Past AB Trips

lmu alternative breaks past trips

Domestic AB TripsInternational AB Trips
  • Navajo Nation, Arizona
  • Catalina Island, California
  • Central Valley, California
  • East Los Angeles, California
  • Los Angeles & San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Ventura County, California
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Appalachian Mountains, Kentucky
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • New York City, New York
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Maryville, Tennessee
  • Moab, Utah
  • Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Immokalee & Seminole, FL
  • Tanzania, Africa
  • Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Duran, Ecuador
  • Quito, Ecuador
  • San Salvador, El Salvador
  • San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala
  • Petersfield, Jamaica
  • Juarez, Mexico
  • Tianguistengo, Mexico
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Lima, Peru
  • Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines
  • Morelos, Mexico
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Kingston, Jamaica
  • Bocas Del Toro, Panama
  • Israel -West Bank
  • Cap-Haitien, Haiti

Oakland, California

Community Development in Urban Cities (2003): First year students worked with Habitat for Humanity to build and repair homes.

Appalachian Mountains, Kentucky

Community Development in rural Appalachia (2003-05): Students partnered with a local organization to solve housing problems

Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia

Service Against Mountain Top Removal (2012): Students partnered with the Appalachian Catholic Workers to learn about the issues of Mountain Top Removal and the effects it had on surrounding towns.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Veteran Services (2012): Students worked with Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization that provides home repair services for disadvantaged and elderly veteran homeowners to keep them warm, safe, dry and living independently. Students spent the week repairing and remodeling existing homes for wounded and elderly veterans. All materials and services provided by Rebuilding Together are at no cost to the veterans they serve.

San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala

Mayan Community Development (2003-12): Our longest continually running trip, students live and work with the San Lucas Tolimán Mission, a Catholic parish that sponsors many community outreach and development programs on the southeastern shores of Lake Atitlán. Members of this community are largely indigenous Mayans, and this trip is an opportunity for LMU students to learn about the Mayan culture in contemporary Guatemala. The service component of includes working with the parish’s agricultural projects, reforestation program, health clinic, or school.

Sacramento, California

Sustainable Farming and Food Justice (2012): Participants volunteered with the non-profit Ubuntu Green. Students worked on the Healthy Land Use Engagement project and participated in outreach and visioning sessions with residents in South Sacramento, with a focus on healthy food access, transportation equity, environmental justice and general health issues. The team also helped in the development of community gardens.

East Los Angeles, California

Urban Youth & Immigration (2004-10): Another trip that has been continually running since its 2004 beginning, the East LA trip works in a dynamic, predominantly Mexican-American community in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Hosted by the Jesuit-run Dolores Mission parish, the group is immersed in many programs that empower the faith community and families of the area, such as: the Guadalupe Homeless Project for immigrants, Dolores Mission elementary school, the Underwings afterschool program, and Homeboy Industries. Participants stay in homestays which makes this a popular immersion experience.

Navajo Nation, Arizona

Education & Indigenous Rights (2004-07): The LMU students drove to Tuba City, located in Northern Arizona, near the border with Colorado where they worked with Navajo children in a tutoring and recreation program at a local school. The group had daily opportunities to learn about Navajo culture and history through organized meetings with Navajo elders and community members. Accommodations were in a large, common dormitory, and meals were taken at the school. The program is administered by Amizade and we are currently trying to develop another trip through a partnership with Campus Ministry

Immokale & Seminole, Florida

Indigenous Workers' Rights (2012):Students went to Immokalee, Florida meeting with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to gain knowledge about their struggle in the fair wages campaign. The cohort learned how to support the Campaign for Fair Food which seeks to improve wages and working conditions on fast food industry and supermarkets such as Trader Joe’s. For the last two days of the trip, participants also visited the Seminole community to learn more about Native American's issues.

Petersfield, Jamaica

Immersion and Community Development (2004):Students were immersed in the culture of Jamaica through a service learning program designed by AMIZADE. While parts of Jamaica are booming through tourism much of the country is still impoverished and underdeveloped. Students tutored local students, participated in construction projects, and learned about the history of the country. Students stayed in local homestays.

Dallas, Texas

Refugee Education and Service (2012): Students assisted refugees at the Refugee Resettlement Program, teaching them english or math skills, while learning of their struggles on their journey to America.

