DeBlogs > Josue Ortiz > NOLA

Spring Break 2k15 NOLA

This year spring break brought many new memories, friends, and experiences my way as I traveled once again with the Office of Multicultural Student Success (OMSS) to New Orleans, Louisiana for my spring
break service immersion trip. The weather was beautiful, the food was spicy and delicious, and the people were amazing. We teamed up with the St. Ber
nard Project, SBP for short, to help repair houses that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. 

Many people reacted in similar ways when I told them that I would be heading to NOLA for service. They asked questions like “They still need help?” or “That was ten years ago what else needs to be done?” While staying in the lower 9thward, I saw many houses that had little to no progress since the tragic storm, houses that have been ignored and forgotten about. During drives to our service site I saw open land that I did not think much about. It wasn’t until Rachel, the director of SBP, told us that houses used to occupy the land and instead of being rebuilt they were bulldozed. 

The experience was one that will always be with me and make me think about life, people, stories, etc. I will never forget just how different every neighborhood felt, as if they were different states. When thinking of Chicago, I know that every neighborhood has its own feel but I can still identify the areas as Chicago. Yet in
NOLA, the lower 9th ward was a neighborhood of progress, one that is rebuilding slowly but surely, the French Quarter provided an atmosphere unlike anything I have experienced in America, and downtown gave a similar feel to our loop with shops, people, and angry drivers. 

NOLA has a special place in my heart now and the St. Bernard Project is something I stress for people to look into in order to provide some help and support for the New Orleans community.

If you are interested in helping out check out this link.

Thank you for reading my blog and as always, stay awesome!