The annual Peace Village camp is held in late summer at High Mesa Healing Center which is 40 acres of solitude in Alto, New Mexico. This creates the perfect environment for Peace Village, a multicultural day camp with the mission to provide a fun, educational environment in which children can learn the messages and practice of non-violence and peacemaking from various world traditions. All activities encourage respect for racial and cultural diversity. In 2006 two nonprofit corporations, Peace Village and Youth Enrichment Services, collaborated with Barbara Mader, owner of the healing center, to make the camp a success.
Peace Village begins each day at 9:00am with an opening circle to formally begin the day. Where we will share inspiring short talks from local leaders about a topics related to Peace. It might be a discussion about the similarities and differences among different cultures or various methods of non-violent conflict resolution. Then the kids break up into groups by ages for many other classes.
In the afternoon, after a healthy lunch which is provided by The Boys and Girls Club, the kids gather for organized musical games and rhythm band activities. This is entertaining as well as teaching the value of team activities. Local coaches and high school sports stars introduce the kids to sports they may not have had the opportunity to experience, and stress sportsmanship and fair play. The young people also enjoy nature walks in the beautiful forest that surrounds the center, often to collect items they will use later in craft projects.
All classes and experiences are developmentally appropriate for each age group six through thirteen. Every year high school students serve as group leaders, mentoring the children in their groups. The interactions between campers and teens, who serve as positive role models, are one of the most important aspects of the camp. On Friday, the last day of camp, parents are invited to a graduation ceremony where each child receives a certificate of participation and a T-shirt.
Each year the leadership of Peace Village gets better and better, and this being our 15th year we are better than ever. Susan Finch, our director, brings over forty years of experience in school administration as well as a love for kids.
Dedicated adults and teens begin their planning early in February or March for the late summer event. They come from many fields: teachers, exercise experts, artists, musicians and health professionals. The enthusiasm of these people is contagious and inspiring. They work for the sake of the children and, through the children, for the future of the planet.
The teachers may change each year, but often include Lou Ann Ellison, local music teacher, Andrea Fernandez, a local yoga/dance teacher, Angie Fernandez ie "Veggie girl" ecologically minded mentor, Peggie Fyie facilitates arts and crafts, and Kathy Golightly, retired teacher and HMHC colleague conducting deep dialogue and conflict resolution techniques.
Here are some of the many faces that make Peace Village a reality.
Each year Peace Village is held at High Mesa Healing Center, on the full week of July, Monday-Friday 9:00am-3:30pm. High Mesa Healing Center is located at 133 Mader Lane in Alto, NM. For more information call 575-258-9932 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to see you there next year!