(Jan. 10, 2019) – This week, nine students and two staff members from UTSA are in the Rio Grande Valley, working alongside and learning from La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), a non-profit and community union rooted in the belief that members of the low-income community have the responsibility and the obligation to organize themselves.
UTSA Volunteer Services hosts alternative break experiences each semester focusing on current social needs within central or south Texas. The mission of this trip is to better understand how the lack of immigration reform impacts residents who live along the Texas-Mexico border.
For student trip leader, Edgar Garza, a UTSA sophomore majoring in kinesiology, this experience hits close to home. He grew up in Mission, Texas along the border.
“The lack of immigration reform is very prevalent in my hometown and throughout the Valley,” said Garza. “I’m excited to advocate for these communities and learn about resources to help them.”
This week, the students have been learning about immigration reform and immigrant rights, working with Proyecto Azteca to refurbish and construct parts of housing units for low-income residents, volunteering in Colonias, low-income neighborhoods along the border and witnessing and learning about the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The UTSA delegation visited with locals, sharing with them the services that LUPE provides for them such as preparing taxes, how to apply for citizenship, and how to regain lost wages. LUPE is positively impacting the lives of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and the undocumented community in ways that holistically uplift the Rio Grande Valley.
“I decided to come on this trip because I feel that immigration is an issue that effects all of us, Maria Barriga, a UTSA sophomore majoring in communication. “Fear is not the problem, it is what you do with that fear. Some people are fortunate to have citizenship but should not forget the struggles undocumented people face. We are all human and deserve the same rights no matter our status.”
When the students return to UTSA, they will hold a reflection session to discuss what they learned from the experience.
UTSA Volunteer Services, as well as grants from the Family Fund and Transformational Fund, cover the majority of the expenses related to these experiences. The group will be traveling to Puerto Rico in March for Alternative Spring Break to help with hurricane relief.
Get engaged with UTSA Volunteer Services.
In honor of UTSA's 50th Anniversary in 2019, the university is hosting Roadrunner Days Spring Edition - two weeks of semester-launching activities built around our deeply held values of student success, student involvement, community service and fun!Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
All UTSA students, faculty, staff, alums & families are invited to march as a unified community. Register here: bit.ly/2TYbHbR. Shuttles will be provided from the Main and Downtown Campuses.Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, 3501 MLK Dr., San Antonio
UTSA's John Nix invites the community to sing "Amazing Grace" and “We Shall Overcome” at 11 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The intent of this nationwide effort is to honor Dr. King's legacy and to spread a sense of community in the United States.Locations throughout the United States
Opening Reception got exhibit featuring artists Miguel Aragon, Aaron Coleman, Sandra Fernandez, Annalise Gratovich, Marco Hernandez, Kristen Powers Nowlin, & Patricia Villalobos EcheverriaMain Art Gallery, Arts Building (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
Tracy Cowden, Roland K. Blumberg Endowed Professor in Music and chair of the UTSA Department of Music launches the UTSA 50th Anniversary Scholars Speaker Series with Music as Medicine: The Power and Influence of Music on our Health.Radius Center, 106 Auditorium Cir. #120, San Antonio
UTSA African American Studies Program presents this series featuring Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus)
Join fellow Runners to walk for 10 minutes on the Main Campus. The event reminds us of the importance of exercise, diet and healthy habits in protecting our hearts.Outside the North Paseo Building, Main Campus
The annual event features authentic foods, music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games and entertainment from China, to the Indian Sub-continent, and the island nations of the Pacific. The Festival features two stages, a martial arts demonstration area, children’s hands on crafting area, anime activities, bonsai and ikebana displays, mahjong table and more.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
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