Month Long Gap Program for College Students
Hands On Community Service and Adventure on this College Gap Program!
We are living in unprecedented times, limiting college students from studying abroad and going back to campus. Join Global Works on this month long Gap program to get the most out of your fall and spring semesters! Over these few weeks, discover the hidden wonders of Puerto Rico, engage in impactful home building and environmental service, explore remote tropical beaches by boat, and assist in the preservation of tropical rainforest.
*Optional remote learning! Bring your laptop and do your college courses from Puerto Rico.*
Participants fly into San Juan, Puerto Rico (no passport necessary!) and meet their Global Works leaders at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. We pack up the vans and head back through San Juan and west 30 minutes to our group lodging in the small, beach side town of Cerro Gordo. Day 1 is dedicated to getting to know each other and learning about our upcoming projects. With our professional guide, Alvin, we tour Puerto Rico’s many historic sites, including the old fort of “El Morro” and the Rio Piedras market, with its colorful murals and paintings.
This program can work for students remote learning or on a Gap semester. We operate out of a private home base where students will have access to plenty of space indoors and outdoors to access to WI-FI. When or if students are not engaged in studying, we will have daily ongoing service projects plus adventure activities on the weekends.
We dive into our service work in a nearby village. This close-knit community has experienced economic hardship and has rebuilt itself time and time again after being destroyed by tropical storms and hurricanes. Families are now working to replace their wooden houses with concrete structures that are safer and will last much longer in the Puerto Rican climate. We will work diligently on home construction projects that will have a lasting impact on this community. Each late afternoon/ evening, we enjoy group activities such as swimming at local beaches, practicing “La Bomba” dance moves and participating in various cultural activities.
We challenge ourselves with a two day rock climbing clinic appropriate for all levels. Our guides are AMGA (American Mountain Guide) certified with over 35 years of experience teaching rock climbing. Whether it’s your first day of climbing or you’re keen to take your skills to the next level, this adventure will maximize your fun on the rocks.
Next, we transfer to the smaller island of Vieques located off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. Vieques is known for its secluded beaches and laid back vibe. We will learn about the complex history of this island, once used by the US Navy as a bombing practice area and dig into environmental service initiatives. Projects may include reforestation, trail maintenance, and small construction and repairs to research facilities. We’ll dig deeper into environmental challenges such as deforestation and climate change and the impact on the environment social fabric of the island.
We spend multiple multiple days sailing. We explore and snorkel around some of the Caribbean’s most pristine locations surrounding Puerto Rico. Along the way, we learn about the impact of climate change on a variety of marine environments while viewing wildlife up close.
We return to mainland Puerto Rico for program closure and reflection before returning home. After an incredible experience making new friends and immersing ourselves in the culture of Puerto Rico, we head to the airport to fly home!
Read our COVID-19 & Gap Program FAQs Page.
Adventure & Cultural Activities
The “Big Yellow House” is Global Works Puerto Rico base and is perfect for groups! Students stay four per room in bunk rooms with private baths, and share in the cooking responsibilities. Our home is on an acre of land with sand volleyball courts, group meeting space, and is a 5-minute walk to pristine beaches.
While on the island of Vieques, we will stay in our own private house with an ocean view. Just a short walk to the beach, this house can have 2-5 students per room.