San Salvador, El Salvador

Martyrs & Rural Communities (2005-09)The groups gained a deeper under-standing of the legacy of the Christian martyrs of El Salvador, and first-hand experience of a base Christian community. This immersion experience didn't involve a major service project. Rather, participants engaged in a solidarity encounter with the people of El Salvador. Between 2005 and 2008 the program was hosted by CEBES, an agency that supports base Christian communities in El Salvador. The program involves spending a few nights in homestays in rural El Salvador, as well as several nights at a guest house in the capital city. Last year the program worked with CIS and followed a similar format including a two-night homestay on an island. The AB Program will continue this program in 2010. To learn more about this trip visit our programs webpage: El Salvador AB Trips

Ventura County, California

Los Angeles Housing Build (2003): In one of our earliest AB trips students worked with Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County to build and repair homes in the local community.

Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines

Community Building and Youth Development (2012): Participants worked with Gawad Kalinga, an organization dedicated to the improvement of communities and development of youth. The foundation focuses on empowering poor communities to self-reliant and sustainable, and developing the skills and talents of children within these communities. The students were able to learn about the Filipino community, educate youth, and assist in small-scale building projects./

Juarez, Mexico

Border Issues & Femicide (2005-08): Participants focused on the reality of life on the US/Mexican border. Hosted by the Mexico Solidarity Network, students explored issues such as femicide, militarization, trade justice, immigration, and human rights. The groups met with grassroots leaders who are actively engaged in the transformation of the border reality. The experience included homestays and a visit to the city of Chihuahua, if time permits. As of 2009 the trip has been temporarily discontinued due to increasing violence in the city of Juarez.

Morelos, Mexico

Rural Community Development (2012): Students worked with Casa Hoy to educate youth in a rural community, as well as provide repairing services to the adults of the community.

Catalina Island, California

Environment Restoration (2005-12): Participants camped at Hermit Gulch, two miles east of Avalon. Working with the The Catalina Conservancy, students engaged in various ecological preservation projects such as removing non-native plant species, securing the habitat for native animals, and maintaining hiking trails and other conservancy-operated facilities. This program didn't include a cultural encounter or immersion, but is designed for students with interest in ecological and environmental issues. In 2008 the trip was held exclusively for LEAP Students as part of their curriculum.

Jackson, Mississippi

(2005-06): Students worked with a dynamic, faith-based organization in a variety of construction and service projects to the needs of this urban, African-American community in the heart of the South. Service projects included demolition and reconstruction of homes, assistance within the local health center, and facilitation of after-school programs. The group had the opportunity to learn about the historical significance of Jackson in the Civil Rights movement. The group lived in a large, restored urban home, hosted by the Voice of Calvary Ministries.

Duran, Ecuador

Community Health & Development (2005-07): Students became deeply immersed within this vibrant urban community located outside of Guayaquil. Working with Rostro de Cristo, participants contributed to several community development projects based out of this vibrant, Catholic parish. The group encountered some of the poorest of the poor by visiting a clinic, serving in educational and recreational programs, and assisting health awareness efforts. The group was accommodated in a retreat house which serves as a community center.

Kingston, Jamaica

Medical Services (2012): A team of LMU alumni doctors, pre-medical health students, and non-medical students travelled to Jamaica, where they assisted the sick at a medical clinic outside of the Missionaries of the Poor.

Dominican Republic

Fair Trade Coffee (2005-07):Students will live with and work alongside rural coffee farmers who will share their experiences growing and selling coffee in the contemporary, globalized economy. Working with Education Across Borders, students will gain a deeper appreciation for the challenges facing coffee-growing families and the migrant Haitian workers who work their fields. If time permits, students will visit grassroots community movements in the city of Santiago, as well as Batey Libertad, a largely Haitian community. Students will participate in home stays.

Israel/West Bank

Interfaith Awareness (2012): Participants travelled to Israel and the West Bank on an interfaith trip to understand the delicate issue of the area while visiting historical sites and the "holy city" of Jerusalem.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Christian Reconciliation (2006-07): The group was hosted by Corrymeela, an ecumenical non-profit organization with a long history of advocating for peace and reconciliation in Belfast. This immersion will bring our students into direct contact with those whose lives have been affected by the war in Northern Ireland. There will be opportunities to join in community service, education, and cultural immersion.

