Spend your spring break making a difference with your fellow students and Arcadia Alumni on a service trip! Every year, the CCEC gives the Arcadia community the chance to lend their hands to areas in need, become immersed in a different culture, and make long lasting connections. Each trip serves a different need, from disaster relief to community building, but each is a powerful testament to how a few individuals can make a difference. Read below about our upcoming service trip, and what we have done in recent years.
Fill out the online interest form at this link, or come visit us at the CCEC office.
Tijuana, Mexico—March 2016
A group of 38 Arcadia volunteers consisting of undergraduate students, seven recent alumni, and one staff member spent our spring break building houses in Tijuana, Mexico. Working with the non-profit community development organization Fundación Esperanza de Mexico (FEM), we spent over 1300 hours at two separate worksites. Besides working on the two homes, we also interacted with the communities being created by FEM. Part of our cultural immersion included visits to other local non-profits, such as a medical clinic for underserved Tijuana residents and an orphanage for girls. We spent some time at the border as well, observing the impact the border wall (erected after 9/11) is having on Mexicans.
In New Iberia, 31 undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and staff worked with Envision da Berry, a regional non-profit, and Habitat for Humanity to assist in their efforts to develop a sustainable rural community. There were construction projects such as rebuilding a property that will become a food hub co-op as well as the cleaning and designing of community gardens. The work done by Arcadia volunteers will led to the local residents learning about and incorporating new methods of sustainable agriculture into their daily lives.
Volunteers cleaned up a small lot that will be turned into a community garden. Local residents expressed their appreciation for the work—one resident even offered tools and helped clean the space. A volunteer mentioned that, “I spoke with a lot of people from the New Iberia community. These conversations were full of appreciation for our work and effort. They were also really helpful and went out of their way to assist us.”
Volunteers worked hard to clean overgrown weeds at the lot, preparing it for the community garden.
In one day, volunteers were also able to construct compost bins and spread mulch in the lot. One volunteer said, “This trip revitalized my desire to help others and do service after college, and makes me more strongly inclined to help work with communities and individual visionaries or small non-profits in struggling areas in the United States.”
Raven DeWeese, Aspen Settle, and Emilie Gottlieb spread mulch throughout the backyard of the food co-op.
Tessa Paige and Arielle Rudig-Leathers made compost to be used in the community gardens. “The trip exceeded my expectations because I didn’t think I was going to learn as much as I did about how to set up garden beds, composting, and so much more,” said a volunteer.
Dillon Hamil and Nathan Sienkiewicz repaired roofing at the community co-op.
Samantha Hipe and Emilie Gottlieb painted the outside of the community co-op store, preparing it to open.
After their work day, volunteers helped paint a mural of an alligator with the New Iberia community.
Arcadia volunteers posed together after their last day of work at the community co-op store. The mural was donated by a local artist and was installed by students throughout the week.
Volunteers cut pallets to be used where seeds will be planted at the community gardens. A volunteer said, “On this trip, I learned that people have the power to spread their energy and make other people want to join in."
A group of volunteers also cleaned up a larger lot to be used in another community garden.
Volunteers spread mulch to set up the space. Community members are looking forward to the future garden.
Join the Community and Civic Engagement Center from March 11th to March 17th in the coastal region of Texas for hurricane Harvey disaster response! In Texas, we will be working with the National Relief Network, which is a non-profit organization committed to bringing large numbers of volunteers to state and federally declared disaster areas for the purpose of helping families in their efforts to rebuild their homes, their communities, and their lives.
If you are interested in taking part in this trip, please fill out the online interest form by clicking here.