Alternative Spring Break Trip to Guatemala Canceled

The Civic and Community Engagement Center has canceled the Alternative Spring Break trip to Guatemala. Alternative Spring Break now offers only two international trips, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, and the five domestic trips remain unaffected.

The Guatemala trip was officially canceled on Nov. 15 following a recommendation by Ramapo's International Risk Assessment Committee that the trip is too perilous for students.

President Mercer recently created the International Risk Assessment Committee to identify international opportunities and risks for Ramapo trips, including Alternative Spring Break and study abroad.

The cancelation of the Alternative Spring Break trip to Guatemala was the committee's first official recommendation.  

Brandon Martin, graduate assistant for the CCEC, said the cancelation of the Guatemala trip is disappointing because of the longevity of Ramapo's relationship with the Guatemalan community. Martin attributed Ramapo's connection with Guatemala to the efforts of faculty leader Iraida Lopez.

"We have established Ramapo roots in this community in Guatemala," Martin said.

After the trip was officially canceled, the CCEC contacted applicants who had Guatemala as their first choice for Alternative Spring Break and allowed them to alter their trip preferences. If they did not respond, the CCEC will consider their second and third choices in making decisions.

Originally, the Guatemala trip offered eight to 10 spots to interested students. Martin said the CCEC is considering adding additional spots to another trip, specifically the the Dominican Republic, but nothing is definite.

Martin said the CCEC had hoped to finalize decisions about all Alternative Spring Break trips by Thanksgiving, but Hurricane Sandy delayed the process by about a week. He said the cancelation of the Guatemala trip may also affect the timeline.

"If anything, it might delay us giving responses by two or three days," Martin said.

The CCEC is expecting to make and release decisions by tomorrow or early next week.