2014 Alternative Spring Break Locations



Achiote, Panama The oldest of the international alternative break trips, participants will work with a local community center focusing on environmental conservation and ecotourism. The group will experience the culture and customs of Panama while assisting a local organization (CEASPA) with construction and environmental projects. Previous participants have helped build a museum, done trail work, and have enjoyed getting familiar with the citizens, customs, and animals in the small village of Achiote. This is a flying trip and is perfect if you truly want to experience another culture and work with your hands!

Atlanta, Georgia Partnering with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), this trip focuses on providing opportunities for refugees to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of refugees are invited by the U.S. government to seek safety and freedom.  Forced to flee conflict or persecution, many have survived for years against incredible odds. They step off the plane with next to nothing but their dignity, hope and determination.  In Atlanta and many other regional offices across the country, the IRC helps them rebuild their lives. This is our second year working with this agency and is a flying trip.

Boulder Creek, California Beautiful Boulder Creek is home to YMCA Camp Campbell, a quirky, cool outdoor education camp set within the heart of the Redwood forest. Participants will serve as cabin counselors to a group of fifth and sixth grade students from schools all over Northern California from a variety of home backgrounds. As counselors, alternative breakers will partake in nature hikes, camp songs and activities, and overall engagement in outdoor youth education. Banana slugs and compost included! This is a spring flying trip specifically for 2nd year students at CSU. This camp provides an opportunity for students to learn with the campers and make connections as a role model to young people. This trip is planned in collaboration with Orientation and Transition Programs' Year 2 at CSU programming.

Catalina, California This trip focuses on environmental issues and is the longest standing partnership with Alternative Break Trips at CSU (16 year history!).  Participants stay in Catalina Island Camps, on Catalina Island, which is located southwest of Los Angeles (beautiful!) and participate in numerous environmental projects including trail building/repair, environmental education projects, and landscaping.  In addition to volunteer work, participants will also have the opportunity to experience a ropes course and snorkeling on the island. This is a flying trip.

Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago, Illinois, trip will feature volunteer work at the Brother David Darst Center for Justice, Peace, Spirituality, and Education.  Participants will explore issues of justice and the reality of oppression through volunteer partnerships with local agencies such as the Chicago Food Depository, Su Casa, The Port, San Miguel Schools, and Chicago Youth Centers. This is a new, flying trip.

Kansas City, Missouri The Kansas City trip focuses on urban youth, poverty, and also explores issues of race in the United States.  We partner with Operation Breakthrough, a non-profit organization that helps children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a save, loving, and educational environment.  Operation Breakthrough also strives to support and empower the children’s families through advocacy, referral services and emergency aid.  In a nutshell, if you participate on this trip, you’ll get to hang out with some REALLY cute little kids!  This is a driving trip.

Los Angeles, California This trip will explore the topic of gender: from domestic and sexual violence, to trans issues, to the intersectionality of gender with other identities. Participants will work with the Downtown Women's Center and the Asian Pacific Women's Center and will have the opportunity to sort donations, assist with beautifications projects, deliver lunch, and generally supports these organizations in their mission to empowering women! This is a new, flying trip.

New Orleans, Louisiana  The New Orleans trips will feature volunteer work with the St. Bernard Project helping to support disaster relief by rebuilding homes in St. Bernard Parish.  As reconstruction continues in New Orleans, St. Bernard is in constant need of volunteers to complete the volume of building projects that they are sponsoring.  Volunteers will be doing construction work, enjoying the New Orleans culture and working with other volunteer groups from around the nation.  This is a flying trip.

New York City, New York Partnering with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), the first and oldest organization in New York City committed to the fight against AIDS, this trip centers on HIV/AIDS. GMHC’s mission statement is "to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected" The GMHC believes strongly in order to achieve this mission they need to "promote education, increase awareness, improve care, reduce stigma, elevate policy and build strong, supportive communities." Participants on this trip can anticipate volunteering as a client library assistant, kitchen and pantry assistant and interacting with the diverse GMHC clients all in the great city that never sleeps! This is a flying trip.

Phoenix, Arizona Attendees will travel to sunny Phoenix to volunteer with HALO Animal Rescue and learn about animal welfare. HALO-Helping Animals Live On-is a no kill shelter that specializes in providing a refuge to pets who might otherwise be killed at other shelters. They are committed to putting a stop to the killing of savable pets. This is a driving trip and is perfect for you if you want to get a close look at current animal welfare and snuggle cute dogs and cats!

