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Cathedral School Puerto Rico 2023

February 28, 2023

We started the day early and jet lagged. After a quick breakfast we headed out for Old San Juan. We met our tour guide, Alvin, in a humid and hot environment. We explored many churches, forts, and shops. Alvin taught us the history of San Juan and how Puerto Rico came to be. After our day out, we had the option to go walk to the beach and swim in the water. At dinner we ate beef, chicken, rice, beans, and salad. After dinner, we did a 10 minute journaling session and reflected on our day. We are excited to start our work tomorrow!

By Gerelt, Kian, Jace, and Seb

March 1, 2023

We started at the northeastern ecological corridor, named because it is a pathway between two protected areas for wildlife to travel between. We did an ecological survey/beach cleanup, picking 15 foot sections to scour for debris, and then filled out a report on the types of trash we found. The organization, ECOSOL, will use this information next week to gauge if Holy Week, and in turn, the families spending free time at the beach, increases the amount of trash found. Then they will look at what types of activities creates the most trash and what types of trash are more common. We finished the workday with an adventure in the kioskos, or kiosks in English, looking at souvenirs and eating Puerto Rican food. After, we spent time at the nearby beach. Then we traveled back to our hostels, cleaned up, and spent time playing games. We finished the night off with a great dinner and journaling about the day.

By Jeb, Wade, Nicolas

March 2, 2023

Today, we woke up at Casa Coral and Surfing Turtles, respectively, around 7:00. We ate a nice and hearty pancake breakfast shortly after finishing packing. We all brushed our teeth and got on the bus to El Yunque National Forest. We hiked for around 15 minutes on a trail to the peaceful and beautiful river Mameyes. After swimming in the river for close to an hour, we all changed back into our clothes. We hiked back to the bus. We then rode the bus to Las Casas de La Selva, Patillas. During the bus ride, we played Uno, talked with each other and slept. When we arrived, we all settled in our dorms and ate a delicious spaghetti and meatball lunch. After filling up on lunch, we carried buckets of gravel down a hill to create an essential gravel pathway around the region. This pathway was used to connect the sleeping quarters with the composting bathrooms. Also, we learned all about composting bathrooms and how much they impact the environment. Afterwards, we had a long, relaxing break where we showered and played games together. We ate tacos for dinner, and watched 3T, director, head naturalist and  passionate advocate for sustainable forestry present a slideshow about what work is being done on Las Casas de La Selva. After, we indulged in a delicious dulce de papaya for desert. Afterward, we wrote in our journals and debriefed our day. Soon after, we got ready and went to bed.

By Conor P, Evan G, Nate H.

March 3, 2023

We all woke up early to the sounds of the rainforest and then went to eat breakfast. After breakfast, 3t led us on a hike through the rainforest. She educated us on the diverse and rare plants and trees. Later, we were separated into three groups. One group molded clay stairs, and another tidied up the path with saws and clippers. Tired and sweaty, we continued down the path to a river, where we saw how powerful water can be. A destructive landslide caused by hurricane Fiona shifted the riverbank several feet.

When we got back, we had an amazing lunch and some downtime. Kian gave a brief goodbye speech on behalf of the class, and gifted some CSB swag to each staff member. Additionally, we gave the money we made from the bake sale and baby sitting night as a donation to “Eye on the Rainforest.” Finally, we said our goodbyes to the people and animals and started the long ride on the bus. We are currently at the big yellow house, and are super excited for tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ll have a game night and a good night’s sleep before the packed day tomorrow.

By Max, Arnav, and Ian

March 4, 2023

This morning we woke up and had a late breakfast, and we played volleyball while we waited. Then we took the bus to “La casa de William”. There, we were introduced to the Angel and William who welcomed us and taught us how to work with concrete. We worked for about 2-3 hours moving concrete from the street to the roof with a line of buckets going back and forth. The concrete on the roof was going to be the foundation for a second floor apartment. After working for a while, we ate a delicious lunch prepared by Maria. While eating, Angel and William told us about their backstory and how much this project meant to them. Then after a good break, we got back to work and finished filling half of the roof with concrete. We talked to William and Angel one last time and loaded up the bus to come back. Once we got home, we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the beach. The water was refreshing and we enjoyed a well earned swim. After that, we came home and had some free time before dinner. Following dinner, we were greeted by an old class friend, Sam Ralph. He joined us for a fun salsa class. After, we hung out on the volleyball court and went to sleep shortly after. We are excited for what awaits us tomorrow!

By Sanders, Aiden, Treyvor

March 5, 2023

In the morning we woke up and ate some French toast, eggs, and sausage. After eating we geared up and headed down to our work site. We made concrete and shoveled it into buckets. After the buckets were filled, we lifted them onto the roof in a fire line, and took them to pour out at the end of the roof. The work took around four hours in the hot sun. Maria made us arroz y habichuelas, rewarding us for our hard work. After lunch we drove back to the big yellow house and got ready to go to the beach. At the beach all of us got into the water and cooled off. It was very relaxing. Once we were done with the beach, we went back to the yellow house where we relaxed and prepared for dinner. For dinner we had chicken with a very good mango salsa. On the side we had some salad and rice. After dinner, Mr. Corrigan led us in a calming meditation followed by a journal about the past two days. After writing we all showered and went to sleep.

By Nathan, Lucas, Yaseen

March 6, 2023

We started the day with a nice breakfast of french fries, frittata and yogurt. It was super refreshing and good. We then headed to Maria’s house where we worked on rebar and beaming. It was easier than the concrete and we were able to finish it by mid day. We then headed back to the big yellow house where we relaxed and played a volley ball tournament. We then met our first guests, and they were from Saudi Arabia. They were also insane at soccer. Then we reunited with Angel, Eggy, and William for dinner. We played around for a bit and they were super friendly. We then had dinner which was made up of rice, pork, and veggie sausage. Everyone enjoyed the delicious meal as the sun went down. We then started to socialize and mess around with our guests. We later sat down and talked with William and Ángel about how important the work we did was and we were given bracelets and shared a few more words. Our guests departed as the evening came to end and as we started to journal and get ready for the travel day ahead.

-Parker, Jack, Vivek