Students spend time serving communities

Before heading out for spring break, The Miami Hurricane featured different ways a student could their week off. A group of graduate students traveled to Guatemala to film documentaries related to social justice issues. Meanwhile, UM Alternative Breaks took students across the country do service work for various causes. We take a look back at the alternative ways students spent their spring break.

1.  Sophomore Neela Persad digs a hole to plant a tree using a bucket as a frame at Harvest Farms, an addiction recovery center for men in Wellington, Colo.

“It was kind of calming because I would do the work silently by myself and think about things in my life or think about what someone of the rehabilitation facility just told me and just reflect upon their story,” sophomore Neela Persad said.

Photo courtesy UM Alternative Break


2. First-year motion picture graduate students Robert Taylor, Fnu Mingtian, and Kafayat Adegbenro document a woman washing laundry on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The students were part of a motion pictures trip to the country that was tasked with shooting short documentaries on local social and health issues.

“It definitely opens your eyes to tell stories for a different number of people, you meet more characters, you see their culture, so you have more information to describe worlds or people that you want to tell stories about,” said Zulena Segarra-Berrios, second year graduate student.

Photo courtesy Robin Canfield from Actuality Media


3. Professor Ed Talavera and motion picture graduate student Zulena Segarra-Berrios shoot a HIV/AIDS activist in an HIV clinic in Guatemala City.

“You realize that you don’t have to have the giant crew and the big budget that sometimes you can make interesting and thought provoking stories with very little and a small crew,” said Ronnie Khalil, first-year M.F.A. student.

Alysha Khan // Contributing Photographer

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Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology, which have sharpened her people-watching skills. She has worked as a staff writer, copy editor, assistant editor and is now the Edge arts and entertainment editor at The Miami Hurricane. She serves as the president of UM's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her work has been featured in The Hurricane, Distraction Magazine, The Communique, Gables Home Page and The Miami Herald. When she's not working on a story, she loves going to the theatre and singing show tunes.