Civil rights pilgrimages, chicken ‘from coop to soup’: How 7 area colleges are spending Spring Break


This spring, Temple’s Project Haiti is working on the “chicken project” at St. Francis Xavier Orphanage in De L’Atibonite, Haiti. They’ve been raising funds throughout the year and will visit this March to build chicken coops and purchase chickens.

Temple students have been helping this orphanage since 2011. Each year they focus on a new challenge. Erika Firestone, president of Project Haiti, said the group hopes the benefits of giving the orphanage the ability to raise chickens will be long lasting, educating the children at the orphanage for when they need to enter the workforce.

“Once they leave the orphanage they will be able to have some basic agricultural skills,” Firestone said, “and you can make decent money selling chickens in Haiti.”

Haiti is just one location where Philly college students are traveling to help others for their Spring Break. Others are going to the Dominican Republic or Honduras, or domestically to rural areas in Kentucky and West Virginia or urban areas like El Paso. Here’s a breakdown of where area college students are going for alternative spring breaks next month.


  • Kentucky: Christian Appalachian Project
  • Bridgeport, Conn.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Harrisburg: Habitat for Humanity
  • Shenandoah Valley, Va.: American Hiking Society for restoring trails
  • Honduras: Global Medical Brigades for helping and treating Hondurans
  • Dominican Republic: Independent service trip


  • El Paso, Texas: Annunciation House for an immersion project on border issues
  • Philadelphia: Aquinas Center for community work in South Philly
  • Bethlehem, W. Va.: Bethlehem Farm for helping build a sustainable farming community
  • Selma, Ala.: Civil Rights Pilgrimage for an immersion experience on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act
  • Detroit: Keep Growing Detroit for helping implement better healthy food policies
  • Athens, Ga.: Oasis Catolico San Rafaela for repairing trailer homes and tutoring children
  • Camden, N.J.: Romero Center for assisting impoverished communities
  • Navajo Nation, NM: Via International for learning what it’s like to live in a Navajo community
  • San Diego: Via International for community development on the border
  • Maryville, Tenn.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Wilmington, N.C.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Winston-Salem, N.C.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Lucedale, Miss.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Greenwood, S.C.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Beaumont, Texas: Habitat for Humanity
  • Laredo, Texas: Habitat for Humanity
  • Marion, S.C.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Tupelo, Miss.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Pickens, S.C.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Mandeville, La.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Monroe, N.C.: Habitat for Humanity


  • Clearwater, Fla.: Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking
  • Austin, Texas: Windsor Park Community Garden for building sustainable urban farming
  • Washington D.C.: Steinbruck Center for learning about community organizing in impoverished areas
  • New Orleans: Habitat for Humanity
  • Charleston, S.C.: Habitat for Humanity
  • High Point, S.C.: Habitat for Humanity
  • Lynchburg, Va.: Habitat for Humanity


  • Hudson Valley, N.Y.: Quaker Intentional Community. Students will be making maple syrup and taking chickens from “coop to soup,” among other Quaker activities)


  • New Iberia, La.: Southern Mutual Help for developing a rural community.

La Salle

  • Harlan, Ky.: Christian Appalachian Project
  • Port Au Prince, Haiti: Project Haiti for teaching classes at an elementary school
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Volunteers in Mission for teaching classes at an elementary school
  • Luperon, Dominican Republic: Equipo Esperanza for building local communities
  • Forsythe County, N.C.: Habitat for Humanity

Mornings are for coffee and local news

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter gives you a daily roundup of the top Philly stories you need to start your day.

You finished another Billy Penn article — keep it up!

We hope you found it useful, fun, or maybe even both. If you want more stories like this, will you join us as a member today?

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Your donation brought this story to life

Billy Penn only exists because of supporters like you. If you find our work valuable, consider making a sustaining donation today.

Being informed looks good on you

Thanks for reading another article, made possible by members like you. Want to share BP with a friend?