Skinner Middle School Puerto Rico
June 9, 2022
Today we woke up to a day of fun. We jumped on our bus and headed into Old San Juan. As we headed through the tour after meeting our guide Alvin, we toured through the houses filled with pops of color everywhere. We headed through the forts and then went to have lunch but on the walk the humid air intimidated everyone while walking through the hot streets of San Juan. After lunch we headed towards beautiful shops full of amazing gifts, then we headed back home. Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we headed down to the beautiful beach of Cerro Gordo and played in the water. We came home to a beautiful dinner and then played a circle game in the warm evening breeze. After that we had the layout of what’s planned for tomorrow, and then Leonora and I started this blog. We are heading to bed soon and can’t wait for another beautiful day in Puerto Rico! See you soon!
-Jessica B. & Leonora G.
June 10, 2022
We woke up at 7:30 to the alarm clarks of Puerto Rico – roosters! Then, Ricky dropped off our pancakes, sausage, cheese, and Hawaiian Punch. At this point, it was about 8 and already 80 degrees with about 500% humidity. After breakfast everybody got their backpacks ready and filled our water bottles then loaded up the bus to head to Villa del Rio for our first day of service. After driving for about 20 minutes, we got off the bus and walked a few hundred feet to our worksite. We are working on building the foundation of a house! Our community partner, Willy showed us how to tie rebar together with wires and how to construct the rebar columns. It was fun and hard and boiling hot.
After that, we walked up a couple hills to Maria’s house to sit down and eat a homemade Puerto Rican lunch. Some of us ate three servings…
Then, we ventured bak to the worksite and continued our work. We made more rebar structures and helped move cylinder blocks. We finished working and then headed back to the Big Yellow House. Basically everyone got a good nap. After, we hung out around the house and probably washed off about pound of dirt from the worksite. The biggest iguana was spotted and then was followed by a smaller one which everyone crowded over. We played games until dinner arrived. Pasta with a choice of alfredo or red sauce was served. Then we had the most amazing salsa class that surprisingly everyone picked up really well. Overall today was a blast!
Sofia L. and Sammy C.
June 11, 2022
Today we woke up to roosters and dogs barking at 7:30. We all got together at 8 and had eggs, French toast sticks, and sausage for breakfast (and a little juice). Then we took off in the busses and we headed to the worksite down a bumpy, windy road. After working with rebar and cinder blocks, it started to rain. Once we waited out the rain, we headed up the wet road at 12 and headed to our community host family’s house for lunch. We had rice, salad, assorted beans, and steaming hot marinated meat. After lunch, we started working again only for it to rain again. Once we started heading back to the bus after a hard day’s at work, we headed to the super market. We got our goods and headed back to the Big Yellow House. We got our beach goods and went to the beach after getting bit by many fire ants. We tried to sail a palm tree branch. We swam and saw many fish in a small little reef we found. We came back and cleaned up for dinner. We had salad, fish sticks, chicken and rice. We called and let our parents know that we’re partially Okay 😉 We played sardines(modified hide n seek) and got bit by more fire ants. We came back for announcements and got ready for bed and wrote this blog.
-Luke y Holden (that was Spanish for Luke and Holden)
June 12, 2022
This morning when we woke up, a huge cockroach ran out of the boys room. It was brown and hairy and no one has any idea where it came from. Aside from that though, we ate pancakes and syrup for breakfast before we had to go to the construction site. There we started on the concrete stuff. The worker dudes thought that we couldn’t finish all of the stuff they gave us, but we finished everything before lunch. Because we finished work early, we went back to the Big Yellow House and of course we went to the beach and swam around. Then we came back to the house and cleaned up for our dinner with the rest of the workers from the site.
We went outside and played sardines until the guests got there, and got to play volleyball with some of them when they did arrive. According to John he was the best server (which we all know was actually Stella, but we don’t tell him that) and one of the guests, Angel brought us all fresh coconuts. Everyone enjoyed their coconut water but certain people ate the rest of the coconut meat. (Fun fact vegans can eat coconut meat). Not too soon after the adults called us up, and it was party turned surprise birthday party for the wonderful, Ashton. There was cakes and cupcakes and stuff, and the funny cone hats. We celebrated Asheton’s birthday, (happy birthday bro) and then had yet another meeting. Angel and Willy, the leaders from the worksite, gave speeches and gave everyone these beautiful bracelets that had the Puerto Rico flag on them. Everyone got to say a few things, Ms. Overton started crying, and that was kinda it. We did get to do a few shout outs at the meeting, such as how Sam was a very hard worker, Sofia was a good leader, etc. Then when we were done partying we realized that we were late for bedtime so we slowly made our way to bed and packed our bags for the next day of fun.
John M. and Stella T. also wrote this
June 13, 2022
Today was another successful day for the crew. After breakfast, we started off the day with a lovely 1 hour trip to a natural reserve in Luquillo, PR that trailed its way to a sea-course trail as our crew diligently worked to clear the trail of palm trees and remaining branches. Before we left our work sight we learned about the plantation trails and enjoyed some freshly cut and picked coconuts. We finished off the day with a trip to the beachside where we where graciously joined by a likely stray dog, named “Estrella” or Star. We enjoyed the ocean although a certain someone Samuel was bemoaning not being able to swim in the riptides. In the evening, we spent some group time in the open air common area of our house as we finished off the day and during dinner we enjoyed a pizza party, and ended the day.
June 14, 2022
We woke up early today and went to the rainforest to hike and swim. We had a short hike to a small rocky river that we swam in and John lost his glasses so we had to find them. We then hiked back and got on the bus and went to a restaurant to eat some good food like chicken, fish, and mofongo (the national dish of Puerto Rico). Then we went to five souvenir shops where we saw some fun stuff and bought some souvenirs. Then some of us went to the beach and others stayed back to rest and chill at the hostel, Casa Coral. Some of us that stayed played Chess while the beach people played Marco Polo.
We had Chicken Alfredo for dinner and had ice-cream with Oreos and pineapple for dessert, then we sat in a circle and reflected about our trip and shared what we thought about the awesome week we’ve had. A highlight was talking about our work in Villa del Rio and working in the national reserve for our service days. Then we did shoutouts for each other to talk about what everyone did well this week. Now we will pack and get ready for our big travel day tomorrow and go to sleep.
Ashton K. and Jonah P.
P.S. We’ll miss you, Puerto Rico! (added by the group)