Travel 98118

Two Seattle Non-Profits Team Up to Create Unique Travel Program to the Most Diverse Zip Code in the United States Participants will travel to Seattle’s 98118 neighborhood for an unforgettable day filled with cultural connection, service and exchange Seattle, WA. How much do you know about the international residents who share this city with us? We readily hop in airplanes and fly thousands of miles to discover the world’s cultural treasures. Yet within 30 minutes of most Seattleite’s doorsteps exists a uniquely diverse place, where 59 languages are spoken, dozens of religions are practiced, and the smells wafting from kitchens represent the cuisines of many nations. Welcome to the 98118 zip code, comprised of Seattle’s Rainier Valley and Columbia City neighborhoods, which has been cited by the U.S. Census as the most diverse zip code in the country. Imagine for a moment that you are an immigrant who has just arrived in Seattle. Your senses are bombarded with an entirely new set of sounds, sights and smells. You may speak and understand only bits of the language you hear, if anything. Simple tasks such as buying groceries or riding the bus take on monumental complexity. You need to get a job, get into school, find a place to live, immediately. Even if you’ve come from a conflict-stricken area, you miss home and family, so you stick to insular micro-communities of fellow compatriots. How do you create a network of support and gain the skills you need for success in this new world? Crooked Trails and Horn of Africa Services, two Seattle-base non-profit organizations, have teamed up around a shared vision of exchange and community building. Together they will host the 98118 Program, a cross-cultural journey connecting Seattle residents with immigrants and refugees from Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia to meet, share and learn. This locally based travel program provides a unique opportunity for a cultural exchange experience right in the heart of the city. Participants will be paired with refugee families who will welcome them to their homes to learn and share. Participants will dance Somali style, learn new words in each others languages, prepare Ethiopian injera bread, work together on service projects such as repairing bikes for local residents, and much more. The experience will culminate with an inspiring concert to unite all the cultures represented and to celebrate the lasting relationships being forged. The program is built on the belief that everyone benefits from the opportunity to connect and share with neighbors, and to learn a bit about yourself and the world in the process. The 98118 Program goals are two-fold. For immigrants newly-transplanted here, we hope to offer meaningful connections and support networks that will create new opportunities and offer deeper support to the many challenges of finding their own American Dream. For residents visiting 98118 with us, we seek to provide a unique and meaningful way to experience the myriad cultures represented in our city through genuine relationships and hands-on discovery. 98118 will start as a day-program in the summer of 2011, with the commitment to build a long- term, sustainable program connecting communities for mutually beneficial partnerships. It is a perfect extension to both Horn of Africa Services’ work building support networks for African refugees in Seattle as well as Crooked Trails’ mission to help people broaden their understanding of the planet and its diverse cultures. Let’s put the adage “think globally, act locally” into action! Join us a founding member of this united community. Participation fees for the 98118 Travel Program for 2011 are $150 per person, which includes one free admission for a child age 14 or under. The program will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2011 and pre-registration is required. View the full itinerary at and register online at   Contact: Crooked Trails Address: P.O. Box 94934, Seattle, WA 98124 Phone: 206-383-9828 Website: Email:


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