Los Patojos: UCI Hillel Helps Create Dreams in Guatemala

Not many trips have you hiking up volcanoes near rivers of magma, or traveling by boat from coast town to coast town across one of the world’s deepest lakes or drinking in bars where bottle service costs no more than a tank of gas. These are just a few of the things that UC Irvine’s Hillel’s Alternative Spring Break to Guatemala had to offer students this year. The trip allowed students to explore the lifestyle and culture of Guatemala, while also spending time helping and playing with the children of Los Patojos. Los Patojos is a young organization that provides a place for disadvantaged Guatemalan children to eat, play and have fun. It’s a place for the children to escape the problems of Guatemala and, sometimes, the violence in their own households. In an impoverished society where it’s usually difficult for children who don’t come from wealthy families to make something of themselves, Los Patojos offers them a much-needed setting to develop direction in life.

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The Need To Root Out Extremism

I was shocked when I woke up on Jan. 24 and read news headlines reporting that Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport had descended into chaos when a suicide bomber reportedly screamed “I will kill you all” and detonated his vest in the midst of a busy crowd. The subsequent explosion ripped through the building, killing 35 people and wounding over 100 others. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev slammed the airport for lax security.

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