Students volunteer for "alternative" spring break

Dozens of Dominican students are volunteering to spend their spring break beginning March 9 studying and learning in a variety of locales from Yakima to New Zealand.

Nineteen students in Vania Coelho’s BIO 3505 International Field Biology class in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics are flying to New Zealand where they will study species and preservation. Their 12-day trip will feature exploring stunning flora, fauna and diverse ecosystems of New Zealand’s south island and a glacier walk at Fox Glacier in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Associate science professor Roland Cooper is another Dominican faculty member accompanying students.

Meanwhile, Campus Ministry is sending nearly 40 students on service trips for alternative spring break.
Lianni Castro, assistant director of Campus Ministry, will lead a group of 15 students to help build houses and relationships in the state of Washington with students from other colleges and universities. Dominican is partnering with Yakima Valley Habitat for Humanity for the fourth consecutive year.

At the same time Sister Christina Atienza will lead another 15 student s to LaBamba in Tijuana, Mexico  affording them an opportunity to volunteer their time to build and repair shelters and cook and serve food. They will visit local jails and orphanages, carrying out a mission created by Father Robert Haberman, who traveled to LaBamba 35 times.

Another group of seven Dominican students will travel to Occidental to participate in Caritas Creek, an outdoor environmental education program.  They will act as cabin leaders for junior high school students participating in hiking, campfires and community building.