Linden Resident Spends Winter Break On Service Project In Costa Rica

Melinda Pinto

MADISON— Linden resident Melinda Pinto, a graduate student at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham in Madison, spent 10 days in Costa Rica as part of FDU’s Alternative Break service project program. At FDU, she is enrolled in the five-year biology accounting program that leads to a Master’s Degree in Accounting.

Eleven students and four FDU administrators went to the economically depressed community of Manzanillo, located on the Caribbean coast, just north of the Costa Rican border with Panama. The group worked to renovate Manzanillo’s four-room schoolhouse.


The work included cleaning the school inside and out, removing garbage, painting most of the school, installing walkways, gardening, and construction of a new bathroom. The group also did a beach clean up, removing the trash and litter from a two-mile section of beach. The trip lasted from Jan. 6-16.

FDU’s alternative break project was born last spring, when 22 students went to New Orleans to assist the people affected by Hurricane Katrina rebuild their lives and their homes. The trip proved so popular and successful, that the FDU Student Government Association planned three trips for this year: one over winter break in Costa Rica and two over spring break, with one going back to New Orleans and one going to Arizona.
Melinda Pinto
Photo courtesy of FDU

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