Lafayette College Alternative School Break
Arizona/New Mexico Team
Lafayette College students attend several community service-oriented school break trips every year. The sites are chosen around the country and in neighboring countries based on their safety, need for student volunteers, and cultural exposure available for students.
In order to be selected for these trips, students must apply and show a genuine interest in performing community service and readiness for such an experience. Members of the team, with the guidance of the two or three faculty advisors, must raise almost all of the money to fund these trips. The groups agree upon and carry out fund raising activities, including candy sales, raffles, and by seeking private donations, in both the fall and spring semesters.
This year, the Arizona/New Mexico ASB team received a generous grant from the Infinity Foundation of Princeton, NJ. The following presentation contains pictures and facts about the trip that was made possible through this organization’s commitment to helping worthy causes.
Compiled by Katie Wyckoff, Team leader, with the help of Amy Ahart, Team Faculty Advisor, 8/00.
The team stayed at a Catholic mission in Chinle, Arizona, one mile from the beautiful Canyon de Chelly. The first afternoon was spent exploring the landscape and speaking with some of the people living and working in the area to get a better sense of the culture we were going to encounter in the days to come.
With the help of a Navajo woman working at the base of the canyon, we learned about the amazing history of the canyon and the people who once lived there.
From left to right: team members Jason (class of ’00), Michelle (advisor), Sandy (’01), Katie (’01), Steve (’00), Steve (’00), Mike (’01), Molly (’00), and Heather (’02). (not pictured: second faculty advisor, Amy)
A glimpse of the team in one of their last relaxing moments!
The fellowship hall was a major social point of the area. Here Navajo families came to play Bingo, play sports (especially basketball), and attend AA meetings together. Almost all of the activities were run by the priests and sisters who managed the mission. This building was in need of repair and an entirely new paint job, which we diligently worked on through out the week!
More images of the hard work we did on the building every day
Katie and Molly definitely got a good workout during the week!
Steve, Jason, Molly, and Katie even became ‘experts’ at constructing and using old scaffolding equipment…
In order to maximize our ‘people-power,’ we sent part of the group to a site in Pinon, Arizona to assist with clean-up and repairs at a new mission site. Pictured here are Steve, Sandy, and Amy.
Team members Sandy and Steve working on installing a satellite dish.
Some people encountered more physical challenges than others on the trip!
A picture of one of the nuns we worked with closely at the Pinon site.
A cultural tradition of the Navajo, we enjoyed our bread with honey and powered sugar
This circular hut was at the top of a ‘sheep hill’ and is used for special Navajo ceremonies. It had a dirt floor, wood stove for heating, and sacred ground surrounding it. We were given permission to stay in the hut and help with sheep herding in the morning.
Some of the sheep were very cooperative!
Others were not as cooperative, as Steve found out!
This might have been our most challenging task all week
We also helped take care of the sheep herding dogs.
One final look at the whole hardworking group before the long trip home
The entire Arizona/New Mexico ASB team would like to thank the Infinity Foundation once again for their support for our service trip. Without your assistance we would not have been able to have such a lasting and worthwhile experience!