody Segar, Dragons College Program Director, draws upon his experience living and working in China for 11 years as a teacher, a financial reporter, the host of the Chinese television program, a guide on the Yangtze River, a musician, an advertising designer, a writer and editor, and China program director. May 20th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

Foreign Friends, Foreign Devils

What is it like to live in China long-term as a "foreigner"? Jody will engage attendees in thinking about how being perceived as a foreigner can change and shape the way they might perceive themselves and others, in China and in the US. Presented by: Jody Segar, Dragons College Program Director, draws upon his experience living and working in China for 11 years as a teacher, a financial reporter, the host of the Chinese television program, a guide on the Yangtze River, a musician, an advertising designer, a writer and editor, and China program director. May 27th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>

 

A Coup or Not a Coup? The Fall of Evo Morales and Political Transformation in Bolivia

With the sudden ousting of longtime indigenous president and incumbent Evo Morales, Bolivia was already in a major political crisis when Covid-19 took hold. Presented by: Julianne Chandler, Dragons Latin America Program Director, shares her experience living in Bolivia during dual crises of pandemic and coup d'etat. May 29th, 4pm EST | Learn More/Register >>
 
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
[post_title] => Self Healing, Coups, Foreign Devils, Resume Building + more! New Online Virtual Global Speaker Series Webinars [post_excerpt] => To keep advancing our mission to foster a more compassionate, just, and inclusive world, we're bringing you more FREE Dragons talks to keep sharing the things we're passionate about. We hope you'll join us and learn something new! Register now. Space is Limited. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => self-healing-coups-foreign-devils-resume-building-more-new-online-virtual-global-speaker-series-webinars [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-14 16:25:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-14 22:25:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 655 [name] => Continued Education [slug] => continued_education [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 655 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [parent] => 0 [count] => 15 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 655 [category_count] => 15 [category_description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [cat_name] => Continued Education [category_nicename] => continued_education [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/continued_education/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 51 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 7 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 51 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/global_community/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 640 [name] => Dragons Instructors [slug] => dragons_instructors [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 640 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featuring the words, projects, guidance and vision of the community of incredible staff that make Dragons what it is. [parent] => 0 [count] => 36 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 640 [category_count] => 36 [category_description] => Featuring the words, projects, guidance and vision of the community of incredible staff that make Dragons what it is. [cat_name] => Dragons Instructors [category_nicename] => dragons_instructors [category_parent] => 0 ) [3] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 654 [name] => Mixed Media [slug] => mixed_media [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 654 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [parent] => 0 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 654 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => Featured Photography, Videos, Podcasts, Photo Contest Winners, Films & Art [cat_name] => Mixed Media [category_nicename] => mixed_media [category_parent] => 0 ) [4] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1 [name] => Uncategorized [slug] => uncategorized [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 14 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 14 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorized [category_nicename] => uncategorized [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Continued Education, Global Community ... )
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Self Healing, Coups, Foreign Devils, Resume Building + more! New Online Virtual Global Speaker Series Webinars

Posted On

05/11/20

Author

Dragons HQ

Description
To keep advancing our mission to foster a more compassionate, just, and inclusive world, we're bringing you more FREE Dragons talks to keep sharing the things we're passionate about. We… Read More
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    [post_date] => 2020-04-27 16:51:55
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    [post_content] => 

Dragons was featured in a New York Times article discussing Gap Year ideas for college students who are considering alternative options during this time of uncertainty.
That’s the essence of the gap year mind-set: Teenagers who are ready for challenges can find ways to achieve their goals. And just as a traditional education is about preparing a young person for adult life, learning to be resilient in handling the challenges of an unpredictable gap year can build valuable life skills as well.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ONLINE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES.

 
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
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