Meet the site leaders for Alternative Spring Break 2014
Not Just a Bandage: Access to healthcare in Guatemala
Get ready to explore health care, Guatemalan culture, and service learning! The city of Antigua, today home to nearly 35,000, still shows many traces of the Spanish colonial presence and welcomes many travelers. In addition to our focus on education and reflection related through service immersion, we will also explore cultural immersion by hiking a volcano, enjoying a salsa class, or perusing Antigua’s artisan market. Máximo Nivel, an international language school and volunteer organization founded in 2003 and brought to Antigua in 2009, develops and oversees service projects in a variety of areas, including healthcare. Access to healthcare is particularly challenging in Guatemala, even in urban areas like Antigua. Over the course of the week, our group will work on a health campaign or in a center for people with disabilities while interacting with diverse populations in and around Antigua. Our team will support basic health care services and learn about barriers to health care in Guatemala. Spanish is not required, but some familiarity with the language would be helpful. ¡Vamos a La Antigua!
Dominican Republic-Games and Grammar: Youth outreach and literacy education
This March, we will travel Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic for one week of powerful, meaningful service. Working alongside an organization called Outreach 360, we will share English literacy and life skills with the children of a local orphanage and the surrounding schools in Monte Cristi. These tools will empower future generations and help to secure jobs in the region. Along the way we’ll grow in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. We might even make some friends! Trips with Outreach 360 also include cultural opportunities, such as a trip to the farmer’s market on the Haiti border, visiting significant historical destinations, or visiting a national park beach. There’s no need to be a fluent Spanish speaker, an experienced volunteer, or a globe-trotting secret agent. We’re looking for enthusiastic, open-minded students with a desire to do something incredible. What are you waiting for!? Apply today!
Conserving Crops in Costa Rica: Organic farming and sustainability
This spring break we will be traveling to the beautiful country of Costa Rica to help with the efforts in promoting sustainable farming. During the week of spring break, we will work and live at La Gran Vista Agroecological Farm where projects will be assigned to us each day by the local community. These projects may include: cultivating organic vegetables, extracting water for irrigation using natural methods, maintenance of greenhouses, and many others. Besides getting our hands dirty, we will be learning alongside local farmers about ways to make their farms more ecologically friendly with the information from La Gran Vista. In addition to our service work, we will explore the local town, beach and mountainous area surrounding La Gran Vista to make this trip a total cultural immersion experience!
Agricola NOLA: Urban agriculture and community restoration
Our week in New Orleans, LA will be spent working alongside organizations that promote urban agriculture as a sustainable food source and restorative community initiative. Organizations such as Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corp. and the VEGGI Cooperative will narrate the food crisis from the perspective of marginalized communities. Sheaux Fresh Sustainable Foods L3C and Sustain the Nine will explore the long-term effects of Hurricane Katrina and address sustainable ways to help overcome the effects of this tragedy on the lives of many overlooked members of the NOLA community. We will be getting our hands dirty, as most of the organizations foster agricultural projects. Throughout our stay in New Orleans, participants will be challenged to have an open mind as we explore the fluctuation of media oppression and the cycles that maintain environmental racism.
The People Behind the Policy: Healthcare in our nation’s capital
Join us as we spend spring break learning about our nation’s healthcare system, especially how it affects the care people receive. We will be working directly with community organizations such as La ClÍnica del Pueblo, Mary’s Center, and Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services that assist diverse communities with a range of medical needs. Our conversations with community leaders will focus on the advocacy and activism necessary to improve access to health services. In the process we will learn about the obstacles to accessing quality healthcare intervention and what is being done to break down those barriers. In our downtime, we will explore the historic landmarks and monuments of our nation’s capital while exploring our own role in creating positive change for our national community.