Bocas Del Toro, Panama

Sustainable Development (2012): In collaboration with the Fraternity, Sigma Chi, participants work with Global Humanitarian Adventures. Participants assisted workers in tending to produce, and assisting the nearby communities.

Central Valley

Farm Workers' Rights & Microlending (2006-09): LMU has partnered with the Dolores Huerta Foundation to live and work among farm worker communities in Kern County, CA. Participants gain experiential knowledge of the history of the farm workers’ struggles and current social injustices confronting agricultural workers. Participants will develop a deeper appreciation for the cultural diversity of the worker communities. Students will become familiar with the methods of grassroots community organizing and conflict resolution. To learn more visit the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Gutting Sorrow and Rebuilding Hope after Hurricane Katrina (2006-10): Every year since Katrina hit LMU has sent volunteers to not only help rebuild the city, but to restore hope in the hearts of many affected by the disaster. Beginning in 2007 LMU has managed to send two groups a year to contribute to the effort. The participants chosen have worked with the Catholic Charities New OrleansLowernine.org, and Operation Nehemiah in gutting and rebuilding homes alongside hurricane survivors. During this trip the participants will encounter life-changing experiences and create inspirational relationships with those who were personally affected by the hurricane. In 2012, students worked with Project Homecoming, helping in the reconstruction of homes and property.

Tianguistengo, Mexico

Rural Community Development (2006-09): Loyola Marymount partners with Por un mejor HOY, a non-profit organization that promotes volunteer service with grassroots organizations and cultural immersion in Mexico. In the past groups have traveled to the rural community of Tianguistengo, located in the mountains about 4 hours north of Mexico City. The group lives in a common house and engages the local community in a variety of projects with a particular focus on education and community development. Due to the programs popularity we are currently working with to develop an additional trip for the winter. Note: Basic Spanish proficiency is a prerequisite for all participants.

Chicago, Illinois

Inner-City Youth (2007-08): Participants on this trip in 2007 dove head-first into an intense cultural immersion into the heart of Chicago. Students had the opportunity to learn about gang prevention and the lives of Chicago’s children and educators. Organizational partners included the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago and Saint Benedict School which allowed the group to work with students. The group stayed downtown through Hostelling International. In 2008 students followed a similar program structure when they worked and lived at the Amate House, a partner of youth-centered organization in the city.

New York, New York & Washington DC

Homelessness Advocacy (2007-12): In 2007 volunteers participated in both service projects and cultural immersion sessions when they served with Part of the Solution (POTS), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing relief and a chance to move forward to the homeless residents of New York City. This was achieved through hands-on service projects such as working in soup kitchens and counseling centers. Students deepened their immersion with PANS, an advocacy group working to empower the homeless and inspire political change. In 2008 and 2009 volunteers worked withY.S.O.P. who organized homelessness related service projects in both cities. In 2012, students worked with Project Hospitality to provide service to the homeless by serving food, repairing homes, and helping with the clothing drives.

San Francisco, California

HIV/AIDS Advocacy (2007): Students participated in direct service and intensive learning to better understand the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. With the help of agencies such as San Francisco AIDS FoundationProject Open Hand, and Tenderloin Health, the group explored the social, economic, and physical complexities that surround HIV and AIDS. Participants stayed with Hostelling International in San Francisco’s historical Fort Mason area.

Quito, Ecuador

(2008-12) Students who participated in the Quito trip volunteered with the Working Boys Center, a Catholic institution committed to helping working boys and their families. It was founded with the objective of creating, developing and strengthening moral values by means of changes in attitudes and behavior, helped by programs of formation and social assistance. The group will live at the center and spend most of their time teaching classes, visiting different clients, construction projects, and other activities that directly benefit members of the center.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Social Entrepreneurship (2008-09): Students will be immersed into the culture of a country in Southeast Asia, and will participate in a service project. LMU will partner with Journeys Within Our Community, an organization that is based in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Los Angeles & San Diego, California:

Explore LA First Year Program (2008) Immigration and Immersion (2012) Designed for Freshman, students participated in an exciting and challenging exploration of Southern California. Students traveled through Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Downtown LA, East LA, and San Diego to learn about the experiences of marginalized communities right in our backyard. A trip to the US/Mexico border illustrated the realities and dangers of living between two worlds. In 2012, a group of students from all class years visited East L.A. and San Diego to learn about the realities of immigration and homelessness in the two areas.

