United Way of El Paso County
About UsOur WorkpartnersGet Involved
Live United

Alternative Spring Break


2016 United Way Alternative Spring Break (ASB)

United Way of El Paso County is preparing an exciting itinerary for our 2016 Alternative Spring Break participants! You are in for a life-changing experience on the U.S., Mexico border in El Paso, Texas and will help build homes for families while learning about the culture and history of a unique and vibrant community that dates back to the 16th century.

El Paso, with its friendly, welcoming people, is ranked as the safest city in the United States, yet also is home to some of the poorest ZIP codes in the country where 25 percent of the county's population of 800,000 people lives below the federal poverty level. Many are living in sub-standard housing conditions.

College students locally and across the country are invited by the United Way of El Paso County to roll up their sleeves and participate in creating meaningful change in the lives of deserving families during the sixth annual Alternative Spring Break in El Paso, Texas, March 6-12, 2016.

During the Alternative Spring Break program, participants will stay at the Yselta Lutheran Mission and work with the Lower Valley housing corporation to help build homes for low-income El Paso families.

Students will participate in the following activities:

  • Framing new homes
  • Building framework
  • Painting
  • Roofing
  • Trim
  • Learning Building Basics 101

The students will work with basic hand tools (hammers, saws, screw drivers, etc.) including some work with power tools (drills, saws, etc.). Professional contractors will be on hand during the entire project to train and assist the students.

In addition to building houses, students will experience and learn about life in El Paso by traveling to different landmarks and nonprofit agencies in the community. All activities will take place on the U.S. side of the border only.


The 2016 El Paso Alternative Spring Break participation fee is $275. The fee covers all on the ground transportation once students arrive in El Paso, meals, lodging and program fees. Students are financially responsible for paying for transportation to El Paso. Individuals with questions should contact Marguax Dalbin, Community Engagement Coordinator, United Way of El Paso County, at (915) 533-2434 ext. 228 or via email at mdalbin@unitedwayelpaso.org. If you are interested in attending, please click on the link at the bottom of the page to fill out an application. Applicants will be notified once we have received their form and secured their spot (spaces are limited).

Please note that students will not participate in any activities that involve electrical wiring or installation, plumbing, heating or cooling installation, or work with sheet rock.

Reflections from past participants:

What did you like best about Alternative Spring Break?

"Everything; most amazing experience ever." -Rachel

What did you like least about Alternative Spring Break?

"It went by too fast." -Danielle

>> Click here to fill out the 2016 ASB Application online.




Spread the word.