Student life: Alternative Breaks Maymester 2013

February 22, 2013

By Ayush Adhikari, freshman, biochemistry and MCDB

Every summer break, the Alternative Breaks program from the CU Volunteer Resource Center sends out teams of students to work on a community based project trip for two weeks.

Through these trips, students learn about social issues communities are facing that they might never have considered or encountered previously. Over time, these students take what they have learned during their service trip and work to improve their own community, as well as becoming active citizens with other social justice issues they encounter in their lives. The Alternative Break movement inspires students to engage with open hearts and give of their time. Here at VRC we work to use that time and passion to best serve the communities’ needs, promoting powerful learning experiences for all involved.

During summer break 2013, there is one domestic trip and one international trip, both of which last two weeks during Maymester. The domestic trip is to Chicago, where we are partnered with the Association House of Chicago. Established in 1899, the association works to serve a multi-cultural community by providing comprehensive, collaborative and effective programs in English and Spanish. We will work with the association to help advance their goals of promoting health and wellness, and to help create opportunities for educational and economic advancements within their community of Humboldt Park, a neighborhood comprised mostly of Latino and African-American people. We are helping to create a change in lives of Chicagoans in need by offering effective programs that address the goals of self-sufficiency.

The other trip is to Nicaragua. This will be the fourth year that the CU Alternative Breaks has worked with the nonprofit organization Comunidad Connect. Established in 2006, this organization's mission is to help Nicaraguan communities meet environmental, economic and social opportunities through local and global resources. The trip will focus around two locations. The first one will be in the central region of the country where we will work with an organization that provides shelter and care to children who used to live on the streets, suffering from a variety of devastating conditions, including addiction to sniffing glue. The other location will be in the northern region where we will work with residents of a rural community on a construction project. We also plan to go to the beach, hike a volcano, swim in a crater lake, take a mural tour and visit Nicaragua’s historical capita, Granada.

            To learn more about these trips visit us at our office in UMC 358, email us at altbreak@colorado.edu or visit our website. The application process just opened, so please apply ASAP.                  

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