Location: Bowdoin / Latin American Studies / activity / 2011 / Service and Leadership Projects

Latin American Studies

Students Participate in Service and Leadership Projects

Story posted April 06, 2011

Each spring students have the opportunity to participate in Alternative Spring Break programs. Students are engaged in direct service relating to issues such as poverty, affordable housing, health and education, students live and work in communities with which they otherwise may have little contact. Sponsored by the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, the first trip in 2002 was to Peru. Each year since its inception the Alternative Spring Break program has offered trips to Latin America thus enabling students to challenge their assumptions about the region.

Previous trips have included:

  • Providing Safe Passage in Guatemala  Guatemala City, Guatemala
    Volunteers helped break the cycle of poverty through their work with Safe Passage, an organization that creates opportunities for Guatemala City's poorest children through the power of education.  Students assisted Guatemalan teachers, met the families that make their living off the Guatemala City dump, and learned about the legacy of Hanley Denning, Bowdoin class of 1992, who created Safe Passage to provide a quality education to the children of Guatemala City.
  • Experiencia en Ecuador Ibarra, Ecuador
    Participants empowered children of impoverished rural communities by improving the quality of schools in Ibarra, Ecuador.
  • Learning Lima Lima, Peru
    By working on a community development project, students cultivated change in the shanty towns of Lima, Peru with Solidarity in Action.
  • Su Casa de Nicaragua Nicaragua
    Participants joined Bridges to Community in addressing poverty-housing in a Nicaraguan community by building structurally sound, long-term homes for families.

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The one thing I learned in Guatemala is that no one person can save the world, but any little contribution you make to a community can have a profound impact on the lives of the people living that community, and that makes any effort extremely worthwhile.
— Kris Tupper '11