The Navajo SOFE exposes students to the distinct culture, history, and current issues surrounding the Navajo Nation. In addition, students will critically analyze preconceptions and personal attitudes with regard to Native Americans and native cultures.

This course presents students with an overview of the pre-treaty and post-treaty history of the Diné and examines the internal and external influences that shaped the current governance of this sovereign nation, as well as the resulting cultural evolution and present-day realities of social and economic life on the Navajo Nation.

The course has two main facilitators, 15 students, and incorporates the expertise of many local practitioners and organizations to provide a breadth and depth of experience for students. Students participate in activities such as dialogue with leaders in the sector, service experiences with nonprofit workers, and an examination of historical, social, political, economic and cultural conditions.
Students may have an opportunity to connect and work with a nonprofit organization in the area for final project development and ongoing service opportunities. All students develop critical thought about the realities of poverty and its effects on society.  Students will formulate theoretical and practical methods for recognizing and solving these problems in the future.

Itinerary is based on previous years visit and is subject to change.

Day 1
Travel from Denver to Durango, CO via bus (7 hrs)
Lodging at Comfort Inn & Suites in Durango
Day 2
Morning Travel from Durango, CO to Many Farms, AZ (3 hrs 22m)
Afternoon  NPO Visit: Teec Nos Pos
Afternoon Lunch
Afternoon NPO Visit: Presentation by Chinle Chapter 


Day 3
Morning Breakfast at hotel

Travel to Tsaile, AZ  (1hr 30min)

Afternoon NPO Visit: Dine College
Afternoon Lunch
Afternoon NPO visit: Presentation on Corporate Cultural Awareness
Evening Hogan Ceremony
Evening  Dinner 
Day 4
Morning Breakfast at hotel
Morning Travel to Window Rock, AZ
Afternoon NPO Visit: Navajo Nation Government
Afternoon Lunch
Afternoon NPO Visit: Navajo Nation Museum
Evening  Dinner 
Day 5
Morning Continental Breakfast at hotel
Morning Travel to Gallup, NM (26 m)
Afternoon NPO Visit: Southwest Indian Foundation
Afternoon Lunch
Afternoon NPO Visit: Navajo Nation Division of Health
Evening Dinner
Day 6
Morning Breakfast at hotel
Morning Travel to Canyon de Chelly (1hr 30min)
Afternoon Hike Canyon de Chelly
Afternoon Lunch
Afternoon Drive to Farmington, NM (3 hrs)
Evening Dinner
Day 7
Morning Breakfast at hotel
Morning Travel to Shiprock, NM (35 m)
Afternoon NPO Visit: Indian Country Extension
Afternoon Lunch
Afternoon  NPO Visit: Home for Women and Children (San Juan United Way Agency
Evening  Dinner 
Day 8
Morning Continental Breakfast at hotel
Morning Farmington to Denver (7 hrs)
Travel home via van

Cost is based on previous years visit and is subject to change.

The cost of the SOFE is made up of three parts:

  • In-Destination Experience Costs
  • Tuition per credit hour for an online course
  • Travel Expenses to/from your home location

The in-destination experience is $1,400 per participant, and includes:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Most meals
  • Tour entrance fees
  • Guest speakers, etc.

The in-destination experience excludes:

  • Personal costs: bottled water, snacks, drinks, gifts, personal items you may purchase for yourself and additional transport costs (e.g. taxis) etc. not included in course-related excursions
  • Certain meals as indicated in the itinerary

The SOFE confirmed my abiding love for nonprofit work, the need for the continued work of nonprofits in our society, and my plan to continue to work with nonprofits as much as I can and for as long as I am able.”- Dana Shea-Reid

Do it! You will not be given a chance like this again. A SOFE trip is the embodiment of experiential learning and cannot be replaced with reading or classroom discussion. It will transform how you interpret the curriculum and will allow you to absorb the successes and struggles of people different from yourself, fueling your desire to work towards social justice.” – Anne Shulga

Pick something out of your comfort zone. The SOFE isn't (and never should be) just a neat opportunity for some travel. It's an opportunity to learn about different cultures, whether in a foreign country or here in the United States. You will see, first hand, how communities and societies respond to the needs of their people through nonprofits or NGOs. That experience is much richer than any classroom exchange, and it will be something that will be remembered forever.” – Dana Shea-Reid


The Navajo SOFE Guidebook contains useful information you can carry with you while exploring the Navajo Nation. You will find detailed information regarding the history and culture of Navajo Nation, maps, packing list and even local recipes.

Questions? Contact Megan Maes, administrative assistant for the Global Nonprofit Leadership Department at or 303.964.3650.

Helpful Apps While Traveling:


Google Maps

Tip N Split

Lonely Planet

The Weather Channel


Packing Pro

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