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Immersion Programs
Overview

Situated in a small mountainous village in the Dominican Republic, the RAÍCES Education center provides an optimal space for regenerative learning through a wide range of programs. The center additionally serves as a research site for local and international universities and colleges. With sleeping quarters for 15–20 people, a classroom for 100 people, indoor and outdoor kitchens, gardens with over 65 different foods, and a rooftop area for morning exercises, the center provides a unique setting for meaningful educational experiences in an immersive environment. 

 

The education programs hosted at the center range from 1 to 2 weeks. Workshops primarily encompass content from the following three areas:

  1. Regenerative land solutions (including agroforestry systems, techniques, watershed rehabilitation, soil regeneration, community gardens, tree nurseries, seed banks, etc.)

  2. Regenerative health solutions (addressing how diet and lifestyle choices promote optimal health, research studies on animal protein, the role of diet in preventing and reversing chronic diseases, etc.)

  3. Raising community awareness about the interconnections between the environment and our food choices (through community mapping, survey development, data gathering and sharing, storytelling, community health immersion programs, etc.) 

 

Each workshop includes practical hands-on components and research-based elements highlighting the work of leading experts and practitioners. Programs inspire participants to spread and share innovative ways to positively impact communities worldwide through food based solutions while providing a supportive network to encourage regenerative land projects within one’s community.

 

The center additionally serves as a local hub for nutrition and diet education as well as for regenerative agroforestry projects. Plant-based health immersion programs demonstrate the capacity for food to prevent and reverse chronic ailments while collaborative reforestation projects demonstrate the potential impacts of agriculture to promote biodiversity and conservation. 

Educational Opportunities

Teacher/Educator
Programs

Teacher/Educator Programs delve into the interconnections between the environment, agriculture, and planetary health, offering educators a firsthand experience of the role of food systems in local ecosystems, environmental degradation, and, ultimately, environmental regeneration. Throughout these programs, teachers will gain access to valuable educational resources and networking opportunities that they can leverage in their classrooms. With a focus on solution-based learning, teachers will also design school-based community projects that integrate with their standard curriculum. The objective is to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to engage their students in leading and facilitating regenerative initiatives, whether local or national, and pursuing solutions within their communities.

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Nutrition and Lifestyle Programs

Nutrition and Lifestyle Programs will explore the relationships between nutrition, health, our food system, and the environment. These programs are open to the public.  The program includes practical demonstrations showcasing how dietary changes can rapidly impact personal and environmental health. Participants will also gain insights into how environmental health influences the nutritional quality of food and, subsequently, long-term well-being. Throughout the experience, participants will gather educational resources, networking opportunities, and strategies for disseminating this information within their communities to enact whole systems change.

Student Programs

Student Programs will host high school and college students to learn about the connections between the food system and environmental issues such as climate chaos, environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss. Students will have the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of regenerative agriculture through unique hands-on engagement with projects. Through this experience, they’ll learn ways to incorporate components and lessons into their respective communities and institutions. In addition, they will receive workshops and resources on how others around the world are creating similar initiatives.

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Writing, Arts, and Creative Programs

Writing, Arts, and Creative Programs cater to creative crafts, including writing and painting workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to discover their creative muse and engage in workshops that nurture artistic capacities related to the environment, health, community, and food. The core of the artistic process will center on the principles of regeneration—life-giving, restorative, and enhancing. Excursions from the center will offer participants the chance to explore Dominican culture and observe how artistic expression can be woven into public spaces to foster inclusion and dialogues of hope. These excursions will offer insights into how art can be a tool for building resilient communities of health.

Tailored Group Programs

Tailored Group Programs enable groups to personalize programs to meet their specific needs. For instance, a fraternity from Cornell University might fulfill service requirements by volunteering in an agroforestry project during spring break. A church group could develop community health immersion programs and an education initiative focused on the impact of our food system and food choices on personal and environmental health. Similarly, a freshman environmental studies course from Tufts University could engage in a week-long program tailored to explore communal land trusts, collectives, and community governance in action.

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The RAÍCES Education center is the physical manifestation of a collaborative effort between three non-profit organizations – the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, RAÍCES Global de La Cumbre, and Global Roots. RAÍCES Global de La Cumbre is responsible for the hosting, overseeing, and the administration of all education programs. Global Roots provides educational content at the center as well as material and technical support for projects by program participants. The center for Nutrition Studies provides nutritional expertise for programs and additional funding.

The RAÍCES Institute Report below gives a comprehensive look at the work done being done at the education center as well as a deeper look into the philosophical underpinnings and educational opportunities hosted on site. Read or download the executive summary and full report below.

about the history of the RAÍCES center and explore the photo gallery

Read the RAÍCES Institute Report below

Click to download the executive summary of the RAÍCES Institute Report
Click to download the full RAÍCES Institute Report
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