Alternative Spring Break 2019: Puerto Rico

For Spring Break 2019 (March 16-23) PBHA students travel to Puerto Rico for a transformative service trip following up on disaster relief work begun last year after the devastating hurricanes. Hear about their trip in their own words.

Day 2

The world is huge and everything we touched today reminded me of it. This realization followed me from Cambridge to San Juan. The layover in Baltimore was full of people I would never see again, each bound to a trip as specific as our own. The sea beneath the plane was like a bridge to an endless path I couldn’t follow, each terminus just as beautiful. San Juan from above looked like a stunning mosaic made of houses, each one the colorful flash of lives that I would never know.

In a world this big, I wondered today why our trip mattered. It was helpful, surely, and the friends I’ve already made are incredible, indescribably so — but for all the lives I couldn’t touch, what good did I do? My day was not the leaving, but rather the question of having left.

My answer is this: this trip may only be a week, and our help may only temporal, but in a world so full of people to help and grow from, each little instance is a step forward. This trip has already taught me that the world is huge and everything we touch does remind me of it, so I’m even more proud — and fortunate — to know that I play my small part to make it a better place.

By Austin Goldsmith-Lachut ’22

Day 1

Today was a great day. It was fantastic to meet everyone and start getting to know each other better. It was a bit of a long day as we had to be up early to travel, but it was fun because we were all together and learning more about each other while feeling very lucky to be able to go on this incredible trip. The travel was surprisingly easy; we had no delays nor any complications which was awesome and made things easier. Once we got to San Juan, we were bumping reggaeton until we got to Levittown, Toa Baja which is the place we are staying for the first night. Once we got here, we got settled in and got ready to grab dinner as a group. Tonight, we went to a restaurant called El Kampestre, and most of us got mofongo, which was fantastic. As this is the beginning of the trip, I think we are all a little bit nervous to be with each other in such close proximity as many of us did not know each other before we got placed on this trip together. But, even after a day, I feel that these are people I want to be friends with in the future and hope that we can become close and stay close in the future!

By Piroz Bahar ’20