I AM Grateful 2013

We want to thank everyone for an unforgettable journey through this land most commonly know as the Southwest U.S.A., whose true names go back far beyond our contemporary imagination and which are spoken in many ancient tongues.  Thank you to all the people that took us in, that fed us and gave us shelter, and for all they have shared with us of their personal lives and precious cultures that… Read More

Havasupai Finale and Flagstaff Full Circle

This past Monday in Tucson, just coming back from Mexico, we took some down time some down time chillin’ in a yurt, as one does, while staying at La Vita House, which is a great youth hostel catering to international crowds. We then got to spend some quality time with an intriguing man named Lench.  At his home which he opened to us generously, he led us through several activities… Read More

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

To answer the question in the title, you don’t: there is nothing wrong with Maria.  She is awesome as is.  The Maria in question is one Maria Garcia: our tiny, feisty host during our time in Magdalena, Sonora.  We rendezvoused with her and her husband Joe at a Home Depot in Tucson on Sunday where we loaded up supplies and then headed down to Mexico.  We proceeded to spend several… Read More

Our Time in Nogales

At our visit to HEPAC (Home of Hope and Peace) we learned about border issues and the work that the organization is doing to stabilize and better life on the Mexican side of the border in Nogales. We learned that is important to improve the quality of life in Mexico so that Mexicans will not have to feel like they need to risk their lives illegally immigrating in the desert.… Read More

Apache, Sacred Places, and Treacherous Roads

This is Benjamin, signing in to tell you a little bit about our time this past week… Like a television signal descrambling itself to create a coherent picture while begging broadcasted from one place to another, we needed a slight adjustment of our group operating system to go from Free Travel in Jamez Springs and Santa Fe back onto the reservation life, this time in San Carlos Apache, where we… Read More

Tim Tom’s Free Travel Adventures

How creepy would it be to walk into a room in which every wall bears numerous crucifixes with all the macabre grotesqueness of the Spanish Inquisition?  That was my first experience when I entered the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, NM during our free travel week.  And from a first hand perspective, when you have the eyes of dozens of bleeding crucifixion victims looking down at you while… Read More

Springs and Things (Free Travel)

I woke up the morning of the third excited for two things: it was the first day of free travel and my eighteenth birthday. While other teenagers may wake up on their eighteenth birthday in a dorm room or resting at home, I got to wake up to the beautiful mountains in Jemez Springs. The cottonwoods were changing colors to a patchwork of gold and red. It was a very… Read More


When our group arrived at Zuni, we immediately went to the museum to meet with Jim Enote, the man whose land we were going to be staying on and who would be hosting us for our time on the Zuni reservation. After a fantastic tour of his museum as well as getting to learn of the Zuni origin story we were allowed to see a ceremonial dance before setting off… Read More


Well it’s now almost November and the brief sleet storm which just hit us in Cornfields on the Diné (pronounced “Din-ay” and the more polite name for “Navajo”) Reservation is a definite testament to the oncoming winter.  In the past couple of weeks, we have travelled from Diné College to Canyon de Chelly and to Ganado and Cornfields, two of the 126 chapters which make up the Diné Reservation. Our… Read More

Fry Bread, Hail Storms, and the River

Our brains do not cook as she planned. (It’s really just fry bread)  Roberto cleans out the corn with the wind. Roberto asks us to help take down an old clay oven. Tom goes in for the devastating strike. Burning juniper branches to create ash for adding to corn soup to make it more nutritious. Fun at Monument Valley. On the San Juan River: While getting a flat tire… Read More

Spongebob and Plaster

Long days of plastering where off set with plenty of laughs, experiments in food, and learning. Every day we build off the past, both figuratively and literally. Two weeks ago we came in fresh faced and new. Now we’re covered in plaster, and significantly less new. Ever try a Kool-Aid pickle? Not many of us here have. Experimenting with food is a wonderful way to journey outside ones comfort zone.… Read More

Hopi Days

Here we are, already one week into our stay on Hopi land, and already it seems we have been here for a lot longer. Since arriving here a week ago we have been getting are hands dirty, or rather muddy, working on a natural building project at the Hopi Tutskwa permaculture. Lilian and Jacobo, the founders and caretakers of this project,  are building a new house on their land and… Read More

Back at the EcoRanch…

Here we are just outside of Flagstaff at the EcoRanch, directed by one Jeff Meilander.  The San Francisco peaks nearby have been our morning companions, being first touched by a warm light before we camp-dwellers can see the sun itself come up over the horizon.  The past five days of orientation have already been rich with information and experience, both of the Native culture and our own tribal culture that… Read More

IAM Fall 2013 together at last!

The Indigenous America group has successfully united in Flagstaff!!!  Leaders, Benjamin and Angie, are together with Jane, Tom, Erich and Conner at the Flagstaff EcoRanch.  This thoughtful space is situated just west of the San Francisco Peaks, which is sacred to many Native American peoples of the southwest.  The group will be there until Saturday for several days of orientation.  May the journey begin…    … Read More

Lets Talk Ooks… Carpe IAM Soon to Begin

Benj and Angie here, signing in for the first time this semester.  Today, the 10th of September, 2013, was a day full of adventure, biking all around the city of Portland, defined by a well-struck balance of work and play.  On one of our assigned missions, we journeyed to and through Portland’s famous and massive Powell’s bookstore:   At Powells and beyond we gathered goodies and necessary material goods for… Read More

Solo Journey

The sun begins its descent as saguaro cactus line the horizon. Ocatilla cactus extend their arms towards the sky while barrel cactus cradle the earth. Thorns will be your companions in this arid landscape and as the moon rises coyotes awaken, permeating the air with their howls. This portion of our semester in late November was a time of reflection and contemplation. We were to separate, walk through the desert,… Read More