Location: Patagonia, AZ (Sonoran Desert)
Date: April 15-24, 2016
Theme: Supporting a Sustainable Future
Description: Quest students from Another Course to College High (ACC) pushed themselves past their comfort zones during a transformative time in the borderlands region of Arizona. Being physically confronted by the Mexican-American border wall, students learned about and experienced a fragment of what immigrants face coming from Mexico to the United States as well as the negative environmental impact of the wall. They interviewed border guards about their perspectives regarding their responsibilities and also listened to the personal stories of children who live in border towns and have been affected by separation from their families and strict immigration laws. This helped our students reflect on their own immigration experiences and expanded their understanding and empathy for this important issue.
Under the hot Arizona sky, students also tested their physical limits through activities and service, including hiking, digging trenches for a grey water system, and helping to build a gabion (huge wire baskets filled with concrete rocks) to prevent flooding and reverse soil erosion. Finally, the team worked with a local farmer and visited her home, built exclusively from reusable resources.
After cultivating the earth and their own leadership through team-building activities at the ranch, Team Arizona returned to Boston ready to build a garden, creating grey water and compost systems at their new school.