Apr 04 2013
The number of students choosing to spend their spring break conducting service learning in Latin America continues to increase. In 2013, a record number of 197 Vanderbilt students will travel to Latin America during spring break week. Manna Project has dramatically increased its spring break service learning trips from four trips in 2009 to 13 trips this year. The student-led service organization was founded at Vanderbilt and has permanent sites in Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Guatemala. During spring break the group organizes service trips to numerous other sites in Latin America. This year, 157 undergraduates will travel to communities in: Corozal, Belize (24); Ferry, Jamaica (12); La Ceiba, Honduras (12); Monti Cristi, Dominican Republic (12); Quetzaltenango, Río Dulce, and Chaquijyá, Guatemala (34); Quito, Ecuador (24); Managua, Nicaragua (12); and Quepos and Altamira, Costa Rica (27). Another 10 students will travel to Nicaragua through Alternative Spring Break. They will volunteer at La Esperanza Granada, an organization dedicated to improving children’s education in impoverished areas of Granada.
In addition to these undergraduate students, 11 professional students in Owen’s Project Pyramid course will spend their break in Guatemala to help develop business and marketing plans for the Mani+ nutritional program and to work with staff at the Moore Center for Pediatric Surgery. Nineteen graduate students in medicine, nursing, and the Spanish department will go to Nicaragua with the Nicaragua Global Health course taught by Dr. Nick Desai and Dr. Lindy Fenalson. During the trip, students will engage patients and providers in mutual education and outreach, and participate in journal clubs, Spanish education modules, triage, and clinical care.