College student Brandon Wesneski recently had a different kind of spring break. And it makes him thankful for things that Americans take for granted . Wesneski, who is from Canton and is a senior at Wilkes University, will graduate in May, and will attend law school in the fall.
From March 2 through March 9, he took part in the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, which he said has been in place at Wilkes University for a number of years. Wesneski spent time in Costa Rica.
“It allows students to go on community service trips at a decent cost, rather than going on a more traditional break,” he explained about the program. “The cost is off balanced by fund raising that we do. There are usually four different trips, two domestic and two international. This year the trips included Joplin (Mo.), New Orleans, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. Each trip is slightly different, but the goal is to help out in some way those that are less fortunate, whether it be because of natural disasters destroying their homes or more generally because it is a developing nation in need of a little help.”
Wesneski said he got involved with the program because of his professor, Dr. Andrew P. Miller, assistant professor of political science, who has taught him classes such as international law and others on Latin American economic development.
“Dr. Miller sparked my interest in Latin America, so I figured what better way to put what I have learned in class into some context, so I chose to apply to go on the Costa Rica trip,” Wesneski said.
Ten students, including juniors and seniors, went to a small town in Costa Rica called San Marcos, which Wesneski said is in the mountains, about two hours west of the capital, San Jose.
“As part of this trip I took a class that focused on the importance of coffee in this region,” he explained.