Puerto Rico Community Service Trip For Teens
Building projects and hands on community service for motivated teens!
Roll up your sleeves for a hands-on service trip focused on hurricane relief and disaster prevention efforts. Home reconstruction and fortification service work are the heart of this program, with projects designed for and with local families. The projects we work on will improve infrastructure for families and communities to withstand a future hurricane and also recover more efficiently. Practice Spanish and learn about local customs while working alongside welcoming community members. Take a break from projects to relax on the beach and explore the colorful streets of Old San Juan.
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 40 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. We also take a break to explore beautiful Old San Juan 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.
The next day we are ready to dig into our community service work in nearby Villa del Río. This close-knit village consists of relocated families that are rebuilding and fortifying their homes- they are thrilled to have students come join them in work. We spend the next four days fortifying homes and getting to know community members. The projects we work on will improve infrastructure for families to withstand a future hurricane and also recover more efficiently. Each late afternoon/evening, we enjoy group activities such as swimming at local beaches, practicing “La Bomba” dance moves, and participating in various intercultural activities.
We visit a tropical rainforest research station, where we get our hands dirty with some environmental service work. While working in conjunction with a local Puerto Rican non-profit, we assist in the preservation of Puerto Rico’s endemic plant and animal species. The research station is also a sustainable tree farm, so we help with local reforestation efforts. In the afternoon, we hike to a stunning swimming hole and waterfall to cool off.
On our final day, we take a guided hike through the El Yunque tropical rainforest. We enjoy a final, celebratory dinner, providing time for reflections and memories. Punctuating the trip is an evening kayak through the magnificent bioluminescent bay. On Day 8, we depart from home.
There is no chaperoned group flight for this program. Airfare is not included in the tuition. We will provide a recommended window of arrival and departure times for the group.
Please note that this itinerary is subject to change.
Participants may be subject to additional expenses related to entry requirements to your destination and/or re-entry to your home country. Global Works does not cover these expenses. Additional costs may include, but are not limited to, COVID tests, insurance, or other. See our Covid-19 FAQ’s for more information. The most up to date requirements can be found via links on your login page on the Flight and Travel Day Instruction form after enrollment.
Community Building & Service
Complete home construction projects with families in the community of Villa del Rio
Environmental Restoration & Volunteering
Partner with our friends who operate a non-profit dedicated to sustainable forestry and rainforest enrichment projects
Adventure & Cultural Activities
Bioluminescent Bay Sea Kayak
Explore historic El Morro and Old San Juan
The “Big Yellow House” is the Global Works Puerto Rico base and is perfect for groups! Students stay four to ten 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.
The final evening is spent at a small, locally run hotel in Fajardo, a convenient distance from both the evening kayak excursion and the San Juan International airport.