Maryville, Tennessee

Environmental Restoration in Rural Appalachia (2008) Alternative Breakers in Tennessee volunteered with Once Upon a Time in Appalachia (Voted Break Away Host Site of the Year, 2007). Students participated in environmental restoration, worked with citizens of the Cherokee Nation, experienced life on a working Appalachian homestead, and even had a chance to explore the Lost Sea, the world’s largest underground lake. This trip aims to educate students on environmental responsibility through hands-on service.

Lima, Peru

LAN Earthquake Restoration Trip (2008):Last year 10 students were selected by LAN airlines to participate in a 5 day service trip to Lima, Peru. The trip was designed by LAN to help with ongoing earthquake reconstruction. Students traveled to the capital and then journey over three hours to a rural village devastated by recent quakes. Each student worked in a group of 3-4 to assemble small wood homes. Approximately 10 homes were constructed out of this effort.

Portland, Oregon

Environmental Stewardship (2009): AB participants engaged in volunteer work focused on environmental issues and the response of the Portland community, a leading city in the movement towards environmentally friends communities. Students worked with following organizations: The Rebuilding CenterWillamette RiverkeeperForest Park ConservancySauvie Island Organics. There tasks included sorting and recycling construction materials, painting, nail removal and recycling, invasive species removal, trail work, native plantings, seed collection, carpentry/fencework, organic farming, river cleanup, and other activities. Students were housed at Northwest Portland International Hostel and made an effort to be more environmentally conscious by cooking their own meals, using public transportation when possible, and driving to Portland instead of flying from Los Angeles.

Atlanta, Georgia

Refugee Resettlement (2009-10): Students work with Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta, a non-profit group agency that provides services to hundreds of refugees every year who have settled in Atlanta. Most of these refugees come without family, no belonging, and in debt due to transportation fees from the former Soviet Union, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. RRISA provides shelter, clothes, food, medical care, and other services with the help of a diverse staff. Students met with immigrants, organized the shelter and new immigrant apartments, taught classes, and performed many other activities with the community.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Indigenous Children and Human Trafficking (2012): Students immersed themselves in Vietnamese culture, while learning about the issue of human trafficking the country still faces. The participants also educated the indigenous children.

Moab, Utah

Rural Environmental Restoration (2009): Participants traveled to the Moab, Utah to join the Plateau Restoration group in revitalizing the Colorado Plateau. Participants take a crash course in conservation biology as they work to restore local ecosystems and maintain the majestic Southwest landscape. After experiencing awesome scenery, spirited presentations by experienced educators on natural history, geology, human history and resource issues, as well as hands on work, students are challenged to bring their knowledge of restoration back to the bluff. Students are accommodated in tents or small, dormitory style housing.

San Diego, California

LEAP Trip to Tijuana Estuary (2009): The LEAP program traveled to San Diego in 2009 to learn more about the U.S.-Mexico Border and its effect on the local environment. Student volunteered with the Tijuana Estuary to learn about the nature of the construction and its environmental impact on native species in the area. Students helped clean the estuary and were accommodated at the San Diego Youth Hostel.

Tanzania, Africa

Youth & HIV/AIDS (2009): In May of 2009, 12 unacquainted people took a trip to Tanzania, Africa with the common goal of service. What we did not know was that this trip would incorporate much more than just service; the life changing friendships and connections that we stumbled upon along the way will forever be embedded in our memories. In Tanzania, we became teachers. We taught children English, Math, and Geography; in return they taught us even bigger life lessons. We helped improve local schools and helped make local businesses more stable. We worked in a field tearing down trees and bushes to clear land for an orphanage. To some we became mentors, friends, and role models. We shared laughter, smiles, and tears with the Tanzanians. We had experiences that most would never fathom having, like swimming in waterfalls and climbing a volcano nearly 10,000 feet high. We basked in moments of epiphany, self-realization, and reflection. During what seemed like the shortest month of the year we left permanent imprints in the soil of Moshi, Tanzania so that the people we helped would never forget us; and we would never forget them. To learn more about this trip visit our program's webpage: And We Would Never Forget