Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711


toll-free: 800-456-9009
local: 727-864-7512


Service Learning

Alternative Spring Break Trips

The Office of Service Learning is the home of Alternative Spring Breaks trips, serving others and creating a bond with a new group of friends during a drug and alcohol free week.

Spring Break 2014


Spring Break 2013 sent students out to Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Florida Keys, Guatemala, Iceland, Mexico, Mill Creek, Nicaragua, Orlando, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Petersburg, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Virginia.

Jump straight to the 2013 photos on Flickr right here.

View Spring Break 2013

Belize - Volunteers engaged in community development of this English-speaking Central American country.

Costa Rica (Preserve) - Assisted at a preserve in the mountains of this beautiful country.

Costa Rica (Wildlife) - Working with rescued animals in a wildlife sanctuary not far from San Jose.

Dominican Republic - Prof. Yani Agulo-Cano and the student co-leader helped a local community in economic development.

Ecuador - Worked alongside locals in an indigenous community in the rain forest.

El Salvador - Helped former soldiers working toward peace and reconciliation in Suchitoto.

Florida Keys - Performed coral restoration in one of the most beautiful parts of our state.

Guatemala - Work at ARCAS, an animal sanctuary rehabilitating jungle species.

Iceland - Service done at the beautiful Skaftafell National Forest. Volunteers completed trail maintenance in the beautiful Icelandic cold.

Mexico - Volunteer work providing health and medical care to local residents in the Yucatan.

Mill Creek, FL - Helped rescue abandoned and abused horses in one of the state's premier rehab facilities.

Nicaragua - Service work in preserve/wildlife sanctuary/zoo in a small community beyond Managua.

Orlando, FL - Spent the week helping to give disabled children an amusement park-experience at Give Kids the World.

Panama - Worked with children at an orphanage near Panama City.

Puerto Rico - This group worked with an amazing environmental/sustainability organization in the jungle.

St. Petersburg, FL - Volunteering downtown during spring break.

US Virgin Islands - Environmental service in the beautiful Caribbean.

Virginia - Service done at the Natural Tunnel State Park.


Spring Break 2012 sent students out to Cayman Brac, Costa Rica, Cuba, Detroit, Guyana, Iceland, Mexico, New Mexico, New Orleans, New York, Nicaragua, Orlando, Peru, Puerto Rico, Ukiah, Venezuela, Washington DC and the Yucatan.

Jump straight to the 2012 photos on Flickr right here.

View Spring Break 2012

Cayman - Environmental service on the second largest island in the Cayman Islands.

Costa Rica - Service with the Rahab Foundation, which works to facilitate quality-of-life improvements and restore dignity to the families linked to commercial sexual exploitation.

Cuba - Volunteers completed service with person-to-person friendship via church and hospital. Havana is home to beautiful architecture and wonderful people but struggles with severe poverty.

Detroit - Service provided to Cass Community Social Services, an agency that shelters, feeds and provides housing to homeless men, women and children.

Guyana - Environmental service and volunteer work with an animal shelter and preserve in the city of Georgetown.

Iceland - Trail and park maintenance in the beautiful Skaftafell National Park.

Mexico - Students partnered with a recent EC grad now working for the Peace Corps by helping clear trails and assisting with a building project in El Bosque La Primavera National Park.

New Mexico - Native Health Initiative welcomed students to do service oon a number of different projects ranging from work with the elderly to farming.

New Orleans - The Big Easy still struggles post-Katrina, this group worked in the city's Lower 9th Ward.

New York City - Dean Annarelli lead a group to explore issues of urban poverty and help out low-income people in this most amazing city.

Nicaragua - Students helped fulfill the mission of Casa-Nica by volunteering at the National Zoo.

Orlando - Students worked with children and families at Give Kids the World.

Peru - Students assisted with various projects at an indigenous preschool in a low-income area on the outskirts of Lima.

Puerto Rico - Environmental service and permaculture education work with Penitud Iniciativas Eco-educativas.

Ukiah, CA - Farming at a Buddhist monastery north of San Francisco that maintains an organic, sustainable garden and other projects.

