Babson community members make an impact by spending summer, winter, and spring breaks making a difference in the lives of others.
Every two years, Babson students travel to Antigua Guatemala to work with local family businesses and entrepreneurs that include coffee production, wood carving, cosmetics, textiles, tortillas, etc.. Students learn about small-scale manufacturing technology, microfinance, retailing, and the dynamics of a family business in the context of the Guatemalan culture. Many of these businesses are women-owned, including those associated with a local women's cooperative. In addition, students will work with Common Hope, an Antigua-based non-profit that assists deserving local families with education, medical services, and housing. Students will assist in home construction and visit Guatemalan homes to observe the lifestyle of families of modest means whose hopes for the future depend on keeping their children in school. While in Antigua, students live on site at Common Hopes' facilities in dormitory style housing with 24-hour security, a cafeteria, and on-site medical facilities. Babson's partners in leading this trip are Common Hope (www.commonhope.org), As Green As It Gets (www.asgreenasitgets.org), and Namaste Direct (www.namastedirect.org).
During winter break of every year, students, staff, and faculty travel to the Gulf Coast to help displaced families in need of affordable housing. Babson community members spend a week alongside the partner Habitat for Humanity hosts building family homes from the ground up. Over the last several years, the focus has been mainly on Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita relief work in Louisiana and Mississippi. Last year the destination was Biloxi, Mississippi, and during this past winter break the group travelled to Lafayette, Louisiana.
Since 2007, every spring and summer Babson faculty, staff, and students participate in Habitat for Humanity International trips to El Salvador. Babson volunteers have built homes in the cities of Santa Ana, San Salvador, and La Paz. Most recently Babson has started an entrepreneurship program in a small village in Ahuachapan, where volunteers teach entrepreneurial leadership skills. Both programs are week long immersion trips where volunteers will learn about the community and culture and participate in building homes and teaching entrepreneurship.