Puerto Rico: bringing people together

25 May 2019

Our Catamaran trip was such an amazing experience!! We started out our trip on a 45-minute ride out to the small island of Cayo Icacos. It was beautiful there with the white sand and clear water (where the picture below was taken). Here, we practiced snorkeling, swimming, and had the opportunity to lay out on the beach or boat. After we ate lunch on the boat, we headed out to the middle of the water where the Caribbean Sea met the Atlantic Ocean. It was awesome to see the rough Atlantic waves coming into the calm Caribbean Sea. We stayed on the Caribbean side to snorkel since it was much calmer. While snorkeling we saw a coral reef along with many different fish. It was beautiful! This experience with all of my friends was wonderful and one that I will never forget!!

– Chrissy Delawder

30 May 2019

This past week in Puerto Rico has changed my life! I never thought I would be this impacted and see so many places in such a short amount of time. From white sandy beaches to the El Yunque Rainforest, from historic landmarks and battlefields, to museums, community centers, Spanish class, and plenty more…our group has seen and been a part of so much! Something that I see everywhere we go is how humble the people are. Hurricane Maria impacted this beautiful place detrimentally, of course, but many people saw the hurricane as a blessing to bring them together, re-build, and find ways to sustain themselves and protect one another from future hurricanes. I am blown away by how the people we have talked with have handled the situation they were put in, and I think we can all take away a lot from their constant positivism .

In addition, we started home-stays this week, and this is a much different experience than I could have ever imagined, but in a great way! My host mom is sweet and makes sure we get our bellies full before bed every night! I got the chance to sit down and talk with her last evening and really get to know her more! After home-stays finish here in a few days, we will be heading off to Ponce, Puerto Rico to continue learning, exploring, and serving. I can’t wait to see what this next week and a half holds for our group!

-Ally Coffey

Group after our first salsa class