Service Break Experience Site Listings

Spring 2015 information and application will be available the first week of December.  Please check back then.  The deadline for spring applications will be January 20th.  Thank you.

Apply to a Mission Experience

Mission Experiences

[Driving]

Aquinas Center is located on the campus of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Community in the heart of South Philadelphia. The former convent is being re-purposed as a space to foster mutual support and shared understanding.  Parishioners and guests come together to express hospitality, promote education, and engage in service.  Participants will have a true cross-cultural experience in this community that is home to immigrants from various parts of the world as well as long time residents of South Philly.  Work may include involvement in a Mural Arts Project, English as a Second Language classes, an after-school program, spending time with senior citizens, and neighborhood clean-up.  Through these experiences and talks by guest speakers volunteers will gain an understanding of the life of immigrants in the U.S. and the ways in which local parishes respond to their needs and others in the neighborhood.

http://staquinas.com/aquinascenter/

Cost: $300  Participants:12

[Flying]

Participants will work at an Augustinian Mission in a small city of Chulucanas in northern Peru. They will have the opportunity to interact with the local people and experience the Peruvian culture while accomplishing various tasks such as cleaning, painting, and tutoring at the local parochial school.  Other activities include attending Mass with the community on Sunday, working with Victor’s Vision, and visiting an elderly home and a trade school for women.

Cost: $1300  Participants:15


[Driving]

Located in central Appalachia, Bethlehem Farm is an intentional Catholic community that strives to transform lives through serving the local community and teaching sustainability. During the week at the Farm, participants work the surrounding community, pray together, learn about and from the people of Appalachia, and experience ways of practicing and living a sustainable life. Participants will do a variety of work, from working alongside a family in repairing their home to practicing sustainability by working the farm and preparing the food it produces. This is a great domestic mission experience focused on the Farm’s four cornerstones of service, prayer, simplicity, and community.

http://www.bethlehemfarm.net/main/

Cost: $350  Participants:15

[Driving]

The Center for Environmental Transformation’s goal is to provide you opportunities to reach deeper understandings of your connection to the earth and to those communities and people who often disproportionately bear the environmental costs of our 21st century lifestyle.  Participants work in urban farming, greening lots, youth engagement, and demolition projects, In addition, participants take part in interactive learning sessions on sustainability, environmental justice, Camden's history, and becoming agents of change.

http://camdencenterfortransformation.org

Cost: $300  Participants: 12 

[Driving]

Volunteers will stay at the Auxier Center in a school building that has been renovated into a community center with dorm type rooms on the second floor for both men and women. A kitchen and dining room are available for groups who stay at the center.  Volunteers may teach computer classes to local residents. Classes are held from March to June and from September to November. The Auxier Center also houses a food pantry, sewing center. and a home repair program.  

http://www.hhministries.com/Appalachia-Auxier-Center.html

Cost: $400  Participants:14

[Flying]

Hand in Hand Ministries is a faith-based international service organization that provides life’s essentials to impoverished people. Participants will have the opportunity to work alongside a new homeowner in the construction of a modest 16x16 foot home from start to finish. They will also have other opportunities to meet and learn from members of the local community and people involved with other Hand in Hand projects such as their outreach to people living with HIV/AIDS. 

http://www.hhministries.com/

Cost: $1400  Participants:14

[Flying]

Participants work at several Catholic social service sites that provide services for impoverished and marginalized people  in Kingston.  Projects include a home for the elderly and homeless run by Mother Theresa's Missionaries of Charity, a school for at-risk children run by St Patrick's Foundation, the Bustamante Children's Hospital. Particpants may also assist in the Pre-Primary School at Riverton City and spend time with kids from the local neighborhood.

http://www.jamaicavolunteers.com/

Cost: $1300  Participants:15

[Flying]

Participants will be hosted by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Handmaids live and work among a community of Latinos in a trailer park.  Participants will tutor in an after school program, provide support for vulnerable mothers, and help repair trailer homes.  Immigration and culutral education are central themes of this experience.  Students will also travel to Atlanta one day to visit the MLK Museum.  Participants will live simply in an outreach center run by the sisters.

http://www.oasistutors.org/

Cost $750  Participants:10

[Flying]

At Outreach 360 our vision is a transformed world in which every child is able to pursue a college degree or be gainfully employed upon reaching adulthood, and ultimately have the opportunity to live a life of choice.  We accomplish this through literacy education.  Our Learning Centers focus on creating the perspective that learning is fun, and an education program with interesting, relative, diverse, and interactive learning activities.  On this Service Break Experience you will be in the classroom helping our students to learn so they have the tools they need to improve their own lives and those of people in their community as well. You will also learn about the Dominican Republic from speakers and various historical locations in the area. Knowledge of Spanish is not required.

