Project Description

Legends of The Rio Grande

Rio Grande, Texas

Remote and mysterious, the Rio Grande defines the border of Texas and Mexico. Originating in the snow-capped Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the Rio Grande flows 1,900 miles all the way out into the Gulf of Mexico. Ahead lies 80 miles of wild river through deep canyons carved over millennia into the limestone of the Chihuahuan Desert with fantastic towers, spires and buttes.

Each day is spent on the river paddling its fast-moving water, soaking in natural hot springs, and exploring fascinating canyons. Each afternoon a new home is created along beautiful beaches and mesas with extensive views of distant mountains. In this environment, bonds within the group that will last far beyond this journey become even deeper, as students learn to depend on one another for their well-being. In addition, they begin to connect to the river itself; a powerful green ribbon of life supporting a multitude of plants and animals as it winds through the desert landscape. The focus of study will be on the history and legacy of colonization in the region that we now know as the border between the US and Mexico. Students will learn about the indigenous people who lived on the shores of the Rio Grande before the arrival of European settlers and who still reside in the area today. They will study edible and medicinal plants and learn to sustain life in the desert, receiving some of the wisdom of these indigenous groups. Students will also wrestle with the complexity on either side of the river and the tensions that run deep along the border. As they study the past and experience the present, a seed is planted with a prayer for an imagined future where the river unites, rather than divides, the two countries.