VENAVER, Los Angeles, November 6-11, 2022

VENAVER (Spanish for “Come and See”) has its origins in scripture. Jesus said, “Come and you will see” John 1:39-41. VENAVER trips are immersions experience that offer Junior and Senior students, faculty, and staff opportunities to participate in faith-based experiences in local and global communities. Participants explore faith, community, service learning, social justice, and simple living in a safe environment in every VENAVER experience. Students of all faith traditions and backgrounds are invited to participate in VENAVER. Four VENAVER retreats will be offered throughout the 2024-2025 academic year. Please see below for details, and email Erin Hanshew at with any questions.

Information about each of the specific VENAVER immersions can be found below. To apply for a VENAVER, students should complete an online application, which will be followed by in person interviews.

Blackfeet, Montana (Application due by August 26, 2024)

Los Angeles (Application due by September 14, 2024)

El Otro Lado, Tucson (Application due by September 14, 2024)

Yakima (Application due by February 22, 2024)

Blackfeet, MT

September 28 – October 5, 2024
Application due by August 26, 2024

The OKI-NI-SOO-KA-WA (Come & See) Blackfeet immersion trip gives students a first-hand look at life and school on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana. Participants on this trip will work at De La Salle Blackfeet, a San Miguel School serving 4th-8th grades, learning about life on the reservation and building relationships with students and families. Participants tour Blackfeet cultural sites, engage in discussions with tribal leaders, and support DLSBS students. The program not only exposes volunteers to the rich culture and heritage of the Blackfeet but also transforms the participants who live in and experience this dynamic educational environment.

Los Angeles, CA
November 17–22, 2024
Application due by September 14, 2024

This immersion visits the Dolores Mission, a dynamic parish in Los Angeles. The economic reality of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles makes Dolores Mission the poorest parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Students will work with elementary school students in Dolores Mission School, help prepare food and feed immigrants who are experiencing homelessness and who sleep in the parish church each night, and see how ex-gang members are rebuilding their lives through Fr. Greg Boyle’s work with Homeboy Industries. Students will have opportunities to respond to the spiritual, educational, physical, and emotional needs of the Los Angeles community. Furthermore, students will experience the healing, transformation and raising of consciousness about the larger issues of justice and peace.

Tucson, AZ
January 12-16, 2025
Application due by September 14, 2024

El Otro Lado, which means “the other side” is a US/Mexico border immersion program hosted by Cathedral High School in Tucson. This program provides Lasallian students with the opportunity to explore the US/Mexico border and learn about the many complexities of immigration. Students and participating staff members learn about and experience in part the hard journey our brothers and sisters that cross from El Otro Lado endure. In addition to informing participants of the hundreds of migrant deaths that occur, El Otro Lado allows students to interact with humanitarian aid groups, Border Patrol agents and those directly impacted by US immigration policy. *This trip requires a U.S. passport.*

April 13 – 18, 2025
Application due by February 22, 2025

Native Americans have faced myriad issues since being placed on reservations during Westward migration in the 1800s. In the 21st Century, Native Americans still face difficulties stemming from these earlier policies. The Yakama Reservation immersion gives students a first-hand look at life on the reservation as well as the steps Native American communities are taking to maintain their cultures, including care and conservation of their sacred lands. This immersion requires a willingness to participate in manual labor and endure uncertain weather conditions. Students may paint houses, do construction projects, or work on landscaping and wild land restoration.

VENAVER Requirements:

All Juniors and Senior students can apply for VENAVER. Students must have a 2.5 GPA and submit an online application. In-person interviews will follow. Eight to twelve students will be chosen to participate with two adult moderators for each trip.

An important component of VENAVER trips is living simply, being present, in community together. For that reason, students may not bring cell phones or devices on immersion trips. Moderators will send daily updates to parents at home. Students must be willing to go device free during their time on VENAVER. Students attending VENAVER will not have time to complete school or other work on their immersion. For this reason, students are required to discuss and plan their absence with their teachers in advance.

All participants must have a government-issued I.D. and their FinalForms information up to date, and once accepted, completed parental permissions submitted via PermissionClick. For further information, please contact Ms. Hanshew in the LSLO.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I attend VENAVER and Kairos in the same semester?

Generally, no. Seniors are asked to consider their academic schedule and should attend Kairos and VENAVER in different semesters if they hope to participate in both.

Can I apply for more than one VENAVER?

Yes – if you apply for a VENAVER and are not accepted, you are welcome to re-apply for another one.

Can I get service hours for participating in a VENAVER?

Yes – students who complete a VENAVER can log 70 service hours for their time.

Can I get financial aid?

Some financial aid is available to students. Please contact Ms. Hanshew for information.

What do the trip fees include?

The trip fee covers food, lodging, transportation, and any program fees associated with the specific experience. The fees cover everything except souvenirs or other personal items purchased. If you have any other questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact Ms. Hanshew in the LSLO or email her at  

Components of VENAVER:

Faith: Through communal prayer and reflection students will identify how the holy presence of God can be found in each other and the people they will meet.

Community: Through community living and shared learning students will exercise interdependency and joint decision making.

Service-Learning: Through direct service, students will connect their service to the social, political, and economic realities of our times, as well as actively answer the call to serve others as stewards of the Gospels.

Social Justice: Through experiencing the intense realities of life for people living on the margins, students will share their thoughts on the importance of the Gospel call to love and act justly.

Simplicity: Through living in simple accommodations, students will examine and evaluate their values as world consumers, as they become aware of the living conditions and plight of others.