Alternative Breaks, Spring 2014

SMU Alternative Breaks took students, faculty and staff to 10 cities during spring break 2014 to serve community organizations while also learning about issues such as the environment, poverty, public health and education. Learn more at smu.edu/ab

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Serving young students in Taos

An update from Sana, a junior marketing major who participated in one of the two Alternative Breaks trips to Taos, N.M.:

Taos1“DAAAD, turn up the air,” yelled Baby B from the backseat. It was Wednesday of spring break, and our AB group had already turned into family. From hilariously comical chaos to obnoxiously assertive demands, our trip experience was topped by the sincerely reassuring love we received from the students at Roots and Wings Community School in Taos, N.M.

Our days in Taos started early. We would drive out of our sweet casita home at the SMU-in-Taos campus for breakfast and to pack our lunch for the day. Then we would embark upon our 45-minute commute to the school, located 8,800 feet above sea level. Every single day, we would pass through picturesque mountains and valleys that look as if they came from National Geographic. Along with soaking in the Taos sun through our windows, our mornings consisted of spontaneous trips to local coffee houses, where we tried breakfast tacos, donut croissants and pinion coffee.

At school, all of us divided into different classrooms, either helping kindergartners on ecology projects or working with test preparation for second-graders or even attempting college-level essays for eighth-graders. We had the opportunity to see every aspect of school by interacting with the students and teachers. We formed close bonds with the students, making it exceptionally difficult to depart on the last day.

Taos3Throughout the week, our Taos group of “frugal friends” had the opportunity to sightsee in the city. We visited the shops in the plaza, explored the hot springs within the gorge and discovered the earth ships. However, more than anything else, we valued each other’s company – often just each other’s presence. I am beyond grateful for a family of uniquely vibrant personalities with unbeatably remarkable Mustang spirit.

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