An alternative break lasts more than a week. (Don’t worry, we won’t finish that statement with it lasts a lifetime.) “Traditional” alternative breaks have become more established, and with increased sophistication, comes (you guessed it) more dedicated time and energy. Most programs curate an alternative break experience that lasts for months before the actual date of departure.
For an alternative break to become a catalyst toward active citizenship, the foundation your trip is built on - the preparation - is what really counts. A group without intentional time to build authentic relationships with one another will not reach its full potential in developing as a team. A team entering a community without extensive pre-departure education on the topic and community (paired with a little self-reflection) has a greater potential to cause harm. And ultimately, a breaker who returns home and doesn’t recognize their potential as an agent of change in their community has fallen short of understanding the true purpose of why we do this work.
We know that active citizenship, once we commit, is something we devote a lifetime to, so if we’re in it for the long haul anyway - why not start now?