SSP has a long history of working in the Navajo Nation. Our experiences have been wonderful in these very welcoming and accommodating communities. It is a truly special place with a great culture to share.
The Navajo Nation today is the largest Indian Tribe in the US with 17.5 million acres of reservation land across portions of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Within the reservation, there are 110 chapters which are the local form of government. We have been welcomed for the sixth year in a row to serve in the Tsaile Wheatfields and Lukachukai Chapters.
Based on the 2010 census, 1205 people live in Tsaile. Over 63% of the population lives below the poverty line.
This site will host High School only groups Weeks 1 – 3 and 5, Combined groups Week 4, and Intergenerational groups Week 6.
Service Work in the Navajo Nation
In the Navajo Nation the majority of the work we do is for elders in the Lukachukai and Tsaile Wheatfield Chapters. The type of work includes roofing, building wheelchair ramps, stairs, awnings, porches, wood sheds, and other general home repairs. We will also be working on some small projects for our host facility, Diné College, which is providing our housing free of charge! Most projects take longer to complete than your week at SSP so you may see the beginning, middle, or end of a project.
In 2017 youth completed 15 projects:
- 2 roof replacements
- 2 wheelchair ramps
- 1 beautiful deck
- 4 sets of stairs
- 2 awnings
- 2 wood sheds
- 1 painting project at Diné College
Learn About the Navajo Nation
Download the detailed SSP Navajo Nation Study Guide and Understanding Reservations Guide to help your group learn about the community and get more out of your SSP experience. We suggest that you download the study guide, share with your group and discuss the materials during a planning meeting.
Diné College Host Facility
We stay at the Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona who is generously donating the facilities to SSP in exchange for some service work done around the campus. This school is the first tribal college, which was founded in 1968. This is our least rustic site in the Navajo Nation.
Sleeping rooms (5 to 7 people in each) open up to a common space where we eat and hang out. Bathrooms with showers are attached, as well as kitchens where we prepare meals. There is a basketball court where we hold program time in the evening (weather permitting).
Work sites range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes away from Diné College, some with access only by dirt or gravel roads.
Directions to Diné College
To get to the Navajo Nation, consult Google maps or a similar mapping service to find the best route for your group.
Please remember that most groups have a long way to travel to get to this site; allow for plenty of time to reach the site no later than 4PM Mountain Time.
1 Circle Drive
Tsaile, AZ 86556
Navajo Nation Climate
The average high during the summer is 87°F and low is 57°F with possible afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Monsoon season is from July through September, so work days can be interrupted or delayed due to rain, muddy roads, and lightning. This is the reality of living in the high desert with unpaved roads during the summer. Our staff plans for these delays with extra activities in the case of down time. The elevation of the area is over 7,000 feet.
2018 Tsaile Dates
High School Sessions
- Week 1: July 1 – 7
- Week 2: July 8 – July 14
- Week 3: July 15 – July 21
- Week 5: July 29 – August 4
Combined Middle and High School Session
- Week 4: July 22 – July 28
- Week 6: August 5 – August 11
The fee for all sessions in Tsaile is $375 per youth and adult volunteer.