Students Volunteer in Taos, New Mexico

13 students traveled across the country to volunteer in Taos, New Mexico as part of an annual service trip. The students spent part of their service at Red Willow Farm.

“It was not only a farm, but also a place for the young people of the Pueblo to learn new skills and give back to their own community,” said Morgan Downer ‘20 and Anneliese Fisher ‘19. “We learned about the complicated heating, irrigation, and solar systems that are used to power the farm.”

Students helped by gardening and planting. They also put a new bottom layer inside one of the Farm’s green houses.

The group also volunteered at an elementary school and painted the walls in the school’s computer lab.

“It was really nice seeing all the work we had finished,” shared Maria Emmerich ‘21, Zoe Mason ‘20 and Elizabeth Murray ‘20.

When not at the farm, the students learned more about Native American culture and spent time with the people of Taos.

“One evening, we drove down the road to a neighborhood of earthships,” said Allie Bardine ‘21, Kennedy Byrd ‘21 and Alex Yunger ‘21. “Earthships are houses that are made from recycled materials. They were pretty sweet! They are super sustainable and the community is 95% off the grid meaning they make little to no footprint in terms of electricity and gas, etc..”

“We learned about the history of the Taos community, their traditions and got to witness them dance before we got to join in,” Downer and Fisher reflected “It was so fun to perform (including playing the drums!) with the Natives there.”

Joe Discher ‘19 and Sully Dean ‘20 added, “We got to ask any questions we wanted about how the Native American tribes/history/tradition/government/religion/etc works. The structures at the Pueblo are all over 800 years old. It's pretty crazy how much history and tradition is still alive and well in the Pueblo today.”

When reflecting on their trip overall, Emma Schaefer ‘19, Greta Spees ‘20 and Rachel Stefan ‘19 said, “The week was so amazing. We are excited to share all we have learned about the Native American culture.”

Posted June 18, 2019