Ex-Gang Members Experience Whitewater For The First Time—And It’s Beautiful (Video)

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Arriving at Homeboy Industries is like, “coming home to a place you’ve never been before,” said Rick Jones, Vocational Counselor. 

The California-based gang intervention program works to remove active and inactive gang members from—often toxic—concrete jungles and immerse them in a revitalizing outdoor environment; a space to break free of negative cycles.

The short film Uncharted Waters by Terraform Creative captures the beauty and challenges of forming this new connection with nature. 50 program participants are taken on an overnight whitewater rafting adventure to experience the thrill of the natural environment. More than just a rafting trip, it is a step towards overcoming adversity. A step towards healing.

“In that gang culture, you’re on the edge of death, on the edge of pain—it’s an excitement,” said Hector Verdugo, Associate Executive Director at Homeboy. “I feel like… how about if we were to play with our adrenaline junkie selves, in this manner where it’s positive.”

Catch the full film at the link above.

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