By Monica Humphries, Nationswell, August 9, 2019
A FORESTED RETREAT IN COASTAL CALIFORNIA PROVIDES MARGINALIZED KIDS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN COPING SKILLS — COURTESY OF WILD ANIMAL “TEACHERS.”
Nine times a year, cohorts of young people from San Jose and San Francisco pile into vans and head out for the fresh air and redwood-dotted forests of nearby Half Moon Bay. These are city kids, bonded by a shared experience of growing up in urban centers. But something much darker that bonds them, too. Each child has been affected by abuse, neglect or some other traumatic experience. Their destination: an animal sanctuary called Wildmind, where they’ll begin the healing process by learning and developing coping skills.
But on this three-acre sanctuary, humans aren’t the teachers. Animals are.