New Mexico Interfaith Immersion Trip
This week-long summer program is organized by our partner, the Teen Interfaith Leadership Council of Santa Clara County, and gives high school students a chance to engage in interfaith dialogue, community service, farming, agriculture, and cultural experiences in the Santa Fe and Taos regions of New Mexico. The Foundation’s sponsorship of this program currently supports five Shinnyo-en Youth Association teens and ten other teens from diverse religious backgrounds to cultivate mutual respect and peacebuilding amongst themselves through interfaith dialogue and bond through meaningful volunteer work and cultural experiences.
“Looking back on the Shinnyo-en interfaith trip to New Mexico, I find that it was truly a moving experience. During the trip, each participant had a deep belief that they had a hold on to guide them through the experience. However, I found that all of these beliefs became integrated with one another as we all shared our ways of life with each other. I believe that this was one of the ultimate goals: to truly be able to understand where so many people of different religions come from and how they develop the world towards peace through their religions. It was very important to me to find out that it is very much possible to establish an interfaith dialogue with many other teens that respect one another and are welcome to learning about other people’s ways of life. In a certain way, it personally restored my belief in there being many good people in the world who will work to make a difference and guide the world towards peace at a time when the world faces so many crises. What I found to be truly marvelous was the idea that even though we all were participating in learning about so many religions throughout each day, every night all of us students would come together, on our own, and continue to talk about religions with one another. In that respect I think that we all naturally achieved a very permanent peace and a more well rounded religious perspective. In these distinct lovely moments late at night in the mountains of New Mexico, we all began to understand that there can be harmony and integration of all kinds of thoughts and viewpoints to help us grow and guide each other towards a diplomatic and serene future.” – 2013 Participant
If you are a Shinnyo-en Youth interested in this opportunity, please contact your temple’s Youth Association leader for more information about the program and application process.