We price our offerings to be as affordable as possible while still enabling the financial survival and blossoming of Animas Valley Institute, a nonprofit organization. Our fees support our small part-time administrative staff, provide our highly skilled guides with a modest income, and meet our basic and essential expenses (which include liability insurance, public lands permits, retreat center fees, and meals on many of our programs).

Our programs are offered on a sliding scale that allows participants to select a fee that fits their financial picture. Scholarships are available to those in need of further assistance. [toggle title=”read more” open=”no”]

Some details:

  • Nonprofit status:
    • Animas Valley is a nonprofit organization — a 501(c)3. It is not (financially) owned by any individual or group.
    • When we do have an annual profit (about half the time), it is generally quite small. All profits are allocated to further building our capacity to offer our services.
  • Scholarships, program discounts, and special programming:
    • Most years we are blessed with significant donations from past participants as well as grants from foundations, both of which enable us to offer scholarships to those in need and, more generally, to price our programs lower than we could otherwise. These contributions also allow us to develop and offer new programs for special populations such as Millennial visionaries and change-makers.
    • We offer scholarships for those in need and are continuously seeking additional funds for scholarship support.
    • If you’d like to apply for a scholarship, please find the application on the Scholarships and Financial Aid page on this website.
    • If you are able to contribute to our scholarship fund — at any level —please click here.
  • Our perspective and consciousness about our fees:
    • All our programs are offered on a sliding scale.
    • We constantly look for ways to further reduce our costs.
  • Permits and insurance:
    • Unlike many other organizations and guides, we always obtain permits from the public land agencies where we operate, and we carry the necessary liability insurance in order to be eligible for those permits. These two items amount to a significant cost.
    • All organizations and guides who charge a fee for services and operate on public lands must, by law, obtain permits and insurance.
    • The benefits to you of our permits and insurance are knowing that your program will never be interrupted by your group being ejected by rangers from a wilderness area or other public lands; that the conduct of our programs are aligned with the environmental oversight of our public land managers; that we are not operating illegally; and that our guides have the skills, knowledge, experience, and certifications that enable us to be insured and permitted.
  • Operations staff and office:
    • To keep our programs running well and smoothly, Animas maintains a small and mostly part-time (and brilliant!) staff in a physically very small office, paid a fair but modest wage.
    • Our unavoidable overhead is significant. In addition to staff wages, this includes liability insurance, public land permit fees, phone lines, computers, and other typical business expenses.
    • Our operations staff is able to offer a level and quality of individual support seldom found elsewhere — both before and after your Animas immersion.
  • Our guides:
    • The Animas guides are comprehensively trained and highly experienced. We offer them moderate compensation out of respect for their professionalism, years of training, quality of service, and long hours (generally a minimum of 12 hours every day of guiding). Our guides could make a much better financial living in other careers if they were not so passionate about the work they do at Animas. Being an Animas guide is for sure a labor of love!
  • Group size, program length, and guided hours:
    • A primary reason our fees are sometimes higher than other organizations is because our groups are, by design, small — enabling us to offer a level of individualized and customized guidance rarely experienced elsewhere. (Our fees are also considerably lower than many for-profit organizations offering multi-day human development services.)
    • The number of hours per day our guides dedicate to your experience is basically unheard of anywhere else. Our offerings are truly immersion experiences in which you are invited into an all-embracing ceremonial process entirely separate from your everyday affairs.
    • Our vision fasts are longer (more days) than most others, affording a deeper and more thorough experience.
  • Meals:
    • Unlike most other organizations that offer vision fasts, we provide most of the meals before and after the fasting days.
    • The meals we provide on all our programs are 100% organic (or as close as we can get) and sourced as locally as we can.
  • Retreat-center-based programs vs. all-camping programs:
    • Our participants have always been split between preference for retreat-center-based programs versus all-camping programs, the former being more comfortable and accessible for many, the latter being less expensive. Consequently, we provide a mix of the two formats, although we are moving more toward a greater percentage of the latter.
    • Please do let us know if you have a strong preference for one format over the other (and why) at [email protected].
    • If you know of retreat centers or private land that may be suitable for our programs, please send your tips to [email protected].