Meet Our Alternative Spring Break Teams
Christine Lyons is a fourth-year English student.
In February 2015, six teams of Carleton students will travel to six different locations to participate in the Alternative Spring Break program. Through this program, students engage in community-service learning projects specific to the needs of the community, while also interacting with community members and participating in cultural activities.
Three of our Alternative Spring Break teams, Team Guatemala, Team New Orleans, and Team Nicaragua: El Chile, have online created presences to feature their experiences and share their stories.
Team Guatemala will travel to Uaxactun, Guatemala, to serve with SOS in a “Creative Recycling” project. In this project, students will assist with building recycling bins and bases for recycling receptacles. This will encourage sustainability in Uaxactun, while also reducing poverty and providing employment opportunities for local workers.
Their blog features profiles on the team’s participants, leaders and advisers, where the team members introduce themselves and explain why they chose to participate in ASB.
ASB changed my perspective on things. It showed me what a sense of community is and how I can be a better community member. It has given me friendships that will last a lifetime. – Carolyn, Team Leader
I chose to participate in ASB because it’s an opportunity to not only work with students outside of the traditional office or classroom setting, but it’ll give me a chance to experience a culture that is completely different from my own. – Melissa, Team Advisor.
I believe that the best way to advocate for change is through our individual actions and this ASB program is a great example. . . I am going into the program with an open mind, ready to serve others, explore a new environment and make lasting friendships. – Sandrine, Team Member
Team New Orleans will travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, to serve with the St. Bernard Project in rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Katrina. Ten years after Katrina, the city of New Orleans is still in the process of rebuilding. Students will assist in the construction of affordable housing projects, while also immersing themselves in New Orleans culture.
In their blog, Team New Orleans reflects on the significance of community-service learning and Alternative Spring Break in, “Not Your Grandma’s Spring Break.” In another post, Team Leader Nichole offers a reflection on the team’s first pre-departure meeting, where she writes:
We accomplished a lot as a team and kicked off the program on a positive foot. I know Kevin and I are looking forward to watching the team grow, and we can’t wait to participate in the upcoming fundraisers with the rest of the ASB program! – Nichole, Team Leader
The blog also shares the words of Shannon Hunter, a team leader from ASB New Orleans last year. In a recent post, Shannon offers some advice to this year’s participants:
Just talk to as many people as you can, both within your group, with the St Bernard Project (the organization you guys will be working with) and the people whose house you work on. I found through both my ASB trips I learned the most from hearing other people’s stories.
Get to know your team and enjoy every minute. It will fly by and it will be challenging at time but it is all so worth it and such an amazing program! – Shannon, Team Leader 2013-2014
Team Nicaragua: El Chile will serve in El Chile, Nicaragua, where 75% of the community lives at or below the extreme poverty line. Education remains a primary focus within this community, and students will serve with a local community organization, ANIDES, to assist in the construction of a preschool and the restoration of the existing private school.
Through their online initiative, Team Nicaragua: El Chile hope to reach their goal of $2500 in donations. They also feature messages from some of their team members.
Hi, my name is Safa! I am a third year Sceience and Education student. This will be my first time volunteering internationally. Education means a lot to me, and so I greatly look forward to motivate and encourage the indigenous children of El Chile to pursue education. Thank you for your support!
Hi, my name is Taylor! I am a forth year Psychology and Human Rights student with a minor in Law. I am extremely excited to travel to El Chile in February to work on projects surrounding education. I value education very much and believe it is a powerful tool for young people to have. I can’t wait to get to El Chile and meet all the wonderful people we will be working with! Thank you for the support!
Team members invite you to donate to their project, and thank you for your generosity.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, we really do appreciate it. We are highly prepared to make a difference, and we hope you are too! Any contribution will be greatly appreciated! – Safa, Steph, Amanda, Anna, and Taylor
To learn more about Team Nicaragua: El Chile, visit their online initiative.