Alternative Spring Break

This program is no longer running. We encourage you to check out our other program opportunities, including our young adult summer internships and our general open-enrollment trips. We also offer customized trips for groups, if your campus ministry group would like to participate in a service learning journey together.

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This spring, join the UU College of Social Justice on an Alternative Spring Break trip where we’ll spend a week volunteering alongside Haitian peasants, learning about Haiti and global disaster relief, and living in community.

The dates for this program are Saturday, March 7 to Saturday, March 14, 2015. Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime trip!

Applications are temporarily on hold for this program. Please check back soon for more information. If you have any questions, email info@uucsj.org.

About

This Alternative Spring Break trip is open to current college students and any younger young adult who is interested in the intersection of spirituality and social justice work. Participants must be between 18 and 25 and have completed high school or the equivalent as of Spring 2014.

This trip is open enrollment – meaning anyone can sign up. Join us to spend time with with other like-minded people from across the country. We’ll live and work together for a week – and create bonds that might last a lifetime. Want to come with a friend? That’s great too! Register together to receive a free UUCSJ t-shirt.

UUCSJ has been running service trips to Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. We partner with the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) to provide service to small farmers who are working to improve their living conditions. MPP’s goals in Haiti include food security, natural resource management, women’s rights, alternative energies, and building people-centered rural communities. Working with members of MPP, we’ll help build new homes, construct food gardens from old tires, and contribute to other sustainability projects. We will also gather daily for interfaith reflection and conversation.

Cost

The full cost of this program is $1,500 per person. This cost includes all lodging, food, activities and materials, in-country transportation, and staffing. Airfare to and from Port-au-Prince is not included.

Financial aid is available by application for those with demonstrated need. With financial assistance, the cost of this program is as low as $750 per person, not including airfare.

Assistance is contingent on the availability of funding, and is given on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure to fill out the relevant questions on the application in order to be considered for financial assistance.

FAQs

Q: I’m not Unitarian Universalist. Can I come?

A: Absolutely! UUCSJ programs are based in the values of Unitarian Universalism, which is a very liberal and inclusive faith. Our programs are open to anyone interested in the intersections of spirituality and social justice. Whether you’re UU, another religion, no religion, or “spiritual but not religious,” you will feel welcome on a UUCSJ trip.

Q: Who will I be traveling with?

A: This trip is open to college students and other young adults, age 18 to 25 who have already completed high school or the equivalent. Our group will be 10 to 17 participants, plus 2 UUCSJ program leaders (see below for more details). Join us to meet other like-minded people! Want to bring a friend or small group? Sign up together and you’ll all receive free UUCSJ shirts.

Q: I’m not sure if I can afford this trip. What should I do?

A: Fill out an application, and be sure to complete the section on financial aid. UUCSJ offers financial assistance based on need, up to a 50% discount. We can also help you look for other types of financial assistance, for example seeking support from your hometown congregation, organizing a campus fundraiser, or launching a Faithify campaign.

Q: I have another question that wasn’t answered here.

A: Click here to contact us.

OUTREACH

Help us spread the word!

  • Click here for a full-sized downloadable flyer to print and share with friends and around your campus and congregation. Click here for downloadable half-sheets. Please contact us to request a packet of flyers be mailed to you.
  • Like or share this image on Facebook

To learn more about the experience of working in Haiti, check out blog posts “Reflections on the Haiti Eco-Villages” and “Celebrating 40 Years of Empowerment in Rural Haiti.”

RESOURCES

For general orientation to and understanding of Haiti, we ask that you read two books before the trip. They are quick reads and very informative. The third resource listed here is a chapter from Katelyn Reader’s study of MPP, which will give you a more thorough idea of our partner’s work and philosophy.

Haiti: The Aftershocks of History, by Laurent Dubois

Krik? Krak!, by Edwidge Danticat

“Exploring the Significance of Urban to Rural Relocation,” by Katelyn Leader
This will be emailed to participants who are already registered for this program.

UUCSJ’s Study Guide, a resource for cross-cultural engagement

Also recommended:
Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake, by Mark Schuller

PROGRAM LEADERS

Laura Lubin is UUCSJ’s Associate for Youth and Young Adult Programs. Before joining UUCSJ, she worked in interfaith campus ministry and in outdoor education, where her work included hosting Alternative Spring Break groups. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Our second program leader to be announced soon – please check back!

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