Hidden Villa

Hidden Villa's mission is to inspire a just and sustainable future through our programs, land and legacy. As part of Hidden Villa's commitment to social justice, we provide over $350,000 on scholarship and partnership support. Guiding Principles We deliver a wide variety of relevant educational experiences that teach respect for the environment and for each other. We encourage program participation from diverse communities. We engage diverse voices of the community in the design, implementation, delivery, and evaluation of programs and services. We build alliances, internally and externally, between people, programs, and diverse communities to optimize resources and deepen our impact. W...
Aug 12, 2013

The Mystery Behind the Magic

Day Campers!
Day Campers!

We are familiar with the magic of Hidden Villa's Summer Camp programs. The undercurrent of intention and powerful energy guiding these programs reveals this mystery.  

A Residential camper pops a sour grape in her mouth as she pokes her head in the secret grape hut. Inside, her chore group is cooling off while chatting about how the 1965 grape strike and boycott influenced pesticide policies throughout california and the standard of living for farm workers nationally.  

Meanwhile atop Black Mountain, Farm and Wilderness campers are creating common ground.  Through a ceremony of sharing vulnerabilities, the twenty-four teens discover that they are not alone.  "I feel closer to you guys then my friends I've had my whole life," reflects one F&W camper.  "I want to try and build this at home."

In Tipi Camp a similar nurturing community built upon curiosity and respect is being cultivated. A 9 year old camper told his mother about "learning to be an ally, how its better to use an 'I' statement and not a 'you' statement, and the gender roles exercise. Then he summed up in this way: "Its not the other camps I've gone to, you don't just do crafts and learn archery, its like a 'how to live a good life' camp.""

Thank you for giving youth the opportunity to discover membership in a community united around positive change.

Campers head out for backpacking
Campers head out for backpacking
Daily Chores: bottle feeding baby goats
Daily Chores: bottle feeding baby goats

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Aug 9, 2013

Youth in ACTion

Youth Leading Youth
Youth Leading Youth

“As assistant counselors in training, we are ambassadors of the Hidden Villa legacy who strive to both learn from and teach about our experiences at Hidden Villa, not only to other campers, but to our friends, families and communities."                         
          -Assistant Counselors in Training Mission Statement 2013                         

Three weeks ago I met Hidden Villa’s Assistant Counselors in Training (ACT) participating in the first session of their training course. These young people, the majority of whom have attended Hidden Villa camp for nine or more years, emphasized that, “Hidden Villa is not just a summer place, but a place where people can find themselves.” In the training they are learning, sharing and reflecting on their deeply impactful experiences in hopes of creating the same value for future campers.

As I listen to these mature, young adults speak about their experiences I’m encouraged by their ability to consider the life lessons they’ve learned throughout the years at Hidden Villa. “We’re here to learn to be mentors and through the process we’ll be able to develop our leadership skills.” Leadership, as they explain, entails developing the skills to have a healthy dialogue, learning to be professional, and recognizing how our attitudes affect others. They recognize the importance of having a safe space where they can share, learn, and grow. “Sharing is nourishing. If you have an idea and want to make change, you can inspire others. Then, you’ll start a movement of awesomeness.” They also realize that they are leaders for one another, “If someone is not getting it, we can mentor one another.” What a beautiful understanding of the mutual learning processes at play!

Often, these conversations about both leadership and mentorship are happening at school, but the youth don’t feel they are often able practice these skills in real life situations. “As ACT’s we are getting ready for actual jobs. This is an internship where you get experience supervising kids, animals, being responsible for other individuals.” As they discuss their thoughts, I see their energy and excitement rise. They are a group of teenagers that recognize their role in the local and global community and are eager to go out and make change.

 

Sofía Pablo-Hoshino is a San Francisco native and the newest Development Intern at Hidden Villa. She enjoys knitting, long conversations about life, and cilantro on any and all foods. She also recently harvested her first beet, ever!

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Jun 11, 2013

Fresh, Organic Veggies Ripple out in Silicon Valley

Fresh Veggies!
Fresh Veggies!

Many thanks to all of you who have supported the continued growth and success of our CSA and partnership with Mountain View through the Healthy Food, Healthy Families program. Each season, we continue to work to meet the needs of community members and provide access to local and organically grown produce. Check out exerpts from an article written by Ellie Van Houtte, featured in the Los Altos Town Crier:

"Hidden Villa maintains a local focus and invests in the community via donations and educational programs. All of its produce is picked up at the farm or delivered within 10 miles of the site, with 25 percent of the harvest donated to the Community Services Agency in Mountain View for distribution to local residents who may not otherwise be able to afford organic, farm-fresh foods."

This year has brought not only a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also full membership within our CSA.  By  donating 25 percent of annual harvest to the CSA of Moutain View, we are also able to provide about 12,500 pounds of fresh produce to low-income community members.

"Hidden Villa’s program is unique in that everything found in the baskets is grown in Los Altos Hills. According to McKenney, the content of members’ baskets reflects the “seasonality of our microclimate” and provides a colorful “snapshot of the season.”

Thoughtful contributions made through GlobalGiving.org have made a deep impact on our local community and ripple throughout the Silicon Valley. Hidden Villa's CSA program and its partnership with Healthy Food, Healthy Families is able to provide over 4,800 community members in the Silicon Valley with fresh fruits and vegetables while also bringing awareness to the importance of local and organically grown food within a community.  

Tomorrow (6/12) is bonus day on Global Giving! Global Giving will match each gift made to Hidden Villa at 50%. Check out all of our projects here! We are honored to invite you to partner with Hidden Villa to leverage your dollars and invest in a better tomorrow! No need to make a donation! Foward to your friends and inspire your networks!

Interns learning to farm in the fields!
Interns learning to farm in the fields!

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