http://outreach360.org/

Cost $1300  Participants:15


[Flying]

Participants will work and stay at the Turtle Reserve on the west coast of Costa Rica. The reserve's main purpose is to protect the Olive Ridley sea turtles, which are poached in Costa Rica. Participants will find nests, dig up eggs and relocate them to a hatchery, and bring hatched baby sea turtles to the sea.  Most of the work is done at night when turtles lay their eggs.  The days will be spent learning about protecting the environment, working around the reserve, and cleaning beaches.  This is an educational site that employs hands on experiential learning using the coast as the classroom.  Almost all work is outdoors, experiencing firsthand the environment of Costa Rica, and working to protect it.   

Cost: $1350  Participants:15

[Flying]

Northern New Mexico is one of the most unique and culturally distinct areas of the United States. It is the home of both ancient Native American communities and pueblos founded long before the inception of the United States. This site offers a cultural immersion that allows participants to connect with themselves, each other, and the natural world while learning from Navajo people. Participants will stay on a farm that uses both modern and traditional agricultural practices and visit with Navajo people. Work may include farming, construction, water conservation or land and cultural restoration efforts in local and native communities.

http://www.viainternational.org/new-mexico.html

Cost: $850  Participants:14


[Flying]

Participants will explore the rich trans-border culture of the San Diego region while participating in projects along the U.S. side of the border with Mexico. This Experience offers a range of activities including restoring damaged beach areas, working on local organic farms, visiting Chicano Park, meeting with migrant farm workers, and touring the border wall.  Participants will work on local community development projects in San Diego and learn more about regional history, immigration, and cross-cultural issues.

http://www.viainternational.org/san-diego.html

Cost: $850  Participants:14

Habitat for Humanity Experiences

[Driving]

This Experience is for Seniors Only. It will be led by members of the VU Seniors Committee: JJ Brown (Student Life) and Brian McCabe (Campus Ministry)

As the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches Atlantic County Habitat continues to play a major role in repairing and rebuilding homes damaged by the storm.  We offer innovative building solutions ranging from repair and rehabilitation to building new sustainable energy-efficient homes.  We are also working hard to mitigate damage from future storms through a program used in the Gulf region. This program will lower insurance costs and reduce loss of property and potentially reduce loss of life in the event of a future disaster. We need hard working volunteers to put our ambitious plans into action.  Come join as Down the Shore! 

http://achabitat.org/

Cost: $350  Participants:12

[Flying]

The Fort Smith area is rugged, mountainous beauty that is steeped in rich American history. There are lots of lakes and rivers, museums and historical sites, scenic drives and many other opportunities for adventure and is soon to be the home to the US Marshals Museum.  This site usually arranges for several meals to be shared with local churches.   http://habitatfs.org/                                                                                       Cost: $750  Participants:14

[Driving]

Blount County is situated at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. To date it has built over 95 homes, and provided safe, decent homes for hundreds of men, women & children. Our southern hospitality makes for a wonderful experience! 

http://www.blounthabitat.org/T2-home

Cost: $350  Participants: 16 

[Flying]

In 2013, we celebrated the building of our 700th house.  We plan to complete another 45 houses in 2014. These will be homes that many of our families have dreamed of but never thought they would actually experience for themselves.  We have begun building in Faith Landing which will eventually be home to 33 families.  We continue to build in Las Rosas.  We are also proud to serve many families who were affected by the May 2013 tornadoes.  Thanks to your giving spirit more families than ever before are realizing their dreams of a better life through home ownership with Central Oklahoma Habitat!

 http://www.cohfh.org/

Cost: $750  Participants:14

[Driving]

ESVA Habitat serves 2 of VA's poorest counties on Rural Delmarva Peninsula between Atlantic Ocean & Chesapeake Bay. Farming and commercial fishing are the main industries. We have a large low-income population, much substandard housing and few unskilled job options (Perdue plant). There is a growing Hispanic population working in agriculture and construction.  Many live in labor camps.  We have many small towns with a friendly family atmosphere and great hospitality.  We are close to Chincoteague and a NASA base.  Local history dates to 1600s. Excellent HFH worksite staff teaches and encourages volunteers.

http://www.easternshorehabitat.org/

Cost: $350  Participants:15

[Flying]

