Information for Colleges, Universities and Churches interested in organizing a Group Immersion Trip with CMFN
Contact CMFN about coordinating a domestic immersion experience for your group of students, young adults or church members in the US! CMFN immersion trips are a great option for an Alternative Service Break for college students during their Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring Break. CMFN is also happy to collaborate with staff and faculty in higher education who have an existing service learning curriculum.
CMFN Immersion participants will spend an average of one-week sharing in daily activities with migrant farmworkers and rural immigrants, with reflection each night as a group. Each experience is different, but might include accompanying farmworkers in the fields, visiting rural immigrants in their homes and work places, prayer and worship, educational tours of local points of interest, talks by community members, cultural experiences, as well as opportunities for direct service and advocacy.
Host communities are primarily Spanish-speaking, and many are bilingual. Participants are not required to speak Spanish, but should be open and respectful of culture and language differences. CMFN believes that immersion visits are a great way to experience another culture and language within the US, and a great opportunity for students to practice their Spanish skills. When needed, CMFN staff or board member will provide interpretation and translation during the week.
CMFN is a faith-based organization with our roots in Catholic Social Teaching. Typically, prayer and worship with the largely Catholic immigrant community is a part of the immersion week. Groups and individuals do not have to be Catholic to participate in an immersion, but should be respectful and open to reflection, prayer and religious services as a part of the experience of the rural immigrant life.
Logistics and Costs
We will work with faculty, staff or another adult contact person from your university, college, church or other institution to coordinate your immersion trip. Your contact person will travel with your group during the trip. At least one CMFN staff person or board member will also accompany your group to provide leadership and coordination during the immersion experience.
Your group’s contact person or team will be responsible for selecting the individual participants. All participants must be 18 or older. You will also be responsible for gathering the appropriate paperwork from all participants, such as emergency medical information, and coordinating transportation to and from the immersion site for the entire group. The group will be responsible for covering the full cost of their travel to and from the agreed upon immersion site.
The group will also be responsible for most costs during the week that may include housing, meals and local transportation. Costs vary for each immersion experience, and CMFN staff will communicate with you throughout the planning process to establish a budget and offer fundraising suggestions. CMFN has some funding available to provide financial aid to groups or individual participants with demonstrated need. CMFN will coordinate local transportation during the immersion week, lodging, meals and other logistics in partnership with the host community.
Our goal is to match interested host communities with interested groups to create positive, mutually beneficial experiences!