Spring Break Trips

Spring Break: March 23 -27, 2015

“[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

Application Deadlines: Priority deadline is November 18, 2014. Final deadline is December 12, 2014.

First priority is given to current CU-Boulder students. After the suggested deadline, faculty, staff, and alumni will be considered. Trip Costs Include: Transportation, housing, food, emergency funds, t-shirts, and more for the entire week of Spring Break.

Scholarship Money: Scholarships & Financial Aid available for current students.

Trip Costs: Trip costs are genearlly between $200-$500. Please note that we have not yet finalized our trip costs. We hope to have these posted no later than Monday, December 1st. Regardless of the cost, we hope that any interested in the program will apply. The CU Alternative Breaks program has a significant amount of financial aid money available to distribute to students. We encourage you to apply and we'll also work with groups to help raise funds to cover the costs of the trips.

If you have any questions, please email altbreak@colorado.edu. Fill out a participant application today!

Trip Information

Science in the Sequoias: Educating Youth in Boulder Creek: Boulder Creek, CA

Community Partner: YMCA Camp Campbell

Trip Cost: $307

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!!

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

Community Partner: Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless

Trip Cost: $TBD

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: Understanding the Journeys of Undocumented Immigrants in the United States: Tucson, AZ

Community Partner: TBD
Trip Cost: $TBD
Location: Tucson, Arizona Border Area
On this trip, we hope to explore and understand 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 Nine Years Post-Katrina: New Orleans, LA

Community Partner: St. Bernard Project

Trip Cost: $594

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. Nine 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.  

Join us in NOLA 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: Catalina Island, CA

Community Partner: Catalina Island Conservancy

Trip Cost: $TBD

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. This will be a physically intensive trip, involving manual labor and hiking every day. We will be staying in platform tents on Catalina, and we plan to camp near Zion on our trip home. This is a beautiful location, so if you love the outdoors and hard work, then this is the trip for you!

ThroughOUT San Fran: LGBTQ Advocacy: San Francisco, CA

Community Partner: Our Family Coalition

Trip Cost: $494

Location: San Francisco, California


Help provide service to an organization that provides service and support to so many others. Students on this trip will learn about LGBTQ advocacy and rights in San Francisco, CA as it pertains to youth and families. Along with another possible community partner, Our Family Coalition will provide this group with education about current events, policy and legislation that impacts the organizations ability and need to continue supporting LGBTQ families to cultivate community based leader to advance social justice and make our nation a more respectful and inclusive place for all.

We cultivate community-based leadership among LGBTQ families and strong partnerships with our allies in California, to advance social justice and make our nation a more respectful and inclusive place for all. - See more at: http://www.ourfamily.org/meet-our-family/our-mission#sthash.WGApEjMR.dpuf

San Francisco: When Tech Conflicts with Culture: San Francisco, CA

Community Partner: TBD

Trip Cost: $TBD

Location: San Francisco, California

It seems there's an app for everything, and new technology coming out daily. This has created a boom of new companies and a rush to create the next big thing. Many of these companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter) have their headquarters in or around San Francisco. This in turn, has brought new economic prosperity to the area and a desire for people to move there for work. The diverse culture of San Francisco and of the Bay Area have taken a hit as the new money comes in, those with lower socioeconomic status have forced out of the city due to high real estate prices changing the landscape of diverse communities to mostly white, upper-class communities.

Through this trip, participants can expect to gain an understanding of the issue of gentrification, through a variety of perspectives from meetings with city government officials, city planning groups, and through direct service with diverse communities who have been directly impacted.

Harm Reduction: Promoting Health and Prevention: Atlanta, GA

Community Partner: Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition

Trip Cost: $TBD

Location: Atlanta, GA


The Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc. (AHRC) is a community-based, wellness organization committed to improving the overall health and wellbeing of marginalized individuals and communities. Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition provides education, risk reduction programs through partnership programs, empowerment to adults, and diagnosis and treatment of substance use, HIV/AIDS, STIs, Hepatitis, and other communicable diseases.

For nearly 20 years, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition has been the only comprehensive harm reduction program in the state of Georgia. AHRC engages directly with grassroots advocacy, research and direct services to those made vulnerable by drug use, sex work, overdose, gender, STIs, HIV, hepatitis and other communicable diseases. We work to bring those individuals that engage in high risk activities closer to prevention and health services, regardless of their choices, circumstances or lifestyle, and all services are free of charge.

AHRC utilizes a Harm Reduction model to serve our clients. The Harm Reduction philosophy is a nonjudgmental approach that allows AHRC to meet individuals “where they are” so we can identify and reduce the harm associated with their situations, such as substance abuse, injection drug use, sex work and other marginalizing conditions. Using this approach, we accept and work with people “as they are,” which allows us to help people live healthier lives by tailoring specific risk-reduction plans based on an individual’s specific lifestyle, related (self-identified) risks and reasonable (self-set) goals. Students will work with the organization on this trip to undersatnd more about the work of the organization and provide direct service to the organization.

Running Wild and Free: Strawberry Mountain Mustang Rescue: Roseburg, OR

Community Partner: Strawberry Mountain Mustang Rescue

Trip Cost: $TBD

Location: Roseburg, OR


Strawberry Mountain was founded in 2005 after rescuing dozens of wild horses from the Sheldon National Antelope Refuge in Nevada. These incredible animals were slipping through a government loophole and being sent to slaughter by the semi load. A passion was born and still burns brightly today.

Throughout the last several years, SMM has been instrumental in developing owner assistance programs, founding the Oregon Hay Bank, sponsoring equine health fairs, educational opportunities for law enforcement, and we were active in the successful passage of a law that made equine abandonment a crime in our state. We continue to work with wonderful organizations such as the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and the Oregon Animal Control Council (OACC) to pass the first Aggravated Neglect statute, making repeat offenders and crimes of neglect in the presence of a child a felony offense.

Our successful rehabilitation program is unsurpassed and we are supported by our local veterinarians, law enforcement and district attorney's office. Together, we are working to end equine abuse and neglect within our community. Participants will learn about animal abuse and what the organization has done to protect all equine animals. Participants will provide direct service to the organization throughout the week helping work in the stables.