Ask most people who first visit Colorado's mountains: The fresh air and beauty isn't an experience they'll soon forget.
A group of refugee kids from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday went hiking in Colorado's high country through a program run by Lutheran Family Services. For some, it was their first time in the mountains.
Maggie Lautzenheiser-Page is the school programs coordinator for Lutheran Family Services and works with refugee youth who resettle in the Denver metro area.
"Even though a lot of them come from the same country of origin...they grew up in refugee camps in different parts of Africa," she said.
Lautzenheiser-Page said she has more hikes planned for the year, too.
Noella Maombi is a teenager who moved to Colorado from Uganda. She said she never really hiked for fun in Uganda.
"We went to the mountains looking for bananas, oranges or just for fruit," she said.
"Life in Africa is hard," she added. "They charge for school. I did not go to school, and even my dad did not go to school."
She said they didn't have enough money for food, clothes or really anything. Now that she's in Colorado, her life is on a new trajectory.