Alternative Spring Break


Oaxaca, Mexico

March 21–29, 2014

The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program exposes SJSU students to diversity, cultural immersion, and political and economic differences during Spring Break. This year we will be working with the Ecoalebrijes Artisan Association of Arrazola, Oaxaca, Mexico to contribute to community-driven projects to create a sustainable economy through art, community education, and environmental stewardship. 

Students work side by side with local residents on grassroots projects to address critical, unmet needs on domestic and international service trips during spring break.  The intensive cultural immersion and hands-on service exposes students to the realities of community development and promotes fuller comprehension of their place in the global community.

Apply Today!

The application process closes on November 5, 2013.
This is a 9-day trip costs no more than $950.00, fundraising as a group of selected attendees will help us lower costs. A partial initial deposit will be due in November, followed by manageable monthly payments through March. 1.5 Days are travel days and 7.5 days are work days.

2014 Oaxaca Trip Itinerary

(Some items may change)

Thursday (Possible Travel Day)

  • Evening in the city, overnight in Hotel Villas del Campo in Oaxaca

Friday (Alternative Travel Day)

  • Time in the city (depending on flight arrival time)
  • Group dinner at Oaxaca restaurant, evening in the Zócolo
  • Overnight in Hotel Villas del Campo in Oaxaca

Saturday (to Arrazola!)

  • Travelers Breakfast and final orientation
  • Formal Opening and quiet time with families, Debriefing Meeting, Community Party.

Sunday (Monte Alban)

  • Breakfast with families, group hike (with many family members) to Monte Alban, tour the ruins, hike down, relax with food and families at pool.

Monday (Arrazola and Oaxaca)

  • Health education presentations in morning in Arrazola & Xoxo primary schools, conversation with administrators or teachers
  • Health education presentations in afternoon in high school
  • Debriefing Meeting
  • Dinner and evening on your own in Oaxaca, overnight at Villas del Campo hotel

Tuesday (Oaxaca site visits)

  • Group splits into teams: Food Bank, CANICA (Street Children’s Program), Community, Foundation, Herbalist/midwife
  • Debriefing Meeting and intensive health fair preparation 

Wednesday (Health Fair!)

  • Health Fair opens at 9, runs until 1
  • Debriefing Meeting, meal and relaxing time with families
  • Optional screenings or other health work in later afternoon through Health Center, Bracero Lecture
  • La Lunada Bonfire

Thursday (Public health, presentations, farming)

  • Groups: vaccinating cats and dogs with the Health Center, health education presentations, learn about traditional ways of farming amaranto (rural trip), building a micro-economic network(rural trip)
  • Debriefing Meeting in late afternoon
  • Evening: Salon de Belleza and Noche de Hombres

Friday (The Last Day!!!)

  • Reforestation Work in the morning
  • Exhibition of Alebrijes in the late afternoon
  • Formal Closing

Saturday (Return to SFO)

  • Intercambio – presentation of gifts to families

Components of ASB

1) Pre-trip: required preparation meetings and activities

2) Travel: the Spring Break trip component of direct service and learning

3) Post-trip: reflection and assessment

ASB Objectives

1) Service: SJSU students volunteer their time and services, working shoulder to shoulder with citizens in community-driven projects that transform homes, local schools, community centers, and public buildings.

2) Education: Speakers, workshops, and reading material help students explore and understand the politics, economics, history, and social issues facing particular communities.

3) Culture: Students travel throughout the country and throughout the world, exposing themselves to various customs, languages, cultures, and ways of life.

Impact of ASB

Cesar Chavez dedicated his life to promoting service to others. His contributions, visible in San José and throughout California, inspired a movement and generations of multi-racial leaders. The result has been social change throughout the nation. ASB offers students an immersion experience where students work to meet community needs and assist community members to take the actions necessary to improve their quality of life.

Trip Description

Oaxaca Region Intercambio – work on community-driven projects that transform local schools and community centers, while examining issues pertaining to immigration, marginalization, and health.

Selection Process Timeline

October 1 – October 31, 2013

Information Sessions. Times and Locations T.B.A

November 5 at 5 p.m.

Deadline to turn in applications to the AS House.

November 6-8  

Selection: Student applications will be reviewed. Those selected will be invited for group interviews with Selection Committee.

2nd week of November

Participant selection notifications sent out

November 22

Participation Agreements are due

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the purpose of ASB?

A: The mission of Alternative Spring Break is to give trip participants the opportunity to examine the dimensions and urgency of social issues through direct service and immersion.

Q: When will ASB begin/end?

A: ASB will take place during Spring Break. Dates for departure and arrival vary for each trip but all trips will depart and arrive between March 21 and March 29, 2014

Q: Are there any prerequisites for applying to ASB?

A: No. All matriculated SJSU students are eligible to apply; there is no prerequisite of earlier public service.

Q: How many people are selected for ASB?

A: The number of students selected for each trip will vary. On average, we select 20 students per trip.

Q: What is the timeline for the selection process? When will I know whether I have been accepted?

A: The deadline for applications is November 5, 2013  at 5:00 p.m. Students selected to move along the selection process will be invited to a group interview conducted between November 4-6. Following the group interviews, final selections will be made. Students selected for ASB 2014 will be notified the second week in November. 

Q: I really want to go on ASB but I won't be able to be there for the entire trip. Am I still eligible to apply?

A: Students who are unable to participate for its entire duration are ineligible to apply.

Q: I am concerned about the cost of ASB. Does ASB offer financial aid for participants?

A: ASB will work hard to ensure that finances are not a deterring factor for participants. Participants will have the opportunity to fundraise money to cover expenses. We will offer a limited number of travel scholarships. However students will still be responsible for the remaining costs.