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Camp Dos Cabezas Involvement

Whether it's because you want to provide beneficial activities for kids who face the greatest challenges... Whether it's Santa Fe, the surrounding Rocky Mountains, hiking through dramatic Southwest landscapes or just being in the outdoors... If you imagine spending summer weeks in the "Land of Enchantment"... Or if you want to build an exemplary learning laboratory using green architecture and sustainable practices... We invite you to get involved with a camp program for kids that provides great rewards for adults.

Vision: The Camp Dos Cabezas Research and Education Center enhances the Houston Museum of Culture's mission to promote greater knowledge and understanding of our ways of life - past, present and future. Students, educators, researchers, and non-profit organization members, are invited to participate in summer camps and workshops, or to develop specific cultural and environmental research and conservation projects, based in a highly significant historic, cultural and natural location.

Students in the youth camp program examine critical issues that have been central to all civilizations throughout history, including sustainability of food, shelter and natural resources, as well as the challenges of peace and security. It's mission is to provide students with the experience of a lifetime to help them achieve success in their lives.

The base camp provides close proximity to UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Mesa Verde National Park - and numerous historic sites, including El Morro National Monument, Aztec Ruins National Monument, Acoma Pueblo, Casa Malpais Archaeological Park, and many others. The environment features deserts, grasslands, riparian zones and alpine forests. The camp is near important natural landscapes, including El Malpais National Monument, Chain-of-Craters Wilderness Study Area, Mount Taylor, Petrified Forest National Park, the Mogollon Rim and the Plains of San Augustin, as well as interesting art and science features, like Dia Art Foundation's "The Lightning Field" and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array.

The center is located in a regional crossroads, intersected by the the Chaco road network, Zuni-Acoma Trail, El Camino Real, the Santa Fe Railway, U.S. Route 66 and Interstate 40, that has witnessed cultural exchange, trade, conflict and technological developments for thousands of years.


It has been a long and difficult process to change our youth camp from Arizona to New Mexico. Along the way we offered alternate camps in the Zuni Mountains (NM) and Mesa Verde National Park (CO). Both worked out well. We determined that the best location is a base camp near El Morro National Monument and the volcanic landscape called El Malpais, providing access to invaluable resources. About two hours west of Albuquerque, the camp is located in a region surrounded by many unique natural features, including the Plains of San Agustin, Cibola National Forest, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Mogollon Rim, San Juan Mountains and Colorado Plateau. It is located among many significant historic locations, archaeological sites, indigenous pueblos, museums and research centers. Numerous historic events take place in the region, including the Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, Navajo Nation Fair, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, Gathering of Nations and Feast Day of San Lorenzo.

We plan to develop on-site educational activities and sustainability projects. Our ability to do this is based on volunteer support. Everyone is welcome to help.

Listed below are educational sites that are within day-trip range of the camp location. It will serve as a base camp, or a stopover camp in the case of Camp Chaco (taking place at Chaco Culture and Mesa Verde). In parentheses are sites that are in the vicinity of a listed location. Many of the sites listed below are combined into productive day trips.

-El Morro National Monument, .5 hours
-El Malpais National Monument, .5 hours (Bandera Volcano, Ice Cave, The Narrows, La Ventana)
-Zuni Pueblo, .5 hours
-A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, .5 hours
-Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, .5 hours
-Grants, NM, 1 hour (Bluewater Lake State Park, Cibola Arts Council, Route 66, New Mexico Mining Museum)
-Gallup, NM, 1 hour (Red Rock State Park, Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonial, Gallup Cultural Center, Rex Museum)
-Sky City Cultural Center and Haaku Museum at Acoma Pueblo, 1.5 hours
-Chain-Of-Craters Wilderness Study Area, 1.5 hours
-Mount Taylor (11,305 ft), 1.5 hours
-Window Rock (Navajo Nation capital) , 1.5 hours (Navajo Nation Museum, St. Michael's Historical Museum)
-Albuquerque, 2 hours (Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Old Albuquerque Town Square, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Coronado State Monument, Jemez Monument Museum, Route 66, Turquoise Trail)
-Petrified Forest National Park, 2 hours
-Casa Malpais Archaeological Park and Museum, 2 hours
-Hubbel Trading Post National Historic Site, 2 hours
-Homolovi Ruins State Park, 2.5 hours
-Shiprock, 2.5 hours
-Canyon de Chelly National Monument, 2.5 hours
-The Lightning Field (Dia Art Foundation), 2.5 hours
-Butterfly Lodge Museum, 2.5 hours
-Farmington, 3 hours (Bolack Museums [B-Square Ranch and Experimental Farm, Bolack Museum of Fish and Wildlife, Bolack Electromechanical Museum], Farmington Museum, Riverside Nature Center Wetlands)
-Aztec Ruins National Monument, 3 hours
-Apache Culture Center, 3 hours
-Hopi Museum, 3 hours
-El Camino Real International Heritage Center, 3 hours
-Chaco Culture National Historical Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, 3 hours *Camp Chaco site
-Mesa Verde National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, 3.5 hours *Camp Chaco site
-Anasazi Heritage Center, 3.5 hours *Camp Chaco site
-Southern Ute Cultural Center, 3.5 hours
-Cortez Cultural Center, 3.5 hours
-Salmon Ruins Museum, Library and Research Center, 3.5 hours
-Santa Fe, 3 hours (Museum of New Mexico [Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, Palace of the Governors], Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art)
-VLA (Very Large Array) Astronomical Radio Observatory, 3.5 hours
-Hovenweep National Monument, 3.5 hours
-Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, 3.5 hours
-Taos, 4 hours (Taos Pueblo, UNESCO World Heritage Site)
-Bandelier National Monument, 4 hours
-Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, 4.5 hours


-Flagstaff, 3.5 hours (Walnut Canyon National Monument, Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve, Wupatki National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument)
-Sedona, 4 hours (Oak Creek Canyon)
-Durango, 4 hours (San Juan Mountains, Million Dollar Highway, Silverton National Historic District)
-Grand Canyon National Park, 5 hours

**These sites are unlikely to be included in the youth camp itineraries, but will benefit adults who are part of the development of the camp program.

Special thanks to Literal-Latin American Voices Journal for ongoing support of the Camp Dos Cabezas program.

Thanks to the University of Houston's College of Education SITE Lab and Dr. Bernard Robin for providing digital cameras for use by the students during the camp.

Thanks to the Sponsors and Supporters of Camp Dos Cabezas

Martha Claire Tompkins
Rochelle and Marc Ellison
Rita Lucido
Christine Morshedi
A. T. Lubrano
Kate Moore
Art Browning
Odile Gisele Robertson
C. Lee Taylor
Cherie Gorman
Margarita Perez
Jessica Gongora
Ayden Ponce
Lindsay Lewis
Mona Rahman
Kelli Angelone
Debbie Jumatate
Robyn Price

Thanks to Bohemeo's and The Artery for hosting camp fundraisers.

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Houston Institute for Culture is a 501(c)(3) educational and charitable non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.

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Houston, TX 77225-0182

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