Holy Ground by Shirley Atencio, Campus Minister


A favorite quote of mine aptly expresses the reason we continue doing ASB:  “Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, and another religion is to take off our shoes, for the ground we are approaching is holy.”  It has so often been the case that travelers on ASB return feeling they have experienced an interior shift of some kind—something holy, if you will.   It comes after encountering the mystery and wonder of nature and our shared humanity, seen with new eyes.

I am excited to travel with this group of willing individuals who are already shaping themselves into a cohesive ASB 2016 family.   Bahia de Kino is a place that holds many pleasant memories for me, having accompanied three previous groups there. It feels like a gift to experience it anew.  As advisor, I am anxious to see the dynamics of this group as they build community throughout a week in close proximity with one another.  I always believe that each person on ASB was meant to be here and will take something valuable from the experience.    My hope is that we will be stretched and challenged to know the “discomfort of no easy answers” (see prayer below) to the questions that will inevitably surface.  I also hope we will find rejuvenation, joy, and inspiration away from work and classes.

As we prepare to set forth, I would like to thank all who had a part in making another ASB possible.  Special thanks to Newman Grizz Catholic for their hard work in being an active, AS&F recognized student organization on campus and for enabling ASB to benefit yearly from their efforts!

May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.


A (condensed) four-fold Benedictine blessing – Sr. Ruth Marlene Fox, OSB – 1985


Giving Back By Brett Forster

Hello My name is Brett Forster and I am really excited to go to Mexico this year for Spring Break, ever since my friend Adrian came and talked to me about this trip I have been counting down the days. I actually have never been to Mexico before, but I have served a 2 year LDS spanish-speaking mission in California where I had the great opportunity to get to know a lot of people from Mexico. I fell in love with the Hispanic people. Never before have I met people who are so caring and loving. They helped me learn Spanish and taught me so much. Going to Mexico for me I get the chance to really test out my language skills and be able to communicate in Spanish on a daily basis. I also get to know people in the group I am going with; however, what excites me the most is really spending time with the people in Mexico, immersing myself in their wonderful culture. I hope to give back as much as I can because they have given me so much.


Experience of a Lifetime By Chelsie Smith

I first heard about this trip in my sociology class. As the applications were being passed around all I could think about was what an amazing experience this would be. I always see things I want to do and yet I never take a step towards accomplishing them. I always come up with some sort of excuse, but this time I pushed that block in my mind aside because I would never know unless I tried. Constantly, I am dreaming of traveling and experiencing something other than the small town that I have grown up. I can’t wait to experience a new culture and learn more about other people and places. It is just still so surreal to me. I can’t believe that I am actually leaving my hometown and experiencing something new. I’m also very excited to serve others because I feel like there is a joy that comes along with it that is irreplaceable. I also think that it is the best way to become immersed with the culture and the people. I can’t wait to go because I know it will be the biggest and most beneficial trip I have ever been on. I can’t wait to share our story with you all!


Unforgettable Experience By Soledad Dominguez

There are so many reasons why I am excited for this trip to Sonora, Mexico. I always love meeting new people and I think by exploring social and cultural issues is a great way. This helps many of us with becoming leaders of our community and everywhere we are. Serving people means a lot to me. I hope I am able to appreciate things even more on this trip. Since I am bilingual I hope I am able to help others communicate. I want to also increase my public speaking abilities as well as working with others I don’t really know. I also want to familiarize myself more with the Mexican culture. Maybe I will see things I have not seen before and I will dearly enjoy that. I always loved doing community service even during my high school years. I want to be able to hear other’s stories and experiences as well as tell others mine and what changed my life. We are surrounded by so many bad things happening around the world that I feel that experiencing these types of things helps us see life a little better. I am filled with joy in being able to travel with a group of people that all are willing to serve and learn about another culture. I hope we can all get together and make a difference in a short amount of time.  sol (1)

Let the adventure BEGIN!!!! By Vince Alcon

Hello wonderful world!! I am the ever-so-fabulous Vince Alcon from Westminster, CO but, originally from the Philippine Islands. A little bit more about me, I am a nursing student at Adams State University, always up to laugh and love to learn/immerse myself in different cultures. Being around people is my hobby, I am what you call an extreme extrovert! I will try anything 3 times or more before I form an opinion about it.

I am so excited to be a part of this Alternative Spring Break (ASB) experience. Last year through ASB, I was fortunate enough to visit Mexicali, MX. There we did some service, had a LOT of  fun, but most importantly, learned about border issues.  This was the biggest thing I took away from this trip; the reality of having these borders and the injustice it has caused many people. Going to Senora, MX, on this year’s ASB experience, I want to explore how the border issues have affected different regions away from the border. Mexicali was right on the border so these issues were much more prominent. It will be interesting to see the effects of these issues further away from the border.

I would be lying if I said that was the only reason why I am participating on this trip. I am also excited about having some real tacos! Plus, getting to know new people excites me and being in a different country with new surroundings and a different culture is going to be an amazing experience, I can feel it in my bones!!! I look forward to get to know my fellow colleagues on this trip and also reflect on my life and who I am.

“We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong”

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Processed with VSCO

ASB 2016 Experience to Sonora, MX By Elena Arredondo

Culture is the driving force that influences a variety of people. Ideals of art, music, and religion are all influences in life that not only distinguish different forms of beauty, but also challenge creativity and acceptance. I have traveled to different states, and have learned of different forms of culture that have been altered to fit new styles as people from other countries move to the states.  My experiences in other states have not only altered my perspectives on life, but have also given me a chance to become more open-minded and accepting of others’ journeys. This trip to Bahia de Kino, Sonora, Mexico will be my first time out of the country.  I hope to learn more about the people and what their hopes, dreams, and beliefs are. I think this experience will not only allow me to see the differences between countries, but may also highlight some of the ways I can better help not only my community, but eventually the world.  I am excited and nervous about this new step because I will be experiencing a lot of firsts, but I am positive this experience will build my character and be a fun learning experience!Elena