University of San-Diego California Alternative Break 2015 Experience in Guyana

We are a part of Alternative Breaks at the University of California, San Diego. The vision of our organization is to create globally Conscious active citizen that commit to lifelong service. To do this, we go on service-learning trips to tackle various social justice issues. Our trip this year focused on the social justice issues of community development and homelessness.

During our spring break, 12 individuals worked with ICO and addressed these issues in Guyana. We spent our time working at St. Ann’s orphanage in Georgetown. The sisters and staff at St Ann’s were very friendly and accommodating to us. There we helped construct sports facility alongside local community members, Romario and Dexter. On the first day, we tore all of the vines down from the fences and started cleaning up the floors. After this we had time to play with and get to know the girls at the orphanage. The girls in our group stayed directly in the orphanage while the guys stayed in a room at the connected building. In the following days we helped put up fences around the court and painted the fences and surrounding walls. We eventually painted lines for a football field. As we stayed longer, the bonds we made with the girls at St Ann’s became stronger and we felt very welcomed. One of members even played football with the local high school boys during a lunch break.

On one of the last days of our trip, we went to a school outside of the orphanage in Craig to pass out donated supplies to the children. We also saw the future site of ICO’s community center. This whole experience was very eye-opening. We were able to listen to the stories of the girls and really experience Guyana’s culture. The connections we made with the girls have inspired many of us to continue service, whether it be in Guyana or in our local communities.

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