Hopi "ambassador" travels to Bolivia

POLACCA-Darold Harmon Joseph, the director of special education programs for Hopi Jr/Sr High School, will be going to South America this summer to meet Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia.

The trip will be from June 9-19. Joseph needed to raise $3,000 to go on this trip. It is sponsored by Americans for Indian Opportunity, which also helps the "ambassadors" raise money for the trip.

Joseph was one of 18 Native Americans selected by the American Indian Ambassadors Program, which is using the program to help these ambassadors to become better leaders.

Joseph is the only ambassador from Arizona, but will be joined by four from New Mexico: Sweeney Windchief, Kevin Shendo, Dianadra Benally and Carnell Chosa.

Joseph will have the opportunity to learn about how Indigenous tribes in Bolivia live. He wants to learn about President Morales' country and his leadership values for leading his country.

Joseph said this trip will allow him to see the similarities between tribes in America and tribes in Bolivia. He is also looking forward to learn about the other ambassadors from the U.S.

Joseph said the students from Hopi Jr/Sr High will benefit from his trip because he will share with them in order to give them a broader perspective of Indigenous communities in the world.

The ambassadors will also be able to meet with Indigenous people in order to learn about their government, educational system, economic development, culture and language.

As of press time, Joseph had raised more than $1,500 toward his trip and he thanks those who have contributed to his cause.

Stacy Koinva writes for Hopi High School's award-winning Bruin Times newspaper.

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