VENAVER origins are in scripture, Jesus said, “Come and See” John 1:39-41. It’s an immersion experience that offers students (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors), faculty and staff opportunities to participate in faith-based experiences in local and global communities. For each VENAVER experience, participants explore faith, community, service learning, social justice, and simple living in a safe environment. Students of all faith traditions and backgrounds are invited to participate in VENAVER.
Los Angeles, CA
Dolores Mission, & Mission Experience
Dolores Mission—The Vision is to walk with Christ who suffers, dies, and rises with people in the Boyle Heights Community. Students will have opportunities to respond to the spiritual, educational, physical, and emotional needs of the Los Angeles community, by listening—particularly through the Christian base communities, grassroots organization, and outside agencies. Furthermore, students will experience the healing, transformation and raising of consciousness about the larger issues of justice and peace.
Tucson, AZ: El Otro Lado
El Otro Lado, which means “the other side”, is a US/Mexico border immersion program hosted by San Miguel High School. This program provides Lasallian students with the opportunity to explore the US/Mexico border and learn about the many complexities of immigration. Through this five-day immersion program 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 in the Arizona desert, 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 passport or green card.
Native Americans often referred to as Indians, have faced a myriad of issues since being placed on reservations after Westward migration in the 1800’s. In the 21st Century, Native Americans still face difficulties stemming from those earlier conditions. The Yakama Reservation immersion gives students a first-hand look at life on the reservation as well as the steps Nations 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 landscaping along with wild land restoration.
All students can apply for VENAVER. The exception is the L’Arche immersion. Students must have a 2.5 GPA and go through an online application process via Schoology. In-person interviews follow. Eight to ten students will be chosen to participate with two adult moderators for each trip.
All participants must have a government issued I.D. and their FinalForms information up to date. All accepted participants must have parent sign off as well as teacher sign off. For further information, please contact Mrs. Grapé.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to do to participate in Venaver?
All Venaver experiences will have an online application process. Online applications are available on Schoology and here.
Who can participate in Venaver?
All students are welcome to participate in Venaver; however, some specific trips may have requirements or limitations dependent on the time of year and the nature of the trip. For example, some trips may require a passport, California identification card, and/or fluency in a language other than English.
Am I able to participate in Venaver if I’m not sure that I/my family can afford the trip?
Yes! Still apply. Students can submit a funding request with their applications.
Does the deposit go towards the final cost of my trip?
Yes. The deposit goes towards the entire trip. For example, a trip may cost $500. After paying a deposit of $250, you would only have $250 left to pay on the trip. Deposit are not refundable unless you find a replacement. Deposit is 50% of the total cost to the individual.
What do the trip fees include?
The trip fee covers food, lodging, transportation, and any program fees associated with the specific experience. If you have any other questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact Mrs. Gigi Grapé at email@example.com.