While some of their friends and classmates learn about homelessness and hunger in Minneapolis, build homes in New Orleans, another group of Auggies is taking an “alternative” spring break and getting to know more about the people and the city of Chicago.
Students from ALAS (Allied Latina/o – Augsburg Students) organized their trip to explore Chicago’s Latina/o neighborhoods such as Pilsen on the west side. This neighborhood has long welcomed immigrant families and now houses the largest Latino/a population in the city. There, students are visiting cultural centers, meeting residents, and learning about community activism.
“We have been visiting neighborhoods in the city every day,” says sophomore Juventino Meza-Rodriguez [pictured far left]. “We are trying to see the city not just from a tourist perspective, but also from the people who live in those neighborhoods as much as we can.”
In addition to exploring the city, Meza-Rodriguez says the ALAS group has grown close. “The most important thing about this trip I would say is the community bonding we are creating.” The students, who have been involved with ALAS since it was created a year ago, are traveling, living, and cooking together.
“I know that when we get back, we will be an organization with close ties to each other, a group that cares about each other, and a group committed to stand up for the Latina/o community at Augsburg.”