Pine Ridge, South Dakota The Pine Ridge Reservation trip revolves around building sustainability and cross cultural connections with the Lakota tribe of South Dakota. Collaborating with the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, participants will learn how renewable energy can directly help entire communities across the Dakota region. Alternative breakers will also get the chance to experience Lakota traditions and gain insight into life on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This trip is all about helping communities sustain their natural resources through human connections. This is a driving trip full of adventure!

Portland, Oregon  A trip focusing on environmental justice and food insecurity. Participants will work with progressive and sustainable organizations such as, Zenger Farms, the Oregon Food Bank and Growing Gardens. They will have opportunities to serve in community gardens, farmer’s markets, public outreach and maybe turning some driveways into vegetable patches! This trip will give participants a better understanding around sustainability, urban farming and food justice. In addition, volunteers will have a chance to explore Portland culture- waterfalls, food trucks and so much more! This is a flying trip. 

Salt Lake City, Utah

San Francisco, California

The Taos, New Mexico alternative break is a new trip which focuses on "off-the-grid" living, sustainability, and American Indian issues and culture. Participants should expect to become immersed in the diverse Spanish, Mexican, and American Indian cultures present in Taos. Participants of the trip should expect to visit the Earthship Biotecture firm, help in the completion stages of a completely sustainable house made from recycled materials, and spend the night in one of the homes! Participants will also visit the Taos Pueblo, a reservation with a mudbrick complex that has no running water or electricity. It's going to be a blast!

Tuscon, Arizona. The Arizona trip will focus on the topic of immigration with the hopes of facilitating a better understanding of current conflicts along the US-Mexico border. By partnering with both No More Deaths and Humane Borders, participants will gain insight into the perspective of an immigrant crossing the border. While promoting humanitarian projects such as water aid stations in the Arizona desert, students will get the opportunity to learn about immigration from observation, conversation, and solidarity with the surrounding community. Additionally, participants will learn more about the “issue” of immigration from a policy standpoint through our partnership with the Policy Center at Arizona State University. This is a driving trip.





NOVEMBER 19, 2014



JANUARY 28, 2015

Approximate cost of airline ticket (to be purchased on your own)


Achiote, Panama



Tickets included in SLICE Fee


Atlanta, GA





Boulder Creek, CA (2nd year students)





Catalina, CA





Chicago, IL        

Kansas City, MO



N/A Driving Trip


Las Angeles, California





New Orleans, LA





New York City, NY





Phoenix, Arizona



N/A Driving Trip


Pine Ridge Reservation, SD



N/A Driving Trip


Portland, OR





Salt Lake City, UT        
San Francisco, CA        

Taos, NM



N/A Driving Trip


Tuscon, AZ        


2014-2015 Alternative Winter Break

The Kenya Alternative Winter break will be an incredible opportunity for students to participate in service-learning while immersing students in local culture.  Students will work with numerous organizations: the Umoja village, a local women’s village and cooperative; Gir Gir & Muslim Primary Schools, both K-8 local schools; Save the Elephants, a non-profit wildlife research organization, and the Samburu Youth Education Fund.  Participants may also have the opportunity to be invited into cultural events and experiences that facilitate a natural sense of place and deeper understanding of the Samburu culture. A detailed description of our community partners is available below.

Umoja (pronounced oo-moe-juh; Swahili for "we are one") and Unity Women’s Villages

These two village of 12-15 women each comprise women who left their homes following violence, abuse, early pregnancy or a similar circumstance. The women operate as a co-op, producing beaded necklaces and bracelets primarily for purchase by tourists. Service will be a variety of projects, including coordination of a girls’ conservation club and various village projects.

Lorubae Primary School

Lorubae Primary School is in the community of Archer’s Post in Samburu. It has about 300 students in K-8 grades and is typically under-resourced in terms of teachers, supplies and materials.  Participants’ primary experience will likely include teaching students in core subjects such as English and science, and leading field trips to nearby protected areas.

Samburu Youth Education Fund

SYEF focuses its efforts on improving access to secondary school for Samburu youth.  With tuition and room/board costs for secondary school starting around $500+ annually, it is difficult for youth from impoverished parts of the country to enroll. We will assist SYEF by convening its youth recipients to check in about their school progress, celebrate their successes and gathering stories for SYEF to use in its future fundraising.

The trip will take place December 28, 2014-January 12, 2015. This trip is full.  We will accept applications for the 2016 trip in April 2015.