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LOCATION

The retreat is held at the Episcopal Church of the Apostles in Oro Valley, AZ.  The retreat welcomes all-faith and non-faith traditions and is not intended to be partial to any political affiliation.
It includes a visit to Casa Alitas Welcome Center in Tucson, AZ. Casa Alitas serves families who have left their home country and are legally seeking asylum in the United States.  The visit to the center offers registrants a tour of the facility and a time of volunteering based on the needs of the center at that time. (It does not include photographing or interviewing guests who may just have arrived and are in a state of transition). 



REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Register as a Group or On Your Own

Plan a Group Retreat: If you would like to register a group of 10-23 attendees from one organization (workplace, school, church, community group, etc.) we will work with you to choose a date for your group retreat. Please email us at leavinghomeretreat@gmail.com
OR
Register on Your Own: Choose one of the upcoming individual retreat
dates listed below:


Upcoming Individual Retreat Dates:
December 13,14,15, 2022: 8:45am-6pm Daily
March 7,8,9, 2023: 8:45am-6pm Daily
May 2,3,4,  2023: 8:45am-6pm Daily

Registration Deadline is 3 weeks before the start date of the retreat


REGISTER NOW by choosing from one of the registration options buttons below: 

Registration Costs for People Attending As Individual: $295 plus $60/person for 3 lunches
(Includes cost of program, all materials, light refreshments, lunch, and transportation to and from Casa Alitas Welcome Center). Registration is non-refundable (unless the retreat is cancelled due to registration numbers).


Special Group Rates For 14 -23 People Attending From the Same Organization: $4,000.00 plus $60/person for 3 lunches. (Includes cost of program, all materials, light refreshments, lunch, and transportation to and from Casa Alitas Welcome Center).
*Email Us for Special Rates for Border Ministry Groups

Please Note:  The minimum of people required to run the retreat is 10 and it can accommodate up to 23. Registrants will be contacted when that minimum is reached so they can make travel arrangements.  If the retreat is cancelled due to lack of registrants, you will be notified by the registration deadline. Registration is non-refundable unless the minimum number of 10 is not reached.  Once retreat is confirmed please keep in mind start and end times when planning your travel and stay. 
 

About

Leaving Home: Immigration Through the Eyes of Children, a retreat hosted October 10-12, 2022, at Episcopal Church of the Apostles in Oro Valley, Arizona, is focused on the impact of migration on children and families and the ways in which we are called to welcome and engage community action.

“What would it take for you to leave your home and your country?  What would you bring with you?  How would the trauma of leaving home, navigating the immigration system, and starting over again in a new country impact your health and your future?  What would it take for you to find a sense of belonging?  How do you hope you’d be welcomed?   These are some of the questions we will explore together as we immerse ourselves in the experiences of those who have been forced to flee their homes and cross a border,” said Gale Hall, one of the co-creators of the retreat.

 

During the three-day retreat, participants will examine the artwork and poems created at the Casa Alitas Welcome Center in Tucson by children legally seeking asylum in the United States.  Through this creative telling of their stories, carefully crafted individual and group activities, and volunteering at Casa Alitas, participants will develop an understanding of the journeys of these children and families and the faith and hope that sustains them.  When they return home, participants will be empowered to create an action plan in their own communities inspired by the experience with the support of the retreat facilitators.

"Our intent for the retreat is that attendees experience ‘walking in the shoes’ of families who migrate; so that they gain empathy and understanding and advocate for these children and their parents" said Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera, co-creator of the retreat.

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"In 'Through the Eyes of Children', creators Gale and Mick brought this heartrending and complicated issue to a very personal level - where activities put us at least as much as possible into the hearts and shoes of children immigrants, exposing the many layers of their physical and emotional trauma both in coming to and being accepted by our country.

 

The artwork of the children, videos, testimonials and yes, in some, their memorials are both deeply moving and inspirational. Buttressed by well-sourced informational experts and data, I appreciated how much the retreat gave us a 360 degree view into the situations these children face.

 

At some point, I realized just how much we 'assume' about things — and how many layers there are in getting to a deeper understanding. That understanding was truly motivational for me, and I will be acting upon the learning I received from this experience. Thank you for all your incredible work, Gale and Mick."
 

