Island of the Gods


Duration 10 days
Suggested group size 12 - 20 students / 2 Envoys Field Staff
Suggested ages 14 - 18
Experience Spirituality
Agriculture & Cultural Preservation


Island of the Gods: Spirituality, Agriculture & Cultural Preservation

Indonesia I

Bali, once Southeast Asia's breadbasket, thrived with diverse, healthy foods sustained by a centuries-old irrigation system and cultural principles like gotong royong. In the 1970s, global interventions introduced genetically-engineered white rice, disrupting the island's ecology, health, and self-sufficiency. This program delves into Balinese spiritual beliefs, exploring how ancient farming practices and community resilience offer solutions.

“The fragrance of frangipani dances on the breeze, is a canvas of spirituality and serenity painted with the colors of cultural richness.“


“Waves and temples dance, Bali's love letter to nature and culture unfolds.“


Impact Statement Everywhere we go, we carry a promise – to engage with respect, act with purpose, and leave a positive imprint. As envoys of our journey is more than travel; Our footprint is light, but our impact is profound, creating bridges of cooperation and mutual growth across the globe.

Day 1

Students arrive in Denpasar, transfer to Ubud, settle into accommodations, enjoy a sunset walk in rice paddies and dine at a woman-owned farm-to-table restaurant. We conduct a program briefing, and collaboratively create a full-value contract outlining expectations.

Day 2

We visit the home of Wayan Rachman, founder of Bali Jaladara, an organization providing free and low-cost music lessons to youth. Then, we go to Chakra Widia, the permaculture mastermind behind the Tri Hita Karana foundation. Finally, dinner and a visit to town for a performance at the Royal Palace.

Day 3

A visit to Pura Tirta Empul, a temple where we engage in a ritual bath. Time permitting, we visit Gunung Kawi funerary complex and Tegallalang. Return to Ubud for a walk and meditation on Campuhan Ridge. Dinner in Ubud and a ceremony in traditional ceremonial outfits.

Day 4

A market tour with a cooking instructor where students engage with vendors, collect ingredients, and return to the instructor’s family compound for a cooking class of traditional Balinese dishes. In the afternoon, visit the IDEP Foundation to discover permaculture demonstration gardens.

Day 5

A visit to Yayasan Emas Hitam promoting sustainable agriculture. Then, a spectacular waterfall. We visit Bali Not for Sale, an art project highlighting land development issues. Finally, we participate in a batik workshop and explore the lively Gianyar night market.

Day 6

A visit to an asparagus farm exploring challenges in Bali's tourism-dependent economy and lunch at an agroforestry school. Afternoon service learning project at a local farm. Later, a shadow-puppet workshop, delving into the art form's history and creating puppets to share learned tales and stories.

Day 7

We go to the Green School and engage in service learning at the Kul Kul Farm, a project that offers free and low-cost training on permaculture methods, bamboo building and sustainable living. In Ubud, we participate in a mask-making workshop. Finally, we attend a temple ceremony with the community.

Day 8

Early morning hike up Mount Batur, an active and sacred volcano, culminating in a sunrise reflection on program experiences. Breakfast and hot springs bath for rejuvenation. Visit to Besakih Temple, Bali's largest and holiest, before returning to Ubud for dinner and an early night.

Day 9

A morning purification ceremony with a high priestess, delving into Balinese spirituality. Afternoon visit to the renowned Neka museum, followed by exploration of the Monkey Forest. Free time for further Ubud exploration and souvenir shopping.

Day 10

After a final breakfast, we conduct our closing ceremony, where students share their major takeaways from the program, how they hope to enact on their learning back home, and what they appreciated most about one another over the course of the program.

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Lenses of Inquiry



In Bali, the blend of Hinduism with indigenous spirituality creates a rich unseen world. Despite modern influences, Balinese spiritual practices persist, emphasizing divine presence in nature. Students explore this tradition, fostering reflection on their spirituality and respect for diverse beliefs



Bali's agriculture, rooted in ancient practices, faces challenges from rapid development. Hotels disrupt irrigation, and land values threaten farming. Students explore the impact on Balinese culture, learning about animism's influence on agriculture and efforts to revive traditional practices.



Despite centuries of outside influence, Balinese society maintains its cultural identity. Today, the island faces neocolonial threats, natural disasters, and terrorism. Yet, Balinese dedication to spirituality, art, and community has facilitated resilience and rebuilding.


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