Alternative fall break engages with Latino communities

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AFB '13 Latino CommunitiesBy Laura Fisher

During fall break, the learning did not stop for the group of UNC students participating in APPLES Service-Learning Alternative Fall Break (AFB). Students spent four days serving in Central and Eastern North Carolina exploring topics related to Latino communities including farm working conditions, education and access to healthcare.

“My favorite part about our experience was working at El Centro Hispano’s annual health fair in Durham,” said Radha Patel ’15, one of the two AFB trip leaders. “It wasn’t just a health fair, but a community event. Seeing how a community can come together and simultaneously celebrate its culture and work to address its issues is really inspiring.”

In addition to Latino Communities, APPLES AFB sponsors multiple experiences including Urban Communities, Rural Communities, Environmental Issues, as well as collaborative partnerships with HOPE of the Campus Y and Service-Learning Initiative. Students participating in the Latino Communities AFB began learning about bigger issues affecting Latino communities before the trip began during sessions designed to educate and prepare them for the issues that they may confront.

“The best part of the alternative break experience is that you don’t just learn about an issue and forget it,” said Patel. “You serve alongside the community and get to see what work is being done to right that wrong.”

APPLES Alternative Breaks offer students the opportunity to perform hands-on work while learning about the bigger issues behind the focus areas they are addressing. Throughout the experiences, students apply what they have learned through direct and indirect service as well as advocacy work. An emphasis is placed on reflection throughout the trip and following the students’ return.

Learn more about the APPLES alternative fall breaks online.