Spring Break Trips

Spring Break 2014

March 22nd-29th, 2014

“[I learned] how rewarding service is. How much love there is to give and receive in the world. How important the relationships we have are.” ~ 2013 Alternative Breaks Participant

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis! Suggested deadline is November 30th, 2013. 

First priority is given to current CU-Boulder students. After the suggested deadline, faculty, staff, and alumni will be considered.

Email altbreak@colorado.edu with any questions!

Trip Costs Include: Transportation, housing, food, emergency funds, t-shirts, and more for the entire week of Spring Break.

Scholarships & Financial Aid available for current students!

Trip Information

Bridging the Gap: HIV/AIDS and Youth Empowerment

Community Partner: AIDS Project of Los Angeles

Location: Los Angeles, California


Since the AIDS epidemic began in 1981, 1.7 million Americans have been infected with HIV and 583,298 have died of AIDS-related causes through 2007. 

Young adults and teens between 13 and 29 represent 34% of new HIV infections, the largest share of any age group. http://greaterthanone.org

This AB trip aims to learn about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Los Angeles and its impact on young adults. Youth empowerment is essential for combating new infections. We will be working with AIDS Project of Los Angeles by assisting employees and other volunteers to cook and put together a variety of meals that will help nourish youth, adults, and families who have been affected by HIV/AIDS as well as other chronic illnesses. Being direct and engaged with the community is the most eye-opening form of service, so we will also be volunteering at a local school interacting with students and helping teachers in the classroom. In addition to providing our time and service to those in the LA area, we will take some time to sightsee beautiful California!


Science in the Sequoias: Educating Youth in Boulder Creek

Community Partner: YMCA Camp Campbell

Location: Boulder Creek, California


Spend the week in Boulder Creek, CA! Camp Campbell is located in the heart of the redwoods forest making this an ideal location for fun and interactive science education. Camp Campbell is a YMCA camp for students from San Jose, CA that exposes students to nature through the outdoor science school, a hands-on experience! Participants will have the chance to act as camp counselors for elementary students for their 4 day, 3 night stay. If you want to spend your Spring Break outdoors as a camp counselor, interacting with eager campers and learning about nature, join us on our trip!!


Out of the Storm: Restoring Estes Park in the Aftermath of the Flood


Community Partner: United Way of Larimer County & Rocky Mountain National Park

Location: Estes Park, Colorado



The AB trip to Estes Park will be focused on getting students involved in the flood relief effort. This service trip will be very hands-on and will consist of forest restoration in Rocky Mountain National Park, the reconstruction of homes and businesses around the town, and general community support and interaction. Another large portion of the trip will be learning the impact that the flood had on people’s daily lives, and ways that the outside community can help. When not helping the community, time will be spent in the mountains exploring the area and enjoying the outdoors!


Clownin' Around: Bringing Fun, Friendship and Joy Back into Healthcare


Open Your Eyes: Exploring Homelessness, Urban Poverty, & Social Justice



Community Partner: Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio


This Spring Break support urban homeless communities directly through service work and education! We will be partnering with The Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, a social action agency committed to the eradication of homelessness through coordinating services, educating the public and engaging in grassroots organizing and advocacy.  Through this trip, participants will gain a greater understanding of urban poverty and learn ways they can take action in their own communities.  There will also be time to get to know the culture of Cincinnati.  Are you ready to open your eyes? 


Beyond the Wall: Education on the Border & Personalizing the Impact


Community Partner: Debbie Young, with the Americas Association for the Care of Children
Location: Tucson, Arizona Border Area
On this trip, we hope to get a real understanding of the issues and challenges on both sides of the border. We will be speaking with the district attorney and witnessing Operation Streamline, visiting a center for those that have been deported, serving in the desert providing water and other resources/services, as well as learning about the impacts of the wall and border on the environment with the Sierra Club. We will be directly speaking with people impacted by the issues of immigration along the border with No More Deaths. This trip will be an immersion experience to gain both understanding and awareness of immigrant and border issues and an opportunity to work towards justice. 

The Perfect Storm: Rebuilding Community Eight Years Post-Katrina


Community Partner: Common Ground Relief

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana


The New Orleans Rebuilding Community group will be traveling to New Orleans, Louisiana. We will be working with Lower Nine and helping to rebuild homes that were lost due to Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Isaac. Before the trip, you will learn about one of the greatest natural disasters and the after effects. Eight years later this community of the Lower Nine is still struggling to reinvent the community as a whole. Throughout the trip you will provide hands on service through a variety of community building projects.  

Common Ground Relief's mission is to provide short term relief for victims of hurricane disasters in the Gulf Coast region, and long term support in rebuilding the communities affected in the New Orleans area.  Past projects have included rebuilding houses, planting community gardens, and providing legal support to victims of the disaster. Common Grounds is a community-initiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support. This work gives hope to communities by working with them, providing for their immediate needs and emphasizes people working together to rebuild their lives in sustainable ways.

Join The Perfect Storm: Rebuilding Community Eight Years Post-Katrina to provide hands on support, while learning about the social and economic issues affecting the New Orleans community.



Preventing the Destruction of America's Most Beautiful Destination: Environmental Conservation in Catalina Island, CA

Community Partner:  Catalina Island Conservancy

Location: Catalina Island, California


Want to do something meaningful for spring break in a typical vacation spot?? Join us on an exciting adventure to Catalina Island, CA. We will be volunteering with the Catalina Island Conservancy, doing a variety of conservation work such as trail maintenance and construction, invasive plant removal, and fire recovery. We will be staying at the Laura Stein Volunteer Camp, which overlooks the Catalina Channel and has great views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Southern California Coastline. We will depart Boulder, CO early Saturday morning (March 24th) and stay in Las Vegas, NV that night, arriving in Long Beach, CA Sunday afternoon. We will then take the ferry over to Catalina Island and stay 5 nights and 4 days, volunteering Monday through Thursday. After 4 days of outdoor work on the island we will drive to Zion National Park in Utah and stay the night Friday. Leaving Saturday and returning to Boulder, CO. If you love working outdoors and believe it's our responsibility to take care of our planet, this is a great opportunity for you!


Where the Wild Things Are: Wildlife Rehabilitation in Coastal Carolina



Community Partner: Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Hubert, North Carolina


We will be traveling to Hubert, NC to work at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary. The typical volunteer day involves working the morning shift from 9am-12pm while the rest of the day is focused on "field observations" of local flora and fauna. Hubert is on the North Carolina coast so we will have the option to enjoy the beaches, historical sites, and local cuisine. We will be camping during our stay in Hubert, so be prepared for some amazing campfire-cooked meals!

PAWS is a Wildlife Sanctuary specializing in rehabilitation care and treatment of small mammals, songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and reptiles. We provide:

  • Orphan care for babies & eventual release back into the wild.
  • Educational programs and presentation to schools, youth and civic groups, and libraries relating to native local wildlife, ecology, environment, natural resources, and backyard habitat creation. 
  • A learning center to provide experience in hands-on rehabilitation skills to new rehabilitators, or those interested in earning their mandatory hours of experience and training for a variety of permits and licenses.
  • A permanent home to non-releasable waterfowl and assistance with placement of adoptable domestic waterfowl.


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