DOS to Host 3rd Annual Alternative Spring Break in New Orleans

October 16, 2012 - Dorene DiNaro

The UNM Dean of Students Office will take UNM students on the 3rd Annual Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip. Student participants will travel to New Orleans, LA to assist St. Bernard Project with re-building houses for Hurricane Katrina survivors.  Students will volunteer during the week of March 10 – 17, 2013, in a service-learning project where they will learn skills in home-building, teamwork and leadership. This trip helps students understand the lasting effects of a natural disaster by giving them a chance to see the devastation of a community first-hand. The trip includes a reflection component where students will discuss civic responsibility, community engagement, poverty, and the process of re-building a community literally and figuratively.  UNM ASB will cost $530 for each participant. The fee covers the cost of air and ground transportation, food and lodging. During the trip, students also have an opportunity to see and experience the culture of historical New Orleans, LA. Although the focus of the trip is home-building, ASB is rounded out by site-seeing tours and opportunities to shop and eat in local restaurants.

The St. Bernard Project is a non-profit community based organization that helps Katrina victims return to their homes. Since they were established in 2006, they have created three programs to carry out their mission: the Rebuilding Program, Center for Wellness, and Mental Health and Opportunity Housing Program. The Project relies mainly on volunteer work to rebuild about 50 to 60 houses at any given time. For more information on St. Bernard Project, please visit their website at

Last year, the Daily Lobo quoted past participant, Nate Faust-Shucker on his experience, “It opened my eyes knowing Hurricane Katrina actually happened eight years ago, and the city still has so many problems. It was overwhelming to see all the destroyed houses.”

For more information on the trip or to apply check out the DOS website at or call the office at 505-277-3361. Applications are due October 31, 2012 by 5:00 p.m.