Thirty students from Wartburg College in Iowa, led by a graduate of Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps program, will be among the first spring breakers offering a helping hand to organizations in Immokalee.
Maria Munguia-Cortes, a 2016 Immokalee High School graduate, and her peers from the Iowa college arrive Saturday night. The group will be touring Immokalee, tutoring children in Guadalupe Center’s after-school program, meeting with farmworkers, repairing homes, working in a soup kitchen and assisting at a local soccer academy.
Munguia-Cortes was among 17 Wartburg students who visited Immokalee in March 2017.
“Last year’s trip was a life-changing experience because my fellow students had never seen a community like Immokalee,” said Munguia-Cortes, 20, a sophomore at Wartburg College. “They learned about farmworker rights and got to see just how important the Guadalupe Center‘s educational programs are for children in Immokalee.”
Wartburg students raise money to cover travel expenses, and even have a portion of their student registration fees applied to trip costs. Students chartered a bus for the 1,500-mile ride from Waverly, Iowa, to Immokalee, and they will be staying at Bethel Assembly of God Spanish Church.
While in high school, Munguia-Cortes completed Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps program, which offers mentoring, academic guidance and financial assistance for Immokalee High students. Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee, often is a stop for college students on non-traditional spring breaks.
“We’re always appreciative of college groups, churches and nonprofit organizations that give up their time to help the residents and children of Immokalee,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of the Guadalupe Center. “Immokalee is still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, so any assistance is greatly appreciated, especially volunteers who recognize the impact that extra academic support can have on the lives of children in Immokalee.”
Groups from the University of Georgia and Ohio State University also will be visiting Immokalee for spring break and spending a portion of their time tutoring elementary-age children in Guadalupe Center’s after-school program.
About Guadalupe Center
Guadalupe Center is a purpose-driven, nonprofit organization with proven results in creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee through education and fostering personal and academic success that leads to economic independence. With a focus on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, Guadalupe Center is proud of the children’s accomplishments: 94 percent exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100 percent of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 90 percent graduated with a post-secondary degree. Learn more, visit www.GuadalupeCenter.org.