Youth Empowerment

"The young people really get it. When they relate to the land from their hearts, everything just falls into place."

Deep Dirt Institute brings students from high schools, universities, summer programs, and youth groups to our campus to learn about arid land restoration and gain leadership and teamwork skills. Students also get the unique opportunity to delve into local and global issues such as cross-border migration and sustainability. Located 20 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border near Patagonia, AZ, our campus is 34-acre Deep Dirt Farm. Since 2005, we have led nearly 4,000 youth and volunteers in transforming the heavily grazed and eroded grasslands into a permaculture oasis and teaching center. These youth have left with the knowledge, inspiration, and practical tools to make changes in their own lives and the lives of their communities.

A typical educational program at Deep Dirt Institute involves a tour of our demonstrational campus intertwined with discussions about local and global issues, followed by a hands-on project. Hands-on projects may include building rock structures for erosion reversal, growing organic food, building adobe structures, and learning other skills for climate resilience. Please contact us if you are interested in bringing your group to Deep Dirt Institute!


Meet Chris Tse, one of our youth facilitators. “As someone who has brought multiple youth groups to Deep Dirt, I’ve seen the visceral impact of what getting your hands dirty and connecting with the earth in a restorative way does for young people. They are passionate about wanting to make a difference in the world, but they don’t know where to start. There’s something magnetic about Deep Dirt, a slice in the desert carved out to contribute to the global community, where young people realize they can make a difference at home.” 

In the past, we have participated in several educational programs with ME to WE. Taking place at the Windsong Peace and Leadership Center in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Take Action Camp Arizona brought together young people from all over the world. They delved into local and global issues alongside like-minded campers, learning firsthand about local issues like sustainability and cross-border migration and building skills in leadership and public speaking.

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Deep Dirt Institute

Campus Address:

#76 Stevens Canyon Road

Patagonia, AZ




© 2019 Deep Dirt Institute

Deep Dirt Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit # 82-1550846 

Mailing Address (general): P.O. Box 765, Patagonia, AZ 85624

Mailing Address (donations): P.O. Box 121, Patagonia, AZ 85624