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Students to volunteer in El Salvador

Submitted by Nancy Tarnai
Phone: 907-474-5042

05/19/09

Eight University of Alaska Fairbanks students will be in El Salvador May 21 to June 7 for a service trip with the UAF Leadership Program.

Student volunteers will do maintenance projects and literacy work at the Center for Arts for Peace and will travel to rural villages to learn about microlending. In San Salvador, they will visit the University of Central America and a cancer ward for terminally ill youths. While in El Salvador, they will also meet with UAF professor emeritus Tony Gasbarro, who will introduce them to Peace Corps volunteers and travel to rural areas with them.

Each student who is participating went through an application and interview process and paid $750 toward expenses. As a group, the travelers have been fundraising for months, hosting bake sales, spaghetti dinners, car washes, garage sales and chili suppers, and bringing a massage therapist to campus during finals week.

This is the fourth alternative break for the UAF Leadership Program. Other groups have done conservation work in California, rebuilding in New Orleans and city improvements in Washington, D.C.

"This gives students a chance to go where they might not otherwise travel," said Cara Hollingsworth, Leadership Program director, who will also make the trip. "I hope they see how they can make a difference just by using the gifts they have been given and that they come back and realize they have something to give to their own communities. This trip will get them enmeshed in service."

CONTACT: Cara Hollingsworth, director of UAF Student Leadership Program, at 907-474-1183 or clfearneyhough@alaska.edu. Nancy Tarnai, UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences public information officer, at 907-474-5042 or fnnjt@uaf.edu.

NT/5-19-09/167-09