Venezuela - Work with Saleasans of Don Bosco, an organization helping in very poor areas with health and vocational work, allowed students to work directly with children in schools.

Washington, DC - LGTB advocacy in the nation's capital.

Yucatan - Health and medical-themed work in a low-income community in the Yucatan Peninsula.


Spring Break 2011 sent students out to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Immokalee, Key Largo, Northern Ireland, New Orleans, New York, Nicaragua, North Carolina, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. John and Venezuela.

Jump straight to the 2011 photos on Flickr right here.

View Spring Break 2011

Costa Rica - Co-sponsored by the surf club, students helped out at a preserve on the coast followed by some surfing.

Dominican Republic - This group assisted at an orphanage in the exotic Dominican Republic.

Ecuador Jungle - This group worked with an indigenous group in a section of the Amazonian jungle.

Ecuador Mountains - This group did service at an organic farm and nature preserve.

Hanging Rock - Students volunteered and spent time hiking the beautiful Appalachian Trail.

Honduras - Students traveled to volunteer at agencies that are assisting children in beautiful La Ceiba.

Immokalee, FL - This group worked with migrant workers and for migrant worker's rights here in Florida.

Key Largo - Students, along with the campus "Scuby Jew" group did coral restoration in one of the most beautiful parts of our own state.

New Orleans - The Big Easy still struggles post-Katrina, this group worked in the city's Lower 9th Ward.

New York City - Dean Annarelli lead this group to explore issues of urban poverty and help out low-income people in this most amazing city.

Nicaragua - Students volunteered to fight poverty in both the city of Managua and also for a few days in a rural area.

Northern Ireland - This team worked with groups seeking reconciliation following a period of conflict known as "The Troubles"

North Carolina - Students did work on a sustainable organic farm seeking to serve the environment and local community.

Peru - This group worked with schoolchildren in a low-income area on the outskirts of Lima.

Puerto Rico - This group worked with an amazing environmental/sustainability organization in the jungle.

St. John, US Virgin Islands - This team volunteered at a prestigious and difficult-to-access preserve and scientific research center.

Venezuela - Students helped out at a camp that seeks to rehabilitate children who live on the streets of Venezuela's largest cities.


Spring Break 2010 sent students out to Honduras, Puerto Rico, Northern Ireland, Eastern Kentucky, Morocco, Trinidad, Immokalee FL, Nicaragua, Peru, San Francisco, Costa Rica, Washington DC, Panama, Guatemala and Argentina.

Jump straight to the 2010 photos on Flickr right here.

View Spring Break 2010

Argentina - Twelve students and staff member Felicity Keeley '09 traveled to Buenos Aires to work with L.I.F.E.

Costa Rica - 12 students, led by Jessica Peterson and ResLife Coordinator Daniel Niebler '05, journeyed to La Marina Wildlife Rescue Center Foundation located in La Marina of San Carlos in the province of Alajuela.

Washington, DC - Twelve students from Eckerd spent their spring break 2010 tackling issues of HIV/AIDS and poverty in our nation's capital.

Guatemala - Eleven students along with ECOS President Lauren DeLalla '11 and staff member Makenzie Schiemann traveled to Guatemala to perform service work at Comunidad Nueva Alianza.

Honduras - A group of 11 students, led by staff member Justin Walker '09, traveled to La Ceiba, Honduras to explore service opportunities and challenge their notions of joy and comfort.

Immokalee, FL - Over the course of the Immokalee spring break service trip, students engaged in various types of service relating to issues of migrant farm workers and their families.

Northern Ireland - Fourteen Eckerd students and staff traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland to work with the Wave Trauma Centre to assist with victims on both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland historically known as "The Troubles".

Kentucky - Students worked with the Appalachia: Science in the Public Interest Organization picking up trash, planting trees and helping repair hiking trails.

Morocco - Students spent the week in Africa working for Islamic-based NGOs.

Nicaragua - 10 students, lead by senior Jon Kenney and staff member Debi Lanning traveled to Managua, Nicaragua to work with the poor in both an urban and rural setting.

