College of Charleston students are volunteering in the community as they prepare for Maymester service trips focused on social justice. Nine students will travel to Zakynthos, Greece from May 14 through June 4, 2013 to explore sustainable tourism and support the efforts of conservationists to protect wildlife. Seven students will travel to La Push, Wash. from May 15 through 26 to explore cultural preservation within the Quileute Nation.
Both groups of students have engaged in alternative break social justice curriculum, coordinated trip fundraisers, and participated in pre-trip service projects. Students interested in wildlife rehabilitation and sustainable tourism volunteered at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry’s annual Fam Jam. Students interested in cultural preservation will volunteer with the Catawba Nation in Rock Hill, S.C. on May 14, where they will work to preserve a historic dwelling on the reservation and help the after-school program for children in the community.
“This year’s Maymester alternative break groups will be focusing on sustainability through different lenses,” explains Maggie Szeman, assistant director of the Center for Civic Engagement. “While one group will be returning to Greece for a second time participating in service related to environmental sustainability and eco-tourism, the other group will spend time exploring the sustainability of indigenous cultures in our own country. “
While in Greece, student volunteers will research and record the affects of tourism on the local environment, provide information on the local flora and fauna to visitors, rescue injured animals, and participate in beach and forest cleans. Volunteers will also monitor the nesting and population of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the Mediterranean Monk Seal. While volunteering, participants will learn the basic care and maintenance of aquatic, marine, and reptilian animals at the Wildlife Information Centre.
While in Washington, students will spend two weeks in partnership with the Quileute People in La Push and nearby Forks working on various projects related to the preservation of the rich Quileute culture and the natural environment of the Olympic Peninsula.
For more information, contact Maggie Szeman at 843.693.7353.