For almost 30 years, VISIONS has offered service programs that have had an impact on communities around the world. We are proud of the work that has been done in all of our locations, and each year we are inspired by the ties that our participants have created and built upon.
While we send teens to far-reaching corners of the globe, those who choose a U.S. program are often surprised by the experience that they have in this country. VISIONS offers programs in Alaska, two Montana Indian Reservations—the Blackfeet and Northern Cheyenne—and Mississippi. These programs give the opportunity to learn and be part of important issues happening in the United States.
Alaska: Even within the U.S., cultures and lifestyles can be very different from one place to the next, and you will experience those differences in one of the most remote corners of the country in Alaska. You’ll be part of a daily life in a village that subsists largely on the bounty of nature, with a culture that is linked directly to the environment. You will catch a glimpse of how climate change is impacting the ecosystem in the northernmost state of the U.S. While working on carpentry projects, harvesting and smoking fish, and even processing big game, you will begin to understand how the protection of our environment is imperative to the survival of Athabaskan tribes.
Montana: VISIONS has worked on Montana Indian reservations for more than 25 years. We are part of an extended family and are invited to ceremonies that surpass a tourist experience. While reservations face more than their share of hardships—demonstrated most recently in the national headlines about the Dakota Access Pipeline—there is a complexity that can only be understood by spending time in these places. You will learn about the history of the Blackfeet and Cheyenne tribes while also working on projects with our local hosts, and you will experience the exhilaration of the annual powwow and other cultural events. Check out the Montana Blackfeet and Northern Cheyenne programs.
Mississippi: Partnering with acclaimed grassroots groups, VISIONS Mississippi works on social justice and environmental projects that are part of a shift in how the Gulf region faces issues of climate change and the encroachment of seaside development. Participants will learn about the deep-rooted issues of inequality that were uncovered by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and they will hear from our community partners stories of the challenges that they are presented with while they continue to rebuild infrastructure. We also carve out time to explore this incredible part of the country, including swamp riverboat tours, a trip to New Orleans, kayaking, and more.