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Home » 2019 Bolivia Trip “Cale & Irani: Community Impact at Refugio Rafael”

2019 Bolivia Trip “Cale & Irani: Community Impact at Refugio Rafael”

Bolivian flag in desert

Trip Theme: “Cale & Irani: Community Impact at Refugio Rafael in Cochabamba, Bolivia”
Deadline: October 29, 2019 @ 11:59 pm (or until we receive the first 40 applications, whichever comes first)
Trip Dates: March 9, 2019 – March 17, 2019


This trip is for Cale & Irani residents only.  “Community Impact at Refugio Rafael” focuses on the impact that can be made by a vibrant and sustainable local community center project.  Refugio Rafael, our host center for this trip, is a housing/community project for single parents who have faced severe emergencies that have led to challenges in being able to house, feed, educate, and care for their families.  Presently, the center is predominantly accessed by single mothers and their children.  Refugio Rafael supports these single mothers in their effort to become independent and to help bring their children into the education system (most come from outlying country areas and the children are far behind in school).  Refugio Rafael supports various strategies for integration into the community via educational support, economic development, medical support, and more.

While on this trip participants will volunteer at the after school program which will include helping with homework, art projects, and playing sports. There will also be time spent working with the families at the center with gardening projects, bread making, house repairs, and handcrafting.  There will also be time spent exploring Bolivia and gaining a better understanding of its rich culture by way of visits to schools, markets, and the nearby city of Cochabamba.  The trip will also include a special visit to Toro Toro, which is known as one of Bolivia’s most magical national parks.

Trip Leader(s): 

Gustavo Orellana

Gustavo Orellana is the Residential College Coordinator for the Cale & Irani Residential Colleges. He was born and raised in Northern California. Gustavo received a B.A. in Chicano/a Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with a Masters in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the Rossier School of Education here at USC. He was a graduate assistant in Residential Education for two years before joining the department full time in 2018. Through the previous professional experiences as an Assistant Resident Director at UCSB and a Resident Director at the Academy of Art University, Gustavo developed a passion in working with high caliber, passionate and dedicated students and cherishes the new challenges that each day brings in working with college-aged students. Some of his passions outside of work include exploring different parts of Los Angeles (especially through food), sporting events, and all things Bay Area!

Debra Allen

Debra Allen is the Assistant Director for the USC Village. Debra received her M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University and her B.A. in Anthropology and Modern Languages at Beloit College. Debra has lived abroad as well as studied abroad in Portugal. Her student affairs experience spans residence life, international education, student union programming, leadership development, honors and scholars programs, service-learning, and social justice work. Debra’s international education experience focused on setting up and leading numerous short-term study abroad programs for undergraduate students. She spent several years working at The Ohio State University and most recently comes to us from Cal State Northridge where she worked as a Senior Community Director for six years. Her emphasis at Cal State Northridge was with the First-Year Experience Living Learning Community as well as management of the Community Center that served residential students. Debra has also been an active member of the Western Association of College and University Housing Officers since 2010. In her spare time, Debra likes to go on hikes and bike rides with her pup “Pete”, attend live music venues, go to the beach, and explore her hometown of Los Angeles.

Approximate Cost:  Free – Note: this trip is reserved for Cale & Irani College Residents (Cancellation Fee applies if you drop from the trip after confirming your acceptance)