Service Trip to Valparaiso, Chile
When: December 28, 2013 to January 9, 2014
Where: YMCA in Valparaiso, Chile
Escape winter and engage in a life-changing experience through USF’s first international service trip working with urban underprivileged youth in Valparaiso, Chile! This service immersion trip will take place over Winter Break, 2013-2014, during the high summer season of Chile (temperatures in the 80s).
The 13-day trip may be taken as a stand-alone service trip, or in conjunction with a special 3 credit hour section of SOHS 110, Introduction to Service Learning. SOHS 110, Introduction to Service Learning, is a general education course meeting GE learning outcomes 4-7 in the area of social responsibility. It is open to all students. This trip will give students the opportunity to serve and lead, while learning a new language and culture. Spanish knowledge is NOT mandatory, although students will be encouraged to learn some basic Spanish prior to the trip.
Leaders of the trip are Julie, USF Admissions Counselor, and Francisco Townsend, Jorgenson YMCA Youth and Family Director. Husband and wife Julie and Francisco also served as leaders of USF’s trip to Chile in 2012-2013 and are passionate about the culture and people of Chile. Fluent in Spanish, their past experiences living and working for the YMCA in Valparaiso, Chile provide a unique focus for the trip.
The YMCA in Valparaiso will serve as the host agency and will provide housing, transportation and service opportunities for this trip.
The Valparaiso, Chile YMCA is the country’s oldest YMCA and was founded in 1912. The organization’s mission is to help young people in particular develop mind, body and spirit. The YMCA has numerous social outreach programs which include:
- 4 activity centers that provide youth with healthy alternative activities to street life
- 4 intervention centers that provide rehabilitation services for youth (ages 14-18) who have committed a crime
- 4 foster homes and treatment centers for children subjected to some sort of abuse or other breech of their rights
- 2 youth drug addiction treatment centers
- 1 free school for underprivileged youth
- Youth Leadership program
Examples of service activites include:
- Working at the YMCA summer camp in Colliguay, Chile, with children ages 7 - 16
- Helping with activites for children at YMCA host sites
- Preparing and serving meals for and fellowshipping with underprivileged families served by the YMCA
- Building projects in the community
Housing and Meals
Students will stay in dormitory-style bedrooms in the YMCA building and will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner on-site. Toilets are located on the same floor as the dormitories. The facilities are located in downtown Valparaiso and only a few steps from the ocean and the city boardwalk. The residence includes basketball courts, a weight room; a cycle fit room, dance studio, showers and a computer lab (with Internet access). Wi Fi is also available. The building is located within walking distance of two large supermarkets, Valparaiso’s finest restaurants, shopping centers, artisan markets, banks, train and bus stations and the beach.
We will be in Valparaiso during their summer season, when temperatures hover in the 80s and there are multiple street and cultural festivals related to the holidays.
Possible excursions include:
- Visiting the eccentric beach home of famous Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda in Isla Negra (1.5 hour drive)
- Day trip to Santiago, Chile’s capital and visiting important sites
- Traveling to the Andes mountains, playing in the snow and relaxing in the hot springs (2-hour drive)
- Dune climbing in Vina del Mar
- Horseback riding on the beach at Con Con
- Most tourism, though, will be conducted in the cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar (which is right next to Valpo). Both cities are very popular tourist destinations that have great street art, music and acrobatic shows. The city’s many look-out points and historic architecture make each destination within the city extraordinary.
The program fee will be $2,700 – $2,900. This fee includes:
- Air fare
- Room and board (most meals included in price)
- Pre-determined excursions
- All transportation
- Most fees related to cultural and heritage tourism sites
- Bus fare to and from the service locations
*Students will want to have additional funds for any other pleasure travels, dining, shopping and admission to concerts or other events.
Please note the above program fee is based upon current estimates from our travel agent. The final trip cost will ultimately depend on cost of airfare. Passport and Visa fees are not included. Tuition for SOHS 110 is also not included in the program fee.
Application due date is April 15, 2013. A non-refundable registration fee of $250 is required no later than April 30, 2013. Checks should be made payable to USF, with “Chile Service Trip” in the memo line. Checks should be brought in person to Katrina Boedeker, in the Center for Service Engagement Office (SW corner of Trinity Hall, separate entrance) between the hours of 9 a.m. - noon, and 1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or may be mailed to:
Center for Service Engagement
University of Saint Francis
2701 Spring Street
Fort Wayne, IN
In order to purchase plane tickets, but also provide you with time to raise the funds for this trip, we have adopted the following payment schedule:
April 30, 2013 - $250 Initial Deposit Due
May 30, 2013 - $750 Due
June 30, 2013 - $850 Due
November 30, 2014 - Balance Due (TBD, $850-1050 due)
Final payment of the balance of the program fees is required by no later than November 30, 2013. All fees, except a $150 processing fee, will be refunded if the trip is cancelled.
Application and Course Registration Process
Students who desire to register for the special section of SOHS 110 must do so by visiting the Registrar’s Office. All students who wish to participate in the service trip (either through SOHS 110, or as a trip alone) must complete the application by no later than April 15, 2013. Spots on the trip will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Meetings will be held in late spring and early fall of 2013 to discuss possible means of raising at least a portion of the funds for the trip. Students are also encouraged to plan ahead through personal budgeting.
What happens before the trip?
Pre-trip meetings will cover material from the SOHS 110 syllabus and information about Chilean culture, language and other cultural issues. Pre-trip meetings will also include the creation and practicing of activities to be used in Chile.
All students who have registered for the section of SOHS 110 tied to this course are required to attend eight (8) pre-trip course meetings to be held during the last 8 weeks of the Fall, 2013 semester. Students who have committed to participating in the trip (for no credit) are also strongly encouraged to attend (no cost).