Applications due Oct. 10th: Middlebury Alternative Break Trips February 2013

Announcing the Middlebury Alternative Break (MAlt) Service Trips for February Break 2013!

This year’s trips will focus on border and immigration issues (El Paso, TX), cultural and environmental awareness (Cherokee Nation), conservation in El Yunque National Forest (Puerto Rico), women’s empowerment (Dominican Republic), and the US prison system (New York).

The application—please read directions carefully!—is due by Wednesday, October 10th at 5:00 pm to Ashley Calkins in Room 210 of the Center for Education in Action (EIA) on the second floor of Adirondack House.

MAlt participant application: Participant application 2013

Fundraisers from now through J-term ensure that those who need financial assistance to fund their trips will be able to participate (you don’t need to be on financial aid from the College to receive MAlt financial assistance). Each participant must pay at least 25% of the cost—but you have until mid-January to do it! All costs below are estimates and will be finalized soon—cost includes transportation, lodging, and food. MAlt is a perfect opportunity to get involved with rewarding and meaningful service work during break as well as a great way to connect to a new community!

Questions? Check out this “Intro to MAlt 2012-2013”, or e-mail MAlt co-chairs Charlotte Zelle ( or Maya Neria (

Trip Descriptions:
Conserving a Tropical Ecosystem Treasure (Puerto Rico): We will focus on environmental conservation efforts in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque Rainforest, a tropical rainforest with a wide diversity of flora and fauna including many species that occur nowhere else in the world. Activities include forest maintenance projects and environmental education projects to support the El Yunque National Forest Service’s efforts to educate the thousands of tourists who visit El Yunque every year. The trip also involves engaging with researchers in the rainforest to learn the effects of climate change and land use in El Yunque.
Trip Leaders: Justin Koatz ‘13 and Maggie Khuu ‘13
Approximate Cost: $500

Examining a Broken Justice System (New York City): To better understand the complexities of the current U.S. retributive justice system, we will visit organizations in New York City related to the pre- and post-incarceration process. Topics will include juvenile sentencing, education, and alternative methods to incarceration. By working with representatives from non-profits, legislatures and juvenile halls, we will examine all steps of the incarceration and re-entry process through a variety of lenses. We hope that through this trip, participants will challenge their preconceived notions about today’s prison system and continue related service work in the future.
Trip Leaders: Lydia Gordon ’15 and Maya Neria ’15
Approximate Cost:$250

Breaking Through Preconceptions (Cherokee Nation): Rediscover history when you visit the land of the Cherokee near the Smokey Blue Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina. Immerse yourself in their culture and traditions while passing on your own by interacting with the elderly at the Senior Center and tutoring and playing games with youth at the Recreation Center. Learn from members of the community about the issues they face as a nation within a nation and take part in an ongoing effort to maintain the cultural land of the Cherokee “where eagles nest and bears still roam.”
Trip leaders:Mika Tan ’15 and Emily Hoang ’15
Approximate cost: $700

Different Voices, New Perspectives Along Mexico/US Border (El Paso): Students will travel to El Paso, Texas, a city that shares a border with Mexico, living and working at a shelter for undocumented migrants. We will assist in the daily running of the shelter, attend border education workshops, and meet the many faces of migration, from activists and migrants to government and law enforcement officials.
Trip Leaders: Amanda Pertierra ‘13 and Hannah Postel ’13
Approximate cost: $775

Empowering Local Communities (Dominican Republic): We will work with the Mariposa DR Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to empower women through various educational and health programs. The Mariposa DR Foundation is committed to helping children, especially girls, gain access to quality education and to provide to provide girls with a comfortable environment where they can develop a strong sense of self. During this trip, we will help to develop English programs and work on sustainability initiatives in the community.
Trip Leaders: Rana Abdelhamid ‘15 and Lily Ghebrai ‘15
Approximate cost: $875