Tag: ABI

ABI: Joppa Farm

ABI: Joppa Farm

One, we are the ramblers…Two, we love Loyola… Three, we wanna scream for more more more more!


I am back to Chicago after an amazing week at Joppa Farm, Tennessee. Let me tell you, it was not easy adjusting at first because we had no concept of time, and that was something I am not used to. We also didn’t have access to our cell phones, so no way of connecting with friends and family and checking our daily emails about mid-term grades. Another interesting experience was that we only had two showers a week! This one was the hardest but I made it through. In addition to our Loyola group at the farm, there were also groups of students from Saint Xavier University and University of Notre Dame.
During our time on the farm, we volunteered at a nursing home, a school, and did construction at people’s homes. We were privileged to meet awesome human beings with great welcoming hearts. We built a porch for one family, painted the porch and the roof and fixed a floor for another, and we used mortar to will help bind the bricks and concrete masonry units together by filling and sealing the irregular gaps between them in another home. All the families were grateful that we were helping them build a better home. Another awesome thing we did was hike the Great Smoky Mountains. It was incredible! It was a quite a trek but at the end the view from the mountain was amazing, we saw mountains, a small waterfall and nature itself.
Throughout my week at Joppa Farm, Tennessee, I learned about the four different pillars of the ABI: live simply, build community, deepen faith, and do justice. I didn’t care about not having my phone because I was living in the movement with everyone else around me instead of trying to see what my friends were doing back at home. Also, by not knowing time, it was easier for us to not think about what we had to do and worry about other things that were not necessary at the moment. And if anyone asked what we were doing later in the day, the mangers would say, “Don’t anticipate, PARTICIPATE!”. Also, the two showers a week were not bad at all, we were saving water which felt good and we were living simply! We were able to build community by interacting with everyone around us and learning more about their life experiences. We deepened our faith by doing reflections every night and thinking about the consolation and desolation of the day. Also, we prayed before we ate any of our meals and before departure to our sites. We did justice by bringing awareness of rural poverty to others.
This experience was amazing! I got close to my Ramblers friends and staff leaders, I want to thank them for allowing me to be a part of this journey!
Hiking on the Great Smoky Mountains
What Loyola’s Doing Over Spring Break

What Loyola’s Doing Over Spring Break


As usual, I’m going to be honest with you folks – Mexican Beach Parties made of hordes of college kids like you see in movies like 22 Jump Street do happen. Some of my friends who go to other schools around the country are part of groups that flock by the hundreds, and they take up practically the whole plane. To me, that’s a little crazy, going to a school that gives you so much tension and dislike you, for a whole week, party and drink and party some more.

I genuinely enjoy my school, and on breaks I can only think about going back. It’s more than just classes – the college life suits me, and my friends are phenomenal, and I’m passionate about what I’m involved in. And, I think, my peers here at Loyola feel the same. It’s just one week to Spring Break and I haven’t heard a whisper of colossal groups jaunting off to the Coast. I’m sure it happens, of course, but the groups aren’t big enough to be heard through the grapevine outside of those specifically invited – which is fine by me!

Here’s something. The talk of the town are programs Loyola does called ABI, or Alternative Break Immersions. Now, they’re nothing new, but the hype is definitely real every single time. I have friends going to Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Maryland, Oregon, Tennessee – and even sticking around Chicago to volunteer.

ABI trips are very popular because they’re learning, outside of a classroom, that integrates Jesuit values, social justice, and aiding those in need. Though they’re short, they’re transformative, so I’ve heard.


If you want, there are some blogs by those who went on the trips here!

ABI trips are incredibly popular – I’d definitely say that more people go on them than go to Mexico with their friends. (of course, people are still going to Mexico with their families, because who would pass that up? Not me.) People also go home to wherever they came from, be it Seattle, Los Angeles, or Skokie. It’s a week off of school after midterms, so there’ll be a lot of relaxation, working to refill the ol’ piggy bank, and lots of catching up on movies and shows that we’ve been missing because we’ve been studying.

So that’s where we’ll be! If you’re touring campus, sorry to say, you probably won’t see too many students, but you can always come back! Where are you going for your Spring Break?

I hope also that you’ll consider our ABI programs if you end up coming here, because the more the merrier, and here at Loyola we love to make a difference!


Joppa Farm Here I Come!

Joppa Farm Here I Come!


Spring break is only a few days away!!! I am really excited because I will be spending my spring break at Joppa Farm, located in Tennessee. I never have been to Tennessee so this will be a wonderful experience! How did I end up choosing to spend my spring break in Tennessee? Loyola’s Alternative Break Immersion (ABI) program provide opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and be involved in service and cultural immersion within a host community during university breaks. Let me tell you, I did not know about the ABI program or what it was when I first came to Loyola. So, I decided to do more research and asked friends about ABI. I finally found out what an ABI was, it is a program where students would go to a place to learn about a community they are living in and learn about the four different pillars: live simply, build community, deepen faith, and do justice. You can do an ABI during your winter break, spring break and/or summer as well! There are many places you can go such as New York, Oregon, West Virginia, Mexico, El Salvador, Jamaica and many more!
The reason I chose Joppa Farm, Tennessee as my ABI experience is because it is open to only first-year students. I really liked that because I can meet other freshman just like me and get to know them better and build relationships. Also, I decided to do this trip because in their community, there are Latino farm workers and their families and I feel like I can relate to them because I come from a Mexican family. I want them to feel comfortable talking to me in Spanish and having someone that may understand what they are going through.
Now, I just have to pack and get my things together to leave Saturday morning and get ready for a nice 9-hour trip so I will be getting to know my peers very well! I really can’t wait to see how my spring break will be! Once I come back, I’ll tell you all about my spring break trip at Joppa Farm, Tennessee!