10th-Grade Exploration of the Rio Grande and El Paso
"Our journey took us through a myriad of unforgettable experiences."
Words by Ariane Dandeneau
I am thrilled to share some exciting highlights about our 10th-grade trip to the Rio Grande, Big Bend National Park, and El Paso, Texas. This educational adventure was a fun and enriching experience for all of us. Our journey took us through a myriad of unforgettable experiences.
We started our trip in El Paso, where we explored the city’s rich history and culture by visiting The El Paso Museum of History, The National Boarder Patrol Museum. Both places gave students an opportunity to dive deeper into El Paso history through different lenses. One being how this unique place was carved through mountains of granite by the meandering river, and how the two worlds of Spanish colonists and indigenous communities meet. And the other, social and political lenses that were brought to light through our countries Boarder Patrol and immigration forces, and thus the explosive growth of the El Paso we know today.
"We expected more water than we encountered and ended up dragging our canoes through very shallow parts of the river."
Before headed to Big Bend we stopped in Marfa, where cowboy culture meets modern art. This is where we stopped to see some of the art installations, like the Prada store. Eventually we found our way into the small town of Redford at the Angel Expeditions HQ. The following day, we made it to Big Bend, on our “not so” thrilling canoe adventure into the Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grande. We expected more water than we encountered and ended up dragging our canoes through very shallow parts of the river. Thus driving home the impact of water, or lack thereof, in this region of The United States. Despite the areas challenges, the breathtaking scenery truly brought our students closer to nature and to each other.
Our students had an amazing time with Angel Expeditions, on the river who provided us with incredible food and camping experiences in the backcountry. During our days, we played games, journaled, went swimming off Bourdain Rock, took a hike through a slot canyon on the Mexican side, bushwhacked through cactus hillsides to a million year old cave, and had thought-provoking discussions about immigration and border culture.
"This trip was truly a unique blend of adventure, learning, and personal growth that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on our students."
On the very last day of our trip, students furthered their understanding about the water challenges of the region, and how the area is working to over come them at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Desalination Plant, where they got a private tour showing how they use filters, reverse osmosis, and other techniques to produce clean water to distribute to the people. TecH2O was a critical aspect of understanding the environment and sustainability around water in the region.
This trip was truly a unique blend of adventure, learning, and personal growth that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on our students. Thank you for entrusting us with this amazing opportunity to expand your child’s horizons and provide them with unforgettable experiences.