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Southern Oregon University

The Alternative Break Program offers immersion service experiences in the region, nation and abroad multiple times per year. Through these trips, students have the opportunity to learn about complex social issues, build relationships with other students and staff, connect with a new community, and contribute important work to local organizations.


Summer Break 2014 - Guatemala

Alternative Summer Break 2014

From June 16-July 1, SOU students will return to Guatemala for the third time to continue our work with As Green As It Gets. The group will learn about coffee farming, fair trade practices, artisan crafts, non-toxic cosmetics, and will have time to explore a few different regions throughout the country.

Participants will volunteer in the small farming communities of San Miguel de Escobar and Santa Anita, travel to the diverse towns of Antigua and Quetzeltenango, and explore the shores of Lago de Atitlan. Volunteers will be immersed in Guatemalan and Mayan culture, learning much about the communities' challenges and successes, and hearing stories directly from farmers' and their families over dinner.

The group will be housed together, meals will be cooked each day by local women, and transport will be on the local bus system -- quite an experience!


Applications are now closed!

June 16-July 1


Before you apply, please note:

  • Passports must be in hand by May 1. If you are placed on the trip and do not already have a passport, apply for your passport right away! It can take up to 6 weeks to receive.
  • All participants are required to attend weekly group meetings and actively participate in group fundraisers. If your schedule is too hectic to accommodate both of these requirements, this trip may not be the right fit.
  • The $1600 trip fee includes everything (flights, in-country transportation, service projects, lodging, food, free day activities) except travel day food and personal purchases such as souvenirs.
  • All trip participants will be covered by SOU's international travel insurance, but any and all medical expenses beyond what is covered are the responsibility of the individual traveler.
  • Unfortunately, students graduating before the trip's departure date of June 16 are not eligible to join this trip.
  • Any balances not paid by Friday, June 14 will be charged to your student account.
  • We LOVE our work with As Green As It Gets, and we know you will, too! Be prepared for an incredible week of learning, hard work, engaged conversation, fun and new experiences!


*Apply Here*



What you have to look forward to! (This photo is from our December 2012 Guatemala trip.)


Winter Break 2013 - New Orleans

Alternative Winter Break 2013

December 12-22, Outdoor Programs and Civic Engagement hosted SOU's second Alternative Winter Break to New Orleans, LA.

New Orleans was our first ever Alternative Break trip in 2005 and we were thrilled to return nearly 8 years later.

The group of students worked directly in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi. They helped build an oyster reef, maintain a church, volunteer at Head Start and many other amazing tasks. These organizations gave the students a direct look at how the Hurricane affected their lives then and continues to affect them today.

Visit our Facebook page to see some amazing photos from the week. 

Spring Break 2014 - San Francisco

Alternative Spring Break 2014

From  March 23-29, 10 students and staff traveled to the Bay Area to focus on Early Childhood Education. The group worked with Early Head Start, Head Start and Boys and Girls Club to provide support to their important programming. Check back in April for photos and students' reflections!