Thirteen teenagers braved the wilds of New Mexico to explore different faiths and worldviews, taking lessons and teaching peace in changing world. These teenagers will be the leaders of the future and their time in the many religious worlds found in the Land of Enchantment will inspire them to shape future generations.
For five days, students from across the United States; Boston, Seattle and California, came together to share their own faith traditions and learn more about others. Sikhs, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Christians congregated on Santa Fe for intense experiential learning and immersion in a host of faith traditions. Santa Fe is home to mosques, synagogues, a series of Christian denominations alongside Hindu temples and indigenous spirituality. Many people are drawn to the rich spiritual tapestry of Santa Fe and New Mexico, not only for its many holy sites such as Chimayo and indigenous prayer sites, but also for the sense of entering a new world. A new world that is in fact ancient but new to modern people.
It was into this world of spirituality and religious diversity these students plunged. From evening prayers at the local mosque to sharing meals at the Hindu ashram in Taos and Sikh gurdwara in Espanola, Chimayo, Barrios Unidos and Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe itself, these students were exposed to the many world traditions coexisting in Santa Fe and learning about the similarities and shared beliefs of these religions. Native spirituality and communication with the spirits played a influential role in these students' time in New Mexico, opening their eyes to a new but ancient way of understanding life and the world. Each person has a place in that world but joy must be one's compass to finding purpose in life. These students have returned to their homes, back to the comfort of normality but changed and shaped by what they have learned from their adventures into the discomfort of new places.
CommUNITY Learning Network is a grassroots New Mexico-born and locally based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to building stronger communities through real-life learning.