DATE:  March 1, 2004
CONTACT: Debra Wilson, Center for Academic Success and Advising, (361) 825-5962; Steve Paschal, Public Affairs, (361) 825-5510

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Students to Participate in Alternative Spring Break in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Group to install computers in rural Guanajuato, connect schools to Internet
When most college kids hit the beaches for spring break later this month, 45 Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students and 10 staff members will head south of the border to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a unique educational and cultural experience.

“Give a Break” 2004 is a first time collaboration between the University and two service organizations, Rotary International and the World Computer Exchange (WCE). Its purpose is to immerse students in the daily community life of Mexico’s most celebrated artists while performing community service projects.

The group will work with the Rotary Club in San Miguel de Allende, a city of 80,000 people 160 miles north of Mexico City, installing computers in 11 rural schools and connecting an estimated 2,000 students to the Internet. The schools are located in Guanajuato, one of the most impoverished states in Mexico. WCE, an international educational nonprofit group dedicated to helping the world’s poorest youth bridge the global divides in information technology, will provide 60 computers at a nominal cost which will be covered by Corpus Christi-area Rotary Clubs.

“In the rural areas surrounding San Miguel de Allende many poor families have never touched money and must barter for their livelihood,” said Debra Wilson, advising coordinator for the Center for Academic Success and Advising. “It’s anticipated that this experience will give the students a greater understanding of one’s self and values, a clearer picture of social responsibilities, and a commitment to a larger community.”

The group will depart the University campus at6 a.m. Saturday, March 13 and return Sunday, March 20 in time for the resumption of classes. The students will be paying their own expenses during the week-long stay and are seeking donations to help defray costs. For more information or to make a donation, contact Debra Wilson in the Center for Academic Success and Advising, at (361) 825-5962.