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Alternative Breaks

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Program Mission

To engage the University of Wyoming community in service and experiential learning while promoting global citizenship.
The goals of UW Alternative Breaks are:

  • Enact positive change through service
  • Empower student leaders
  • Develop community amongst UW students
  • Educate on social justice issues
  • Encourage active citizenship


   

The Alternative Breaks program continues to grow each year, offering more trips and more opportunities for service! Due to the high demand, Alternative Breaks has implemented an application process for each trip. Participants will provide short answers to the following questions:
  • Why are you interested in the Alternative Break program?
  • When you are on a team, what individual strengths do you typically contribute?
  • Why is service important in your personal life? 


   

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Participant Payment

If you are going on an Alternative Break trip and need to make a payment, you may do so by clicking here.


Alternative Winter Break Trips - Apply here!


Northern Ireland 
Cost: $2500
Date: January 4-14
Description: The backdrop to this program is Northern Ireland’s stunning and fascinating beauty. Experience the richness of both rural and urban settings, visit both Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods and discover Belfast, a city like no city in the world. Participants will gain a first hand look at the history of the Troubles, meeting with ex-combatants, politicians and youth workers with both experience in the conflict and peace process.

Bolivia 
Cost: $2000
Date: January 3-13
Description: You will stay in or near Cochabamba, Bolivia (the third largest city, encircled by the breathtaking Andes Mountains); work with children or the elderly, or help a rural community build classrooms; and explore the culture through recreational activities and community events. Your volunteer service immerses you in the local community and offers you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the region’s most vulnerable people.


Alternative Spring Break Trips - Apply here!

         

Adobe House with Teal Door

Soul of the Southwest:
Discovering Sustainable Living & Exploring Indigenous Cultures

Location: Taos, New Mexico

Cost: $550

Description: Travel to one of the oldest continually inhabited communities in the United States. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Earthship Biotecture firm and to deepen their knowledge of carbon-zero technology. Service will focus on sustainable housing that is being implemented in the southwest, as well as a focus on building relationships and learning from the Puebloan peoples of Taos. 



Critters in Kanab:
Exploring Animal Welfare & the Shelter Crisis

Location: Kanab, Utah

Cost: $400

Description: Take a trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary! Best Friends Animal Society is a nationwide animal rescue and advocacy organization. Their sanctuary sits on 3,700 acres of land and is home to almost 1,600 homeless animals. Participants will work with a variety of animals, doing everything from cage cleaning to socializing. They will also learn about animal welfare issues and challenges facing today’s shelter animals. In addition to service opportunities, participants will have the chance to experience the beautiful scenery and national parks in Utah.

View of the red rocks from Best Friend's Animal Society


Flooded area in Houston, Texas

Helping Houston Heal:
Flood Relief from Hurricane Harvey

Location: Houston, Texas

Cost: $550

Description: Help the Houston community recover from hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey is considered to be the costliest cyclone on record. It destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and displaced approximately 30,000 people. Much help is still needed. We will be working with multiple organizations and engaging with various volunteer opportunities to contribute to flood relief efforts in the Houston area. This trip will have a balanced agenda of service and exploration of this brave, southwest city!



Looking Past the Bars: 
Exploring Injustices in the Incarceration System

Location: San Francisco, California

Cost: $550

Description: The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration. San Francisco has complex ties with the justice system. In 2017, after spending upwards of $119.5 million in rehabilitation programs, 78.3% of inmates returned to jail within three years. Students will get an in-depth look at our country’s system of incarceration through events centered around social justice and activism, and visiting relevant Northern Californian sites such as Alcatraz.

Alcatraz in the distance


Mosaic Wall that Reads: Be Kind

Lines Between Us:
Immigration Struggle for Reform

Location: Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona

Cost: $550

Description: Immigration affects the United States on an extensive scale – one affected state being Arizona. An estimated 78,200 immigrants came to Arizona between 2010 and 2016. The impacts of immigration touch not only the lives of immigrants, but also the lives of allies, combatants, and the legal system. On our trip to Tucson and Phoenix, we will provide direct service most of the time. However, education is key to understanding issues surrounding immigration in Arizona; so, the nonprofits we spend time with will engage in educational experiences with us, too.



Surviving Skid Row:
Hunger & Homelessness in L.A.

Location: Los Angeles, California

Cost: $550

Description: Students will work with local nonprofits to learn about hunger and homelessness in the Los Angeles area. Service will focus on direct engagement with the populace, strengthening the community, and changing the way individuals think about others experiencing homelessness. Specific tasks will include food preparation and service, as well as working closely with Habitat for Humanity.

 
 
image of Los Angeles

Policies and Procedures

All Alternative Breaks policies and procedures are addressed in the Alternative Breaks Policy Manual. All staff, team leaders, and participants are expected to read and abide by all policies and procedures outlined in the manual. 

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Alternative Break trips are drug and alcohol free. This applies to all participants, even those over the age of 21. Issues of community impact, legality, liability, personal safety, and group cohesion are of concern when alcohol and other drugs are consumed on an Alternative Break. At no time, nor under any circumstance are participants, Team Leaders, or staff members permitted to consume alcohol or any illegal drugs while participating in an AB program. Participants in violation of this policy will be sent home immediately at their own expense. See the Alternative Breaks Policy Manual (link above) for more information.

 

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Contact Us

Service, Leadership and Community Engagement Office

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3117

Email: slce@uwyo.edu

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