Gotta Love Block Breaks

Enjoying some delicious sushi with my friend Naiara

After finishing a killer block, there is nothing better than block break.  Block break, for those poor souls that have never experienced one, is 4-5 days of summer vacation.  There is no homework, no class, nothing but stress-free fun from noon on Wednesday until 9 a.m. on Monday.

After turning in my final paper at 11:56 on Wednesday, I ran back to my room to pack for Santa Fe.  I quickly gathered my things and headed out with 3 of my friends for a celebratory end-of-the-block lunch downtown.  One of the sushi restaurants has a great lunch special that we’d been wanting to try out.  It didn’t disappoint.  I rushed back to campus to meet the van and we started on the 5 hour drive to Santa Fe.

Lauren playing with the kids at BGC

My friend Kristin and I were leading a BreakOut trip to the Santa Fe Boys and Girls Club.  BreakOut is a student-led organization that develops, organizes, and implements student-led community service projects during college breaks.  Kristin and I had been working all block on organizing this trip, so it was great to finally see our plans materialize.  We chose the Boys and Girls Club because we had been inspired by their mission.  In Santa Fe, there is a huge disparity between the rich and poor. Poverty plagues the city as the cost of living continues to increase.  Santa Fe has one of the highest middle and high school drop out rates in the nation, and gangs are ubiquitous.  BGC is a positive place for kids to go after school, providing them with tools that will help them move forward in life. It supplies dinner for kids that might not otherwise have an opportunity to eat, and it shows them that they don’t need to join a gang in order to be accepted.

The group in downtown Santa Fe

BreakOut is a great way to have a fulfilling block break, giving back to the community without having to spend a lot of money.  We had a fabulous group, consisting of 11 students.  On Thursday and Friday we played with the kids and helped out with tutoring and reading workshops.  On Saturday, we hung out in Santa Fe, enjoying the mercados and art scene downtown.  Driving at a leisurely pace, we got back late Saturday night, so that we could enjoy a good night’s rest in our own beds and have all of Sunday to relax before a hectic block 4.

Check out the links below to learn more about the Santa Fe Boys and Girls Club.

Santa Fe Boys and Girls Club; Reality from the Barrio; Reality from the Barrio Video