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Nearly a dozen students from the University of Miami, University of Texas - Pan American, and South Texas College chose to spend their spring break helping the residents in Hidalgo County. On Wednesday, March 12, 2014 the group spent the day collecting trash and debris at the Indian Hills East colonia in Mercedes. The college students from Florida, UTPA and STC teamed up with the non-profit LUPE and Precinct 1 Commissioner A.C. Cuellar, Jr.'s office to volunteer their services. The students are calling the trip an "Alternative Break", where a group of college students engage in a volunteer service, typically for a week.
The University of Miami students say they were compelled to travel across the country to spend their spring break in Hidalgo County after learning about the conditions of the colonias through a club at their university, they knew their time could be better served helping others. Two students from UTPA and one student from STC joined the volunteering efforts after hearing about it at their schools, they also wanted to help contribute to the beautification of a community in their county.
The group walked door to door asking residents if they needed debris cleared from their yards. Wearing safety gloves, they collected large piles of trash, furniture and other scraps and placed them at the curb for Precinct 1 employees to pick-up. Precinct 1 workers were also on hand to fill pot holes and collect discarded tires.
Commissioner Cuellar and Hidalgo County want to thank the students for their hard work and generosity, and appreciate how they dedicated their spring break to helping the residents of Precinct 1.