Panama - 12 students traveled to Panama to provide service for the largest orphanage in the country, San Jose de Malambo.

Peru - Students headed to the Andes to do work with schoolchildren.

Puerto Rico - 11 students traveled to Puerto Rico to do environmental volunteer work at Hacienda Verde, a holistic ecological reserve.

Trinidad - 15 students and staff headed to Trinidad to work with the Red Cross of Trinidad and Tobago in association with Missions International.


Spring Break 2009 sent students out to Panama, New Orleans, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Miami, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Ecuador, Peru, Louisiana, Jamaica, Berlin, the Bahamas and elsewhere.

View Spring Break 2009

Panama - 13 students and Director of Service-Learning Brian MacHarg traveled to Panama this spring break to do volunteer work at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Hogar Divino Nino, a Catholic-run orphanage for very young children.

New Orleans - 11 Eckerd College students spent their spring break working in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans focusing on continued Hurricane relief and Environmental Justice.

Costa Rica, Rainsong - Students work at Rainsong, a small wildlife sanctuary in the tiny town of Cabuya, Costa Rica.

Nicaragua - Students spend their Spring Break in La Paz digging holes for bio-gas systems.

Miami - 12 students from Eckerd College and Associate Chaplain Andrew Black explore the complex intersection of HIV/AIDS, Poverty, Race, and Immigration while directly serving those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Ft. Lauderdale/ Miami.

Guatemala - 13 students traveled to the Petén state of northern Guatemala to volunteer for ARCAS, a wildlife rescue and conservation association.

Puerto Rico - 13 Eckerd students traveled to Patillas, Puerto Rico to work with Tropic Ventures at Las Casas de la Selva, a 1000 acre rainforest preserve and research site for sustainable forestry.

Costa Rica, Sloth Preserve - 11 students traveled to Cahuita, Costa Rica to spend their time working with sloths at Aviarios del Caribe.

Virginia - 11 students return to Staunton River State Park in Scottsburg, Virginia.

Ecuador - Students head to Quito to Puyo and then to the Arutam reserve to work and live with the Shuar, an indigenous community.

Peru - A group of 11 students spend their Spring Break in Lima, Peru working with Niño Luz, an organization that is located in the community of 30 de Mayo.

Louisiana - 10 Eckerd students embarked on a journey up to the Louisiana bayou to a town called Houma to provide hurricane relief for the Houma Nation, an as yet federally unrecognized Native American tribe in the bayou area.

Jamaica - 12 students head to Montego Bay, Jamaica to complete a week's worth of service with the Mustard Seed Organization, a group that assists individuals who are suffering from HIV/AIDS and mental and physical handicaps.

Berlin - 13 students traveled to Berlin, Germany to learn about the issue of Arab/Muslim immigration in Europe.

Bahamas - Students travel to the Bahamas to work at a local YMCA that is still recovering from the multiple hurricanes of 2005.


Spring Break 2008 sent students out to Alaska, Arizona, Costa Rica, Honduras, Immokalee FL, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Ukiah, Ukraine, Virgina and elsewhere.

View Spring Break 2008

Anchorage, Alaska  - 12 students volunteer at The Bird Treatment and Learning Center.

Arizona - 10 students participated in a week long project to renovate homes at the Black Mesa Reservation.

Costa Rica - Students traveled to Santa Elena, Costa Rica to do trail work in the gorgeous Santa Elena Bosque Nuboso (Cloud Forest).

Honduras - Students work at an orphanage run by an NGO called Helping Honduras Kids.

Immokalee - 11 Eckerd students spent their time serving in Immokalee, Florida at the Friendship House, a homeless shelter where they assisted with meal preparation, cleaning, and sorting donated goods.

Peru - 13 students went to Huancayo Peru to volunteer with the NGO Tinkuy Peru.

Puerto Rico - Students traveled to Patillas, Puerto Rico to work with Tropic Ventures, a 1000 acre rainforest preserve and research site for sustainable forestry.

St. Petersburg - Seven students served in St. Petersburg at Southeastern Guide Dogs, the Christmas Toy Shop, Creative Clay and Melrose Elementary.

