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Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief, Session 2 ~ 2022

July 11, 2022
On our first day the group woke up at 6:45 to go to old San Juan. After breakfast we got on the bus and headed to our tour. We first saw the cobblestone streets and looked up to see Casa Blanca, the 2nd oldest house in the western hemisphere. Then the group explored Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the largest fort in Puerto Rico. We enjoyed lunch at La Raices, where a lot of us tried a local food called Mofongo. Then we went souvenir shopping and bought handmade items from locals. Then the group got shaved ice, from an helado cart. When we got on the bus, most people enjoyed a short nap. Once we got back to the big yellow house, everyone went to the beach and cooled down from the heat. After dinner, some people went to the beach to try and catch the sunset. Before bed, we all played group bonding games to end the night.

Ansley R., Ella S., Max F.

July 12, 2022

Our morning started at 8 am with a delicious pancake breakfast with crispy edges. Then we headed on the bus for a short 15 minute drive to the community of Villa del Rio. We met up with Willy, Angel and Maria who are our Global Works partners in Puerto Rico. They have worked with Global Works for many years. They prepped up for our work today, which was laying the new foundation of a home that was destroyed during Maria in 2017. For lunch, we went to Maria’s house and had an amazing lunch of rice, beans, and fried chicken. After lunch, we got to meet the small farm behind Maria  and Angel’s house. They had baby ducks, goats, chickens, sheep. After lunch we stopped at a local grocery store where many of us got treats to take back to Big Yellow House. After dinner we watched a documentary about the history of Puerto Rico, and had a discussion about Puerto Rico’s relationship with us, debt, dependency of the us, and the strength, and pride of the Puerto Ricans. Tomorrow we will head back to the community for our first day of cement work.

Will, Ella, Henry, Conner , Kenzie

July 13, 2022
We woke up to a waffle breakfast and headed to Villa del Rio and the bud driver backed up a massive hill that was very steep. Then we hit the concrete. We had a bit of a rain storm that cooled us down, so we found shelter under the tent and found a parakeet in cage. Angel explained how to work the concrete machine and gave us the game plan for the day. Our goal was to fill the foundation. We formed an assembly line with some people scooping rocks and sand while others sent the concrete down the line in buckets to the holes. When asked to break for lunch, we decided to continue until the work was done. We rocked out to Bad Bunny and the tunes kept our sprits high. After a chicken stew lunch, we all crashed on the bus, slumped in the seats and slept in silence. Then we hit the beach and found a sweet sandy clear spot and enjoyed the sinking sun. A few went on a hike up to the cliffs overlooking a rocky inlet and harvested coconuts. We played some volleyball and 1-1 basketball then sat down to pizza. Yara our salsa instructor did a great job teaching us and by the end we were all dancing in a giant synchronized circle. We ended the night with ice cream and more basketball and cards, and we got an extra 30 minutes because we were all hyped up from dancing.

-Sam D., Hannah, Mikayla, Lauren

July 14, 2022

Today we headed to a new service project location. We started the day off by going to the rainforest of Puerto Rico. We drove in the bus up winding roads to a facility run by a lady named 3–T. 3-T taught us about her experience of living in the rainforest for the last 20 years and taught us about the fascinating trees that Puerto Rico has to offer. She told us about the rich history of the mahogany trees across the world, and the importance of them today in Pueto Rico. We started off the rainforest work by moving enormous fallen logs from strong winds into a big fire pit which would be burned. It was the hardest manual labor we have experienced on this trip. Next we hiked down a trail and did things including cutting trees and snipping branches, clearing paths, and scooping dirt to form new pathways. We ended the rainforest day off by eating chicken rice and beans with 3-T. Unfortunately we came across long traffic on the ride home. The best night we have had at the Big Yellow House, so far, was coming home and having group karaoke. There was many amazing performances in the overall results ended with the girls taking the win!! Until tomorrow!

Mady, Addy, Sofia

July 15, 2022

Pancake breakfast started us off strong. We then went to Angel’s and returned to our trusty assembly line to move a giant tower of 180 cinder blocks. We then ate a yummy pasta and meatball lunch with salad and amazing dressing. After lunch we mixed concrete and used the cinder blocks and mortar to build a wall. Back at the homestead we went straight to the beach for a blissful tropic time on the beach. We hiked to a cliff with giant waves crashing against the steep sharp rocks. As we walked back we ran into a baby alligator on the path so we had to take a detour on our way home- close call! After a quick clean up, we had diner with our community partners, Angel and Maria. We got to ask questions and reflect on our experience with the help of student translators. We ended with hugs and haircuts for all.
Blog by Ryan, Greta, Ellie and Harrison!!