Two countries and three states come together at the pass to the north - Four historic missions capture the history of Mexico and the US border. The beauty of the desert is tempered by the economic poverty of the region and the tragic violence of our sister city, Juarez. A growing affiliate that embraces our Collegiate Challenge volunteers with warm El Paso hospitality, great Mexican food, lots of sunshine, boots and country western dancing, White Sands and the largest urban park in the US, Franklin Mountain State Park. HFH El Paso invites people of all backgrounds, races, and religions to build houses in partnership with families in need.    

http://www.habitatelpaso.org/                                                                    Cost: $750  Participants:14

[Driving]

Our affiliate has completed over 300 homes, serving more than 1000 family members. There are many substandard housing areas in our community and Habitat Forsyth has started rebuilding neighborhoods rather than just build new houses. Our affiliate offers dormitory style accommodations located above our offices with separate sleeping quarters, showers and access to a full service kitchen. We also engage many community partners that provide lunch and dinner for the students on site, at Habitat or at a home or church. Local Villanova alumni host a wonderful welcome dinner.

http://www.habitatforsyth.org/home0.aspx

Cost: $350  Participants:16

[Flying]

The town of Taos is in northern New Mexico at an elevation of about 7,000 feet and is surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Taos is home to the Taos Pueblo, a multi-storied adobe building that has been used for more than 1,000 years. Habitat for Humanity Taos, Inc. works in partnership with people from all walks of life to build houses, hope, and community with people in need, and by so doing, witness God's love in action.  Our goal is to reduce the number of families living in substandard housing in Taos County.

http://www.taoshabitat.org

Cost: $750  Participants:13

[Driving]

Lexington is a city of approximately 250,000 people. Our affiliate does mostly new construction of urban in-fill housing. Volunteers also assist with our ReStore, Deconstruction Program, and other projects. We host multiple groups each year (many returning groups), and our entire affiliate works hard to make it a positive experience.   

http://www.lexhabitat.org/                                                                       Cost: $350  Participants:16

[Driving]

Marion County is located approximately 45 miles from Myrtle Beach, SC.  We are also located approximately 115 miles from the rich history of Charleston, SC. We afford students Wednesday afternoon off of work in order to enjoy their brief stay in Marion County and visit some of the attractions our state has to offer. Poverty housing is rampant in Marion County and our affiliate is striving to eliminate that by building one quality, affordable home at a time. This site arranges for meals shared with local community members. 

http://www.marionschabitatforhumanity.org/

Cost: $350  Participants:16

[Driving]

Mon County Habitat for Humanity started in 1990. You will work with great construction managers and in one week develop a great appreciation for MCHFH of West Virginia. Groups are housed in comfortable but simple accommodations.  We have a variety of dining and entertainment options in our community as well as home of the WVU Mountaineers.

http://moncountyhfh.org/

Cost: $350  Participants:15

Winter 2014–15 Mission Experiences

Apply to a Winter Mission Experience

[flying]

At Outreach 360 our vision is a transformed world in which every child is able to pursue a college degree or be gainfully employed upon reaching adulthood, and ultimately have the opportunity to live a life of choice.  We accomplish this through literacy education.  We believe that the innate motivation for learning in children comes from engaging in activities that they enjoy.  That’s why our education philosophy at our Learning Centers focuses on creating the perspective that learning is fun, and an education program with interesting, relative, diverse, and interactive learning activities.  On this Service Break Experience you will be in the classroom helping our students to learn so they have the tools they need to improve their own lives and those of people in their community as well. You will also learn about the Dominican Republic from speakers and various historical locations in the area. Knowledge of Spanish is not required.

http://outreach360.org/

Cost: $1350  Participants:15

[flying]

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in our hemisphere after Haiti.  Despite its poverty, Nicaragua is considered the safest country in Central America.  How are the Nicaraguan people working to alleviate their poverty and how might we be allies in their struggle?  This is the first Villanova trip to this part of Nicaragua---join us as we explore the causes and history of Nicaragua's poverty, meet Nicaraguans working on change, and work with them to create a better life there.  We will meet 8 times to prepare for this trip and read articles each week so we arrive in Nicaragua knowledgeable about our hosts.  We will spend part of the trip learning from Nicaraguans working on various aspects of poverty-reduction, and part of the week living with families and working in a village with subsistence farmers.  Be the first Villanovans to go to this community and help us create a lasting partnership with this village!  This trip has the option of earning one credit through the Center for Peace and Justice Education. There is a mandatory retreat day on Sunday, November 16 from 2:30-5:30 PM that you must be able to attend to go on this trip.   Speak with trip advisor, Irene King (Irene.king@villanova.edu) for details!

Cost: $1350  Participants: 12