    - Jan Rowe 5/18/22                                                     

Details


Plan a Group Retreat
If you would like to register a group of 10-23 attendees from one organization (workplace, school, church, community group, etc.) we will work with you to choose a date for your group retreat. Please email leavinghomeretreat@gmail.com.  
 

Location: Episcopal Church of the Apostles, Oro Valley, AZ
***Includes visit to Casa Alitas Welcome Center  in Tucson, AZ on Day 3 of the retreat


Lodging: There are many hotel and Airbnb options available. Please see here for a list of local options.

Registration Costs for People Attending As Individual: $295 plus $60/person for 3 lunches (Includes cost of program, all materials, light refreshments, lunch, and transportation to and from Casa Alitas Welcome Center). Registration is non-refundable (unless the retreat is cancelled due to registration numbers).

Registration Costs For 14 or More People Attending From the Same Organization: $4,000.00 plus $60/person for 3 lunches. (Includes cost of program, all materials, light refreshments, lunch, and transportation to and from Casa Alitas Welcome Center).

*Email Us for Special Rates for Border Ministry Groups
 
Transportation: Please plan for your transportation to and from the airport (if flying), as well as daily transportation to and from Episcopal Church of the Apostles. See here for transportation options.

Tucson: See here for a list of things to do and see in Tucson.

Please Note:  The minimum of people required to run the retreat is 10 and it can accommodate up to 23. Registrants will be contacted when that minimum is reached so they can make travel arrangements.  If the retreat is cancelled due to lack of registrants, you will be notified by the registration deadline. Registration is non-refundable unless the minimum number of 10 is not reached.  Once retreat is confirmed please keep in mind start and end times when planning your travel and stay. 
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Meet the Team

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Gale Hall, Co-Creator

Gale Hall is a retired early childhood professional (MA, ECE – Fairfield University) who recently moved from NH to southern AZ.  During her career she worked on state and national early childhood and family literacy initiatives and advocated for young children, families, and their teachers. 

She ended her career as a professor of Early Childhood training students to be future teachers.  Upon moving to AZ, she began making quilts for newly immigrated children at Casa Alitas in Tucson, AZ.  There she became involved with the Art of Asylum exhibit featuring the artwork of children, most of whom had immigrated from Central America in 2019. 

“The artwork of children immigrating to the US has found me and transformed me.  I was moved to develop an interactive curriculum that helps to immerse and engage participants in the authentic stories being told in that art.  As I see myself in their stories, I realize that this could easily have been me.  I hope that participants will ask – Now that I know, what can I do?  I hope the experience helps to bridge our humanity and make us better people.”

 

Gale was asked to create the 2020-2021 Migrant Quilt which is on exhibit with the 20 other quilts in the collection at the AZ Historical Society until Feb. 2023.  The lives of 225 people who died that year in the Tucson sector of the Sonoran Desert trying to reach safety in the US are memorialized in the quilt.  Clothing of migrants collected on established trails in the desert were used to make the quilt so that deaths resulting from the Desert as Deterrence and other US policies could be commemorated.  https://www.migrantquiltproject.org.

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Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera,
Co-Creator

Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2017. She has a BFA in Illustration from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver and has taught art to both children and adults.

She  became involved with border issues after seeing news reports of children separated from their families and abandoned in detention center cages. Initially she felt helpless; but became convinced that she had to "do something". In response she began working on a series of drawings depicting the struggles of asylum seekers. These initial drawings became the Way of Asylum which is a modern day Stations of the Cross showing the journey of migrant families. Since 2020 this website has been viewed by people all over the U.S. and the world.

She has also had the privilege of creating posters, banners and art for a bi-national asylum advocacy group called Save Asylum. https://www.saveasylum.org/

"I see my art as part of a quest to work for change in the world. I hope it lifts up the stories of asylum seekers and compels people to see that they are just like us, full of beauty, hope and resilience."

Since 2019 she has volunteered  at the migrant welcome center, Casa Alitas, coordinating their children's art activity kits. For the last year she and Gale have collaborated on Gale's curriculum for the Leaving Home retreat. 

 

 
 

CONTACT

If you have any questions about this event, or are interested in exploring options for a customized retreat for your group, please email: leavinghomeretreat@gmail.com or fill out the form below. 

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