On Saturday, October 27th, after all of the graduation celebrations were concluded, the Thunderbird for Good team took the women of the US Department of State and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship PartnershipHaitian cohort up to Sedona and Camp Verde, Arizona to experience some of the beauty and history of Arizona’s mountain country.

The Haitian ladies hold on to conveniently provided handles as the bright pink jeeps begin the steep descent into Diamondback Gulch

The first stop was Sedona, where most of the cohort embarked upon a 4x4 jeeping adventure with Sedona business Pink Jeep Tours , which has been hosting Thunderbird for Good groups since 2008.  The ladies from Haiti piled into bright pink jeeps for the Diamondback Gulch tour, and headed off to their first off-road adventure.  For many of them the idea of adventure tourism was something they had heard of, but never really seen in action before.

After the Diamondback Gulch had been conquered, it was time to head back to Sedona for a well-earned lunch at The Heartline Café in Sedona and rejoin the small portion of the group that could not join us for the high intensity jeep ride.  After refreshing and refueling at lunch, the group re-boarded the bus to head for Camp Verde, and one of the United States’ first National Monuments, established in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt with the passage of the Antiquities Act.

Montezuma Castle National Monument is a 50 room, 5-story pueblo ruin which housed the Sinagua people for over 300 years between 1100 and 1425 CE.  There is a 1/3 mile loop trail that takes you past the incredible 5 story cliff dwelling and through the sycamore grove on the banks of spring-fed Beaver Creek, which provided a constant source of water for the early inhabitants of this ancient dwelling.  The Haitian group enjoyed the short walk to gaze at the incredible structure lodged in the cliff caves on the sides of the canyon, and enjoyed the perfect Arizona fall weather.

Then back to campus in Glendale, where final preparations were made for this lovely group of 27 inspirational women entrepreneurs to return home to Haiti the next day, where we have no doubt they will continue to grow their businesses and become leaders in their communities.  We miss them already, but are incredibly lucky to have these women as the newest members of the Thunderbird alumni community!

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