Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief, Session 2
Written by Tori and Evan
July 18, 2018
On Wednesday, July 18, the Global Works team woke up early to start off our day with a breakfast of champions, which was muy delicioso. We then headed off for a long car ride to Tropic Ventures, where we met Thirty Vakil and a group of Americorps crew volunteering with her. 3T shared about her life of service and helping others, saying, “If you don’t wake up smiling, do something else with your life”. Together, we trekked down to a river where we rebuilt a crumbling bridge that suffered under Hurricane Maria in 2017. We did so by creating a cement mixture, which we used to adhere rocks to the bridge. By creating a train of group members down the river, we were able to efficiently get the job done. We had a lunch of chicken stew and rice, then finished off our day with delicious tacos and multiple rounds of the game Mafia. Goodnight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.
– Jamie, Chloe, and Paulina
This is a post from Thrity Vakil, the director of the Tropic Ventures Sustainable Forestry Project.
A really full day of labor at Las Casas de la Selva, Patillas, Puerto Rico, with a team of 24 Global Works teens. We collected rocks from the river to fill the cavity caused by water erosion under our newly-made bridge. We added cement to tie it all in. [Last year] We had almost completed the bridge last year when the hurricanes hit. This is an ongoing project and we welcome any teams to help us get it to completion.
Thanks to GW group leaders, Lyndsey, Michelle, and Alvin!
Yummy lunch by Vanessa and Miguel.
July 19, 2018
We started the day with a quick breakfast at the house before racing up to Villa Del Rio for out last day of work. After a day in the rainforest, we were very happy to return to the community and to be mixing cement with our friends once again. After a long day, Maria helped to cook us a delicious meal which consisted of burgers and fries. Then, when we found out Egi would be coming to the beach with us, we were overjoyed. After we returned from the beach, the community arrived for our celebratory cookout dinner together, which was very bittersweet. Giving gifts to the community we came to love made us smile as well as shed a few tears. We ended the evening on a high note by learning to salsa dance.
-Veronica and Jamie
July 20, 2018
We all woke up around 8am; today was our last time at the Big Yellow House. The girls and the leaders spent some time trying to figure out where the boys went…after a small freak out and a jog on the beach to find them, the boys came down from upstairs, one by one laughing. They told us about their prank and how they hid behind the counter and we ended up having a really delicious pancake breakfast. We thoroughly cleaned up the house and hopped in the vans to go to the El Yunque rainforest. When we started swimming, there was a really fun rope swing that most of us went on. The water was cold but very relaxing. The guys climbed the rocks and the girls got snail facials. We had to hike up a really long hill to the vans but afterwards we headed to Casa Coral in Luquillo, where we are staying tonight.
This new setting was not what we were used to- inside the rooms were beautifully designed, and directly outside was a perfect view of the ocean, orange sand, and a river we could swim in. After about an hour of fun in the river, we headed back inside for closing activities. We even wrote letters for our future selves based on our experiences from this amazing trip.
Afterwards we went to the bioluminescent bay, where we saw the magical microorganisms glow under the tarp. Kayaking through the mangroves was quite difficult, but it was all worth it. We then went to dinner at Lolita’s Mexican food restaurant. We got GIANT burritos and they were delicious!!! Although we had such a great day, We are all so sad to leave tomorrow.