- by Karlee Robb -

Karlee Robb and friends sitting on steps in Chicano Park in San Diego, California

Thanks to the Alternative Breaks program, I was able to have the experience of a lifetime discovering the beauty of the Chicano community in San Diego, California — as well as the systemic inequities that affect people there.

During one week of winter break, we climbed a mountain with a spiritual guide, restored a beloved mural with its original artist, and even learned to Aztec dance from Chicanos themselves.

It was eye-opening to see the funding inequities between cultural landmarks, such as Chicano National Park, and tourist attractions, such as Balboa Park. The local Chicanos were given cement barriers and roadways through their community, while money for gorgeous architecture and foliage is funneled to the tourist attractions. It’s incredibly unjust.

The stark contrasts in privilege are evident between the United States and Mexico. Did you know there are 3 walls on the border? Or that veterans of the U.S. military can be deported? I didn’t. Hearing the experiences of the beautiful people in Barrio Logan helped the group of us at Nazareth to reflect deeply on our own lives, and privilege. Please remember to listen to everyone’s story, and to feel the impact of others’ struggles to better the world for all of us living in it.

I recommend this service trip to everyone who values cultural education on our campus, and beyond.


Karlee Robb ‘25 is a legal studies major who works for Nazareth’s Partners for Serving program. She is part of the Politics and Law Club, Club Volleyball, Helping Hands Club, and is an Academic and College Success class peer mentor.