We are still under the process of confirming our housing situation in Cortez. The Service Center will keep you updated as things are confirmed. We do ask that groups do not bring any sleeping pad over twin size to ensure enough space for everyone.
We shower at Cortez High School. The school has open/locker room style showers, so you can encourage your students to bring bathing suits for privacy. We will have separate times for youth and adult leaders to use the shower facilities.
In Cortez you will be participating in our Work Projects and Kid’s Club programs. Your students will spend two days in each program, approximately 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. each day.
· Kids Club: Led by your youth, Kids Club is a hands-on program offering high-energy games, crafts, skits, songs and an interactive lesson, plus a time specifically designed to help community kids with their reading skills. The purpose of Kids Club is to demonstrate the love of Jesus to the kids while giving your students an opportunity to serve in a meaningful way. In Cortez we have an excellent partnership with a local Assembly of God Church where we run our Kids Club.
· Work Projects: During the Work Project days you will be involved in things like: painting, general yard work, trash removal, etc. We want to serve the elders in the community, so priority is given to projects that serve them. Many of our Work Projects will be in the community of Towaoc which is located on the Ute Mountain Reservation and is a short drive from Cortez.
M: On Monday night groups will drive out to the Mesa Verde National Park for a hike. This activity provides an excellent opportunity for participants to be active while seeing some of the local geography. The schedule for Monday night will look different to accommodate for the extra drive time. The scenery is beautiful and completely worth it. There is a $10/vehicle charge to get into the park.
T: You will be joined at our housing site by a local Navajo woman, Shirley Smith, and her family. Shirley will talk to the groups about her Navajo heritage as well as put on a demonstration of traditional Navajo horsehair pottery. Shirley and her family have been friends of YouthWorks for a long time and are always excited to meet the groups. Shirley and her family also provide fry-bread, and we ask that everyone donate $2 to thank the Smith’s for their time and generosity. Bring money if you wish to purchase pottery. This is often a highlight of many groups’ weeks.
W: Groups will have the opportunity to join Evangel Assembly of God and take part in a service tailored specifically for the youth.
TH: Community Cookout: The community cookout is a great way to wrap up the week. This is a great opportunity to invite community friends you meet throughout the week for a meal hosted by YouthWorks. The cookout will take place at a park at the center of town. The cookout at Cortez can be quite large, with people coming from all over the community to eat and fellowship with both each other and the participants.
Cortez is a fascinating community with a lot of diversity and history. Although it is currently predominantly white, it has very large Hispanic and Native American populations (mostly Ute and Navajo). Over the last twenty years racial tension coupled with poverty has led to gang violence and division within the community. While preparing your youth for the trip this summer, spend some time preparing your hearts to learn about the different kinds of people that you will encounter.