Puerto Rico is filled with opportunities for students to broaden their worldviews, absorb rich culture, and lend a hand in a variety of ways that truly enable tangible change for locals.
These memorable experiences not only encourage students to be service-minded in other aspects of their lives, but they make a difference in the lives of those who need it. Students can invest their time in several service-centric ways while on the island.
Supporting orphanages and foster homes.
While visiting these local organizations, students can take part in many helpful tasks such as painting brightly colored and cheerful murals, organizing games and activities, or cleaning parts of the facility where children regularly spend their time. Most of all, engaging with the children at these locations offers students a meaningful way to make connections and have friendly interactions with the children they’re serving—an experience everyone present will always remember.
Serving at soup kitchens.
Here, the students’ day starts bright and early where they’ll help prepare the meal they’ll be serving later in the day. Alongside a local church community, students could set up “spontaneous soup kitchens” in key neighborhoods of need. They can also collect and bring donations like clothing items and set up a free clothing store for community members to take what they need. Opportunities like these are humbling and will give students insight into the ways in which others’ experiences can be different than their own.
Help meet the needs of rural elementary schools.
By helping install or set up much-needed materials and items at rural elementary schools, students can make a difference in a child’s education while taking part in cultural person-to-person exchanges. Whether it’s helping repair a broken water fountain, donate and organize classroom materials, install an air conditioner in a hot classroom, or one of the many other options, the support of these local schools creates a lasting ripple effect.
Additional opportunities for students include reforestation and environmental service projects, manatee rescue efforts, beach clean-up, and much more.
The easy part about giving back is that it can be done at any time. Have an opening in your itinerary? Consider adding a service opportunity to students’ already unforgettable adventure.