Puerto Rico: Building Communities 2016
MEET YOUR PUERTO RICO TRIP LEADERS!
Greetings from the island of Puerto Rico!
After a long day of travel, our group of 14 students has officially arrived at the Big Yellow House. After a little time at the beach, volleyball and card games, we enjoyed burgers and hot dogs for dinner (Thanks Scott!).
After dinner, we played an ice breaker game to get to know each other a little better and then discussed the nitty gritty of the group contract. The rest of the night will be spent hanging out, watching soccer and getting to know each other! Off to bed early so we can be ready for our tour of Old San Juan tomorrow morning! Lots of great pictures to come. 🙂
June 26, 2016
Today we woke up around 7 and had breakfast at the big yellow house. We took off in the bus and headed to Old San Juan for a tour of the colonial port with Alvin. After lots of pictures and sightseeing got to shop around for souvenirs. We had a delicious mofongo lunch a local restaurant in the heart of Old San Juan. After lunch, the group climbed back in the bus and headed back to the BYH to regroup.
The afternoon was spent in typical Puerto Rico fashion. We walked to the beach near our house and swam and played volleyball and frisbee with the locals. For most of us, the beach was the best part of the day because it was beautiful and fun with loud music that gave us a cultural vibe.
Brought to you by…
-Shirlee & Alia
Monday, June 27
Today was our first day of community service. We went to Villa deal Río and met to locals , who we were helping. We mixed cement to build the roofs of the houses. The people in the house and their friends, although they didn’t have to, helped us build the house. We made a fire line to transport materials from one place to another. After the hard work, we went back to the community center and we had chicken, rice, and plantains for lunch. The food was was delicious and after eating, the kids of the community played volleyball with us. After lunch, we headed back to the beach in Cerro Gordo. Today we had a good time working with the community and we are excited to continue the work throughout the week!
Joann & Tait
Tuesday, June 28
Today we woke up and went back to Villa deal Río to continue our construction work on the roof. We made a large batch of cement and brought it up to the roof and then started another batch on the main floor. It was hot today so we took lots of breaks! After that, we ate lunch, which was rice and beans and little meatballs. Once again, it was delicious !!
We played basketball and volleyball again and continued to get to know the people in the community. We then piled in the van and went to a black sand beach but it was too windy to stay long. We cruised further along the coast to Las Cuevas de Los Indios. We climbed through the rocks and looked at the ocean. The rocks were really cool and climbing was fun and a bit challenging! Afterwards we went to yet another beach that was not the one by the BYH (Big Yellow House) This beach was smaller, but the water was in a cove with fun waves to play in. It was also colder and very windy/cloudy this afternoon.
After a van ride singing along with our favorite pop hits, we were back at the BYH for showers, snacks and dinner. Overall, it was an amazing day!
Alina & Noah
June 29, 2016
Today at the worksite we finished the roof on the house. It was a great feeling and we were glad to see a job through to the end. After a delicious lunch with friends, we cleaned up and did finishing touches on the house. During that time, we played a friendly game of wage tag. After saying our goodbyes for that day to our new best friends, Scott showed us one of his favorite beaches, La Posa de Las Mujeres. It was beautiful with clear water, rocks and soft sand. After relaxing, we made it back to the Big Yellow House for salsa lessons.
It didn’t seem like it was our first time dancing the salsa! We also grouped up and planned our bake off for tomorrow night. We are looking forward to starting work on the next house. ¡Hasta mañana!
Thursday, June 30th
Today we got an early start! We were so excited to start working on a new house in the community. We were welcomed by our new best friends who are helping work on the projects alongside us. After working hard we enjoyed a huge lunch we had been anticipating (rice, pork, fried plantain and fruits, of course!)
Once our bellies were full, we played our routine games of basketball and volleyball with the locals. Next, we piled in the van for a long car ride of music, dancing and sleeping while we waited to arrive at the… ZIP LINE tour! When we arrived, we were astonished by the amazing view but were a bit fearful too. We got all our gear and after a short but hard hike, we arrived at the first of eight different lines. Each was a new adventure. We looked down to see the river, up to see a sky full of clouds and toward the the horizon to see San Juan in the distance. The last line was “La Bestia “, over 4,000 feet long and we went head first! It was like flying!!
After zip lining, we headed back to the BYH and met our friends from the community. We enjoyed pizza and a bake off between two teams. We laughed, cooked, talked in Spanish and bonded with our favorite Puerto Ricans! As a night came to a close, we all shared big hugs and sad goodbyes because tomorrow will be our last farewell!
– Eleanor, Rosie, Will
Friday, July 1
Today started like every other day this week. We got up, had breakfast and headed to the community for one last day of work. We continued mixing the cement for Angel’s driveway and had a blast chatting and laughing with our new friends. Around noon, we cleaned up and headed to La Cancha for one last lunch. We played more basketball and volleyball but finally, it was time to say goodbye. After lots of pictures and hugs, we took off and enjoyed a final trip to our local beach, Cerro Gordo.
For our final dinner, we enjoyed a great meal on the beach and sunset pictures all around! Each participant got a paper plate superlative award and we had a blast just looking back on our trip. Puerto Rico was a blast! We had a great weekend making new friends and building community!