March 2–9, 2024
Penn State Altoona is offering several information sessions about the 2024 alternative spring break trip to Puerto Rico. All sessions will take place in the Student Success Center, located in Room 125 on the lower level of the Eiche Library, on the following dates:
- Thursday, November 9, from 12:15–1:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 14, from 12:15–1:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 28, from 5:00–5:45 p.m.
Alternative Breaks are service-learning experiences supporting the community to seek a more equitable and inclusive society. Alternative Break trips are designed to heighten participants’ awareness of critical social issues, enhance their individual growth, and prepare them for lifelong social action.
Penn State Altoona and Penn State DuBois are partnering to offer an eight-day excursion that allows students to experience service-learning by visiting the El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico. Students will participate in conservation projects at Cabezas de San Juan and a disaster relief and resiliency project in the local community. In addition, students will work with the Boys and Girls Club, helping with homework, assisting with recreational activities, and helping youth practice speaking English. Students will explore the culture of the region and interact with the Puerto Rican citizens.
The success of the Alternative Spring Break program depends on the responsible and enthusiastic participation of all team members.
Students will be responsible for the following:
- Attend group meetings before/after the spring break excursion as set by each campus’ Alternative Spring Break program leaders.
- Penn State Altoona
- Fall semester: one or two meetings
- Spring semester: mandatory weekly meetings
Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. in the Student Success Center, room 125 of the Eiche Library
- Penn State DuBois
- To be announced
- Penn State Altoona
- Participate in group fundraising efforts, community service, and social events.
- Contribute to and participate in the final presentation held in April.
$985—CCI program fee includes:
- Seven nights at the Volunteer House in El Yunque, Puerto Rico
- In-country transportation
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Conservation project at Cabezas de San Juan
- Environmental restoration project
- Boys and Girls Club activities: homework, recreational activities, practice speaking English
- Disaster relief and resiliency project in the local community
- Catamaran trip to the Coral reef for snorkeling and exploration
- Luquillo Food Kiosks - $20 per person
- Las Pailas Water Slides - $20 per person
- Old San Juan Tour - $100 per person
- Island Kayaking Adventure (bioluminescence lagoon) - $60 per person
- Departing airport Pittsburgh (PIT) to San Juan Munoz Marin International (SJU) Airport
$188.53—Bus Transportation to and from the airport
- Penn State Altoona to and from Pittsburgh International (PIT)
- Penn State DuBois to and from Pittsburgh International (PIT)
~$1,831.93—Tentative Total Program Costs
Thanks to the generous support of the Student Initiated Fee (SIF) committee and the Office of Academic Affairs, the overall cost of the Alternative Spring Break has been reduced significantly. The SIF will cover $915 of the costs for the trip, and the Office of Academic Affairs is awarding participants with a $200 travel award, making the total cost for students only $716.93.
|Academic Affairs Travel Award||-$200.00|
|Total Cost for Student||$716.93|
Note: All costs are subject to change based on current market rates and the number of participants at the time of travel.
- $0–75—Southwest Baggage
- $0—First two checked bags are free (weight and size limits)
- $75—Oversized bag (more than 50 lbs. or larger than 62 inches)
- $30–35.50* – Real ID
- $200 - Personal expenses
- Immunizations (costs vary)
- Minimum 2.5 GPA
- Registered for spring 2023
- Apply online by November 28, 2023. A limited number of participants will be accepted
- Judicial and academic records reviewed
- Personal Interview with Alternative Spring Break faculty and staff leaders
- December 5
- Signed waivers
- Copy of Real ID and/or Passport
- January 31
- Emergency Preparedness Workshop (mandatory)
- February 1
- Obtain required COVID vaccinations
- Other recommended immunizations
- Bursar account charged
Victoria Hesser, Program Assistant
Victoria has acted as a program adviser and facilitator of logistics, following Penn State protocol for the program since 2010, which gives students the opportunity to spend their spring breaks in meaningful and engaging ways in communities unlike their own in destinations such as Jinotega, Nicaragua, Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, and Luquillo, Puerto Rico.