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This program started in 1994 through the student organization VOICES (Volunteer Organization Involving Community, Education and Service) in 1994 with 20 students embarking to Reynosa, Mexico.

The objective of the UTSA Alternative Break Program is to empower and challenge students to understand their relationship within the global community through education, reflection, and direct service while on weeklong service trips over a break.

Past Alternative Break experiences have focused on environmental restoration, immigration, hunger, homelessness, and working with children. Locations have included Biloxi, MS, Austin, TX, Teller County, CO, Atlanta, GA, San Juan Tx, Grand Canyon National Park and Puerto Rico.

The 2019-2020 Alternative Break Trips are currently being planned and will be updated this summer.

This Year's Trips

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Alternative Break Trip Leaders

Trip leaders group

Alternative Break Trip Participant

2019-2020 Alternative Break Application

Winter Break Trip

Change, Not Coins: Examining Urban Homelessness in New Orleans, LA
Participants will work with Camp Restore, a non-profit organization focused on meeting the needs of the New Orleans community. They have hosted over 30,000 volunteers from all 50 States, Puerto Rico and dozens of countries through service-trips. The focus of the service will be on poverty, homelessness, and hunger.

Spring Break Trips

Changing the Narrative: Emphasizing Abilities in Disabilities in Dallas, TX
Participants will serve in our own home state of Texas at Camp Summit. Camp Summit is a one-of-a-kind camp for individuals with disabilities where the emphasis is on each campers' abilities rather than their disabilities. Traditional camp activities are adapted to each individual, provided in their barrier-free facilities, and implemented by their trained, caring staff.

Long-Term Recovery: Environmental Restoration & Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico participants will provide support and assistance in Puerto Rico working with an organization called Community Collaboration International to focus on the long-term recovery of natural disasters. Service projects could include helping rebuild homes, supporting youth programs, and helping restore the devastated environment and parks.


What are the dates of the 2019-2020 Alternative Breaks?

  • Winter 2020 trip to New Orleans will be January 5 - January 11 
  • Spring 2020 trip to Dallas will be March 7 - March 13
  • Spring 2020 trip to Puerto Rico will be March 7 - March 14

How do I apply?

To be selected as a trip participant, students must submit a completed Alternative Break Application is on RowdyLink found on the Volunteer Services Page in the Forms section. If you need help finding the application, please email


When is the deadline to apply?

All applications for all trips are due October 1st. If you are interested in a Winter or Spring Break Trip, you must apply on or before October 1st. Applications will not be open for the Spring Break Trips after October 1st.

How much will this trip cost per student participant?

  • Winter Break Trip to New Orleans, LA: $150 per participant
  • Spring Break Trip to Dallas, TX: $50 per participant
  • Spring Break Trip to Puerto Rico: $500 per participant