Managua, Nicaragua | January 3-13, 2018 | $825

Explore the factors at play impacting rural community development and uncover the learning necessities in Managua, Nicaragua through implementing a children’s education camp and renovating a local school with Panorama Service Expeditions.


Nicaragua is a country rich in vibrant culture & natural beauty and is home to people with the warmest hearts. However, it is one of the economically poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. For this reason, schools are severely underfunded and quality education remains a challenge for many children. Since improving education is the most effective means of reducing poverty and is the key to opportunity, participants on this trip will work with Panorama Service Expeditions to conduct an education camp for children on the outskirts of Managua, Nicaragua. Team members will work together to lead children through English, math, reading, arts & crafts, science and computer activities while working with community families to renovate the school’s facilities. Through direct service work on sustainable projects, the team aims to empower the children with functional skills and abilities that foster an enjoyment for learning.  Furthermore, by working alongside community members, participants will learn the history of Nicaragua and deepen their understanding of challenges faced by the local community. As the team builds relationships with local youth and experiences authentic cultural interactions, they will positively impact the lives of the families they are serving and come away from the experience with an enriched understanding of global education and collaboration.


Hill Country, TX | March 24-31, 2018 | $300

Examine the struggles faced by veterans as we work towards supporting and enhancing the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of U.S. military members and their families by leading a veterans’ retreat with the Xena Project in Texas.


The United States of America was founded on the principle that all are created equal and therefore have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If it was not for the men and women who volunteered and sacrificed so much to defend this great country, there would not be the same opportunities and equalities present in the world today.  Unfortunately, many veterans don’t get the care and attention they need once they return from service, and often struggle with the transition back to civilian life, unemployment, health care, suicide, trauma, homelessness, legal issues, and many other difficulties. These issues not only affect our military men and women, but their families as well. Team members will lead a veterans’ retreat with a Christian veterans’ organization called the Xena Project north of Houston, Texas.  Students will work closely with veterans and their families and guide them through the retreat experience.  The team will help support disabled veterans, prepare meals, put on performances and events, care for the horses, and take an active role in small and large group discussions with veterans.  Through this service our team hopes to support and enhance the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of veterans and their families while building relationships with veterans ranging from WWII to the modern times.  While our team works to offer a positive, fun experience for military veterans, participants will gain a small glimpse into the world of military families and the challenges that come after serving our country.

Please note: This team will work with a Christian organization that may incorporate prayers or religion into their programs.  Miner Challenge welcomes participants from all beliefs into this group; participants will be given the choice of whether to participate in religious activities or respectfully decline.


Lynchburg, VA | March 24-31, 2018 | $300

Attack the on-going causes of food insecurity that are created by rampant “food deserts” in Lynchburg, Virginia through hands-on harvest and distribution of nutritious foods with Lynchburg Grows and the surrounding community.


Food deserts are low-income communities that don’t have ready access to nutritious and affordable food. Nationally, the low food-access rate is right around 7 percent. In Lynchburg, VA, the low food-access rate is four times higher. Seeing this as a major issue in their community, Lynchburg Grows has been a prominent non-profit working tirelessly towards lowering this statistic in the most community-oriented ways possible. Team members on this trip will work towards that goal by serving side-by-side local churches, charitable societies, and community members on the 7-acre farm. Our team will help tend the greenhouses, assist with farm upkeep, and learn about the work Lynchburg Grows does to provide fresh food to those in need.  Through this hands-on civic work as well as through the many resources provided by partner societies of Lynchburg Grows, team members will better understand food insecurity and take away just as much as they are able to give to the Lynchburg community.


Dallas, TX | March 24-31, 2018 | $300

Dive into the human trafficking and refugee crisis happening in the U.S. by traveling to Dallas, TX and working alongside Mosaic Family Services to help families and individuals rebuild their lives through capacity building, fostering positive relationships, and childhood development. 


Almost a quarter of all people who enter the U.S. via human trafficking or refugee relocation enter through Texas.  Local Due to its extremely diverse population and proximity to the U.S.-Mexican border, Texas has become a hotspot for illegal trafficking and a haven for refugees. Despite these high numbers, human trafficking often goes unnoticed and usually happens in plain sight. Participants on this trip with work with Mosaic Family Services in Dallas, TX to support trafficking survivors, refugee families, and family violence survivors as they build new lives. Mosaic Family Services aims to help families and individuals by teaching valuable skills, providing emotional support, and helping maintain a safe and comfortable living environment.  Members of the team will help Mosaic achieve this mission by working together to assist with teaching classes and skills workshops and aiding in child development and support.  Aside from providing direct support, team members will capture a firsthand look into the lives of those affected by human trafficking and refugee relocation and will gain insight into the impact these practices have on people and communities. Participants can expect to be challenged both emotionally and physically, but will leave with a better understanding of a global crisis and how to take action.


Jackson, TN | March 25-29, 2018 | $200

Investigate the damages that flooding and human impact cause on our environment by traveling to Jackson, TN and working with the Nature Conservancy to restore a beautiful natural area to a state in which wildlife can thrive and humans can enjoy the great outdoors.


West Tennessee is comprised of wetlands and flourishing forests. It is home to a multitude of different species and roughly 60% of U.S. birds call this region home or use it as part of their migration pattern.  In the 1970s, this region experienced massive flooding, and people tried to tame this issue by channelizing most streams and rivers to move water off the land as swiftly as possible. Over time the channels have eroded, causing sediment build-up and an increase in flooding. This team will examine how past human impact has led to the loss of wildlife habitats, increase in erosion, and tree mortality in the area. The team will work alongside the Nature Conservancy to continue restoration efforts by planting trees, studying the wetlands ecosystem and wildlife, and restoring the area to better support native flora and fauna.  By examining various natural sites and learning about the history of the area, team members will gain a deeper understanding of how humans impact the land and how we can work to reverse negative impacts.