Alternative Break Locations & Descriptions

Participants will work with a local community center focusing on environmental conservation and ecotourism. The group will experience the culture and customs of Panama while assisting a local organization (CEASPA) with construction and environmental projects. Previous participants have helped build a museum, done trail work, and have enjoyed getting to know the citizens, customs, and animals in the small village of Achiote.

This medically focused Alt Break trip will give participants the opportunity to have a meaningful service-learning and volunteering experience while also gaining vital exposure to the health field. With a special emphasis on urban/rural underserved areas, this trip will allow participants to learn about issues faced by community members while collaborating with local providers to make a positive impact and develop diverse connections.

In partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), this trip focuses on assisting in the facilitation of opportunities for refugees to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of refugees are accepted by the U.S. government. Forced to flee conflict, persecution or natural disaster, many have survived for years against incredible odds. They step off the plane with next to nothing but their dignity, hope and determination. In Atlanta and many other regional offices across the country, the IRC supports refugees in reorienting their lives.

This trip focuses on environmental issues and is the longest standing partnership with Alternative Break Trips at CSU.  Participants stay in Catalina Island Camps, on Catalina Island, which is a short ferry-ride from Los Angeles. Students participate in numerous environmental restoration and service-learning projects. In addition to volunteer work, participants will also have the opportunity to experience a variety of outdoor activities while on the island including snorkeling, a ropes course, organic gardening, and campfires.
This trip is for 2nd year students at CSU only and planned in collaboration with Orientation and Transition Programs’ Year 2 at CSU programming.

The Chicago Illinois trip focuses on youth empowerment through education, creativity, and service with an emphasis on the history of opportunity gaps youth in this city face. Participants will explore the systemic cycle that perpetuates these gaps and who is mostly affected by them. We will work alongside after-school programs in the Chicago Public School district, engaging with students and learning more about their real-life experiences & truly inspiring potentials!

This trip focuses on youth advocacy, poverty, and explores issues of race in the United States. We collaborate with The Children’s Place, an organization committed to meeting the developmental and mental health needs of young survivors of neglect, abuse and other trauma. To create a safe and caring environment, The Children’s Place focuses on nurturing youngsters while keeping cultural competency and diversity in mind at all times.

This Alt. Break trip will focus on the topic of Human Trafficking and the implications of the industry within the community of Las Vegas. Participants will be exposed to a diverse group of organizations that work with those who have been impacted by modern day slavery, while being educated on the social and political implications that continue to perpetuate this global issue. While learning about the issue area, we will be immersing ourselves in the fun, bustling, and adventurous culture of Las Vegas!

This trip will explore the topic of gender and sexuality and how it intersects with other identities like class, race, and ability. Partners for this trip include the LA LGBT Center. In working with these agencies, we intend to help further their missions to empower people of all identities and learn more about issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community.

The New Orleans, Louisiana, experience will allow participants the opportunity to unpack issues that have plagued this portion of the U.S. for countless years as a result of environmental racism. From the historic Ninth Ward, to the world famous Bourbon Street, the people of New Orleans–specifically marginalized communities–have been dealing with a number of systematic, socioeconomic, and cultural injustices. This trip will dig deep into what advocacy looks like in New Orleans today, and the power of education in rebuilding a community. We will also explore how the lasting effects of Hurricane Katrina are still apparent in these communities, and the damaging affects of gentrification. A simultaneous focus will offer time for the beautiful and vibrant culture that has made New Orleans the unique and wonderful place it is.

Embark on a journey to Pine Ridge, South Dakota where you can allow yourself to enter a space to grow and cultivate your individual self as a being, physically, emotionally and spiritually through the exploration of sustainable energy and education. Through the alliance of Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and Trees, Water, and People participants will be able to not only explore sustainable energy and education, but have the opportunity to be immersed into a Native community. Through interaction and collaboration, participants will be able to broaden their view of Native communities and gain a better understanding of Native people and their culture. Participants will also have the opportunity to actively engage with a local youth program. Participants will depart Pine Ridge having made an impact on Pine Ridge and Pine Ridge having made an impact on them, filled with inspiration for a sustainable tomorrow, and imagination to make tomorrow a reality.

Participants will have the opportunity to examine systems of incarceration and the process of reentry to society for former inmates. Students will be exposed to the challenging realities faced by these members of our community, and the long-term implications that they are confronted with. This trip will challenge the concept of justice in our country with conversations around homelessness and reintegration.

This Alternative Break trip focuses on living sustainability practices in beautiful northern New Mexico. Participants of the trip will visit the Earthship Biotecture firm, to learn about the building process and even spend a night in one of the homes! We will also be collaborating with other local organizations focused on sustainable energy, food and living practices. Come join us as we explore this important topic while enjoying what the Taos region offers.

A brand new trip on the Alt Break menu, this experience will center on service-learning in the complex and charged realm of immigration and border policy.  We’ll look to partner with immigrant support services while examining controversial practices of incarcerating immigrants at for-profit prison complexes in the region.  Conversation with potential partners, including La Mariposa, The Florence Project and Good Samaritans, has begun as we research the area and the learning that it offers.

PLEASE NOTE: This trip will take place within the 100 mile zone of the US/Mexico Border, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operates with extended authorities. A federal law says that in these areas, without a warrant, CBP can board vehicles and search for people without immigration documentation.  If you have questions about this issue or feel this may affect your decision to apply, we ask that you discuss the issue with Alt Break Coordinator, Michael Buttram, in the SLiCE office (LSC 210), or with legal counsel.

Opiod Focus:  This trip will explore the growing opiod epdemic in American societies, partnering with entities who are working at the community level to address the crisis and help individuals get back to their lives. Possible trip location is TBD, but we have a number of drivable locations under review.

BAACC Civil Rights Focus: Flying into Atlanta,GA then traveling through Alabama and back, this trip provides a unique learning experience that merges past and present as we explore the struggles and triumphs of the civil rights movement. With visits to historical sites and community outreach through service learning opportunities, students will learn about prominent leaders during the 1960s, while emphasizing that their work still continues today.


Don’t forget to apply for the Alternative Spring Break Grant, which could fund up to 65% of your trip’s cost!