Alternative to Alternative Spring Break

By Virginia Van de Wall ’12

It was wet, windy, and cold in Washington, D.C., last March, as students and faculty waited two days for a new flight to Colombia, South America. The Alternative Spring Break trip to South America and the Carib-bean islands had been designed to provide a cultural immersion experience for School of Health Sciences and Human Performance students to learn about health care in other parts of the world. Despite the bad weather that put travel momentarily on hold and meant losing the Colombia arm of the trip, the students made the most of their change of plans. Washington D.C., resident Jodi Barth ’81 helped accommodate the group’s setback by organizing a tour at her place of employment, the National Rehabilitation Hospital. After D.C., the group headed to Aruba, where they visited Fundacion Autismo Aruba (Feder-ation of Autism of Aruba), a nonprofit resource center started by a group of parents with autistic children. They also visited the Curaçao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center, which uses dolphins to treat children with cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disorders. The group’s last day was spent on a Spanish-speaking cruise ship.