Trinidad - 13 students took the long journey to work with a small NGO, SOS Tobago (Save Our Sea Turtles), with their mission to save the dwindling populations of leatherbacks, the largest sea turtle in the world, on the island of Tobago.

Ukiah - 12 students traveled to The City of Ten Thousand Buddha's, located in Ukiah, California.

Odessa, Ukraine - 11 Eckerd students accompanied Director of Service-Learning Brian MacHarg to Odessa, Ukraine to work with street children at The Way Home.

Balaklyia, Ukraine - Students help Jump start the Balaklyia Service Club.

Virginia - Students worked on building fish habitat, clearing brush, building a trail across a beaver swamp, staining cabins (historical restoration), and landscaping at the Staunton River State Park.


Spring Break 2007 sent students out to Iceland, Ecuador, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Arizona, Mexico, Kentucky, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and elsewhere.

View Spring Break 2007

Iceland - 13 participants did environmental service for a national park

Ecuador - 12 participants worked with indigenous children in the Andes highlands

Jamaica - 12 students worked alongside Peace Corps volunteers

Dominican Republic - 11 participants did environmental service

Mexico/Arizona - 12 participants worked on immigration issues

Mexico, Yucatan - 16 participants worked in schools to help teach English

Appalachian Kentucky - 10 students worked on rural poverty issues

Mississippi - 11 participants did Hurricane Katrina relief work

St. Petersburg - 6 participants focused on local urban issues

Puerto Rico - 13 participants did AIDS and other health care-related service


Spring Break 2006 sent students out to Peru, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Hollywood, Asheville, Georgia, New Orleans and elsewhere.

View Spring Break 2006

Peru - 12 participants worked with children in schools and orphanages in the highlands

Costa Rica - 12 participants worked on environmental issues in the cloud forest

Uruguay - 13 participants worked at a sea turtle rehabilitation center on the coast

Dominican Republic - 12 students helped build a school

Mexico - 12 participants worked on health issues at a small town clinic

Hollywood - 11 participants worked at faith-based issues

Asheville, NC - 9 students helped build a house for Habitat for Humanity

Georgia - 15 participants focused on both rural and urban poverty issues

New Orleans - 11 participants did Hurricane Katrina recovery


Spring Break 2005 sent students out to Venezuela, Utah, Seattle, Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys, New Orleans and elsewhere.

View Spring Break 2005

Venezuela - 12 participants worked with street kids from Caracas

Utah - 12 participants did animal welfare work

Seattle - 11 students worked on environmental projects

San Juan, Puerto Rico - 11 participants worked with faith-based agencies

Florida Keys - 12 students did environmental service

New Orleans - 10 participants focused on urban poverty


Panama - 12 participants did environmental service and worked with children in poverty
Juno Beach, Florida - 12 participants did sea turtle volunteer work
Washington, DC - 12 participants addressed AIDS and homeless issues
Immokalee, Florida - 11 students focused on immigration and farm worker justice


Alaska - 13 participants performed environmental service work
San Francisco - 12 participants worked on urban issues
Immokalee, Florida - 10 participants focused on immigration and farm worker issues


Chicago - 12 participants worked on inner-city poverty issues
Savannah - 6 participants worked on poverty issues
Miami - 9 participants addressed homelessness issues


Immokalee, FL - 4 students worked on migrant farm worker issues

Calls for Participation

Academy Prep

Volunteer with Academy Prep

Academy Prep is a unique private middle school program serving 5th through 8th grade students in a low-income area. Students must qualify for need-based scholarships to attend and must have a desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. Academy Prep works with students to prepare them for higher education, maintaining relationships with graduates through high school, college, and into their adult lives.

YMCA Reads

Volunteer Mentors Needed

YMCA Reads! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program providing opportunities for at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade to develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

Community Action Stops Abuse

Community Action Stops Abuse

It takes a whole community to stop domestic violence. CASA's vision is a community without domestic violence so that home is a safe place.

Edible Peach Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project is a not for profit organization whose mission is to eliminate poverty as a factor in educational success and diet-related health issues.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

The mission of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is to build partnerships to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan.