Alternative Spring Break provides students with the opportunity to engage in complex social and cultural issues through direct service, group discussion, experiential learning and individual reflection. In the Holy Cross tradition of service, our hope is that students are transformed by the experience, becoming agents of change in the world.
The information below is representative of the program before COVID-19. We hope to continue to partner with these communities in the coming years.
Focus: Migration and U.S./Mexico border issues
Through the experience, you'll live in solidarity with the recent immigrants while working with local organizations that provide housing and assistance. The goal is to provide a hands-on experience and relationship-building across both cultural and physical borders. Immigration Court hearings, a border tour, and a dialogue with Customs and Border Protection enable participants to reflect on global issues such as economics, poverty and scarce food and water resources as they relate to our neighbors.
Focus: LGBTQ youth, HIV/AIDS & urban poverty
Despite the changing times, many LGBTQ youth still feel ostracized and are more likely to become homeless, attempt suicide and fall victim to violence. Working with organizations who create safe spaces for youth, you'll learn how to become a better bridge builder in creating a world where everyone's human dignity is respected. You'll also work with local agencies to learn about the social, economic and physical complexities that surround HIV and AIDS.
Focus: Native American issues & education
Nestle in the northwest of the Land of Enchantment, you'll have the opportunity to learn from the Jicarilla Apache Tribe. Volunteering daily at a school, you'll have the chance to engage with Native youth and their families while learning about their rich cultural heritage and how they keep their tradition alive.
Focus: Youth empowerment & urban poverty
Hebrews 13:2 says "and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Working with a variety of nonprofit organizations serving former gang members and at-risk youth; you'll have the chance to learn about the complex issues facing urban life.
Gulf Coast Recovery
Focus: Rebuilding efforts
The Gulf Coast has been hit with some hard times in the last few years including Hurricane Katrina and The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Tens of thousands of volunteers have flooded the area in the rebuilding efforts, but more work needs to be done. Currently, organizations are shifting their efforts to create opportunity housing to meet the important needs of life-rebuilding. You'll visit, volunteer and learn from local non-profit organizations leading the efforts for recovery.
Homelessness & Hospitality
Focus: Direct service with people who are experiencing homelessness
You'll work side-by-side with other volunteers, Holy Cross religious and guests to make a difference. Among the opportunities you can do at André House:
- Assisting in the soup kitchen
- Sorting and distributing clothing items
- Providing laundry services
- Lending a compassionate ear and companionship
Mile High Poverty
Focus: Urban poverty
Life in the big city isn't always easy. In fact, urban poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon affecting health, food security, elder care, education, etc. You will visit, volunteer and learn from non-profits on the ground working for change in their communities.
Si Se Puede
Focus: Migrant education, social services & work conditions
"Si Se Puede!" has long been the motto of farmworkers. We can together build communities where people have equal access to education, especially those who toil for our daily bread. In collaboration with an educational nonprofit, you'll come to understand the challenges faced by migrant youth, visit job sites and work together to create a program where you'll learn from each other.
Sweet Home Alabama
Focus: Housing issues
"Opportunity Homes" are finally being built after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the rebuilding of the community is happening in new ways. You can help to renew the face of the Gulf Coast and bring housing to a family in need! Habitat for Humanity provides on-site training and learning opportunities so no construction skills or experience are required.
Focus: Urban poverty
During the week-long service immersion you'll explore issues of urban poverty, justice and the reality of oppression especially evident in the school system. By volunteering in an inner city school you'll challenge stereotypes and fears and break down barriers that “protect” us from the unknown.
For more information, contact Liza Manjarrez.