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Puerto Rico

Adventure with Purpose

april 27–30 | 2018

Updated March 21, 2018

 

Pay homage to our legacy of service by stepping your boots on the ground to support Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.  

 
 

 
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APRIL 27–30 | 2018

Puerto Rico

Trip Highlights

Jumpstart Tourism  This 4 day, 3 night trip  is a combination of service and tourism, which we call "altourism.”  One of the best ways to fast-track Puerto Rico’s recovery is to contribute to the tourism economy, which accounts for nearly a fifth of all jobs on the island—and for good reason. We’ll swim at gorgeous beaches, wander Old San Juan, and taste the Caribbean's finest at the Bacardi Rum factory!  

Boots on the Ground  With the leadership of preeminent nonprofits (including RPCVs!), get involved in areas where Puerto Rico is hard-pressed for help—clearing trails of debris, cleaning beaches and protecting ecology, and providing essential services to locals in need of a helping hand.

Disaster Recovery 101  Learn about our changing global ecosystem that is leading to increased frequency of storms, and the efforts of nonprofits to help impacted communities and environments in need.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Due to the limited hotel stock in Puerto Rico following the hurricane, we will be staying in private homes that are hospitality ready. Prices are based on double occupancy. Private room accommodations are available for a single supplement of $299 for the main program. As a solo traveler, if you prefer, we can also pair you with another traveler (two twin beds, requiring no single supplement, based on availability). Private bathrooms are also available upon request and dependent on availability.

PHYSICAL LEVEL

While the touristic elements of the tour are not very strenuous, please note that it can involve the following: somewhat long days, a good amount of walking (including stairs, varied elevations, and uneven surfaces), the sun and potentially hot temperatures. That being said, all individuals participating in volunteer work should be reasonably physically fit and prepared to do the work that is planned for the day, which may include beach clean-ups, trail clearing, or constructions. Some tasks are more physically demanding than others. If you have any medical conditions or other concerns, there will be opportunity for you to make us aware of them during the registration, and then we can determine if the trip is appropriate for you. On the trip, it is important that all participants communicate to the volunteer supervisor any concerns they may have about particular tasks, such as climbing ladders or working with power tools.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 100% of proceeds will support economic recovery in Puerto Rico
  • All activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Accommodations as described in the itinerary
  • Most meals (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner)
  • Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach as well as transfers for the group as appropriate
  • English speaking guide/interpreter to accompany through the whole touring period
  • Gratuities

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare to and from Puerto Rico
  • Expenses of a purely personal nature (including cab fares, laundry and other personal items, room service charges)
  • Transportation of luggage in excess of weight allowance
  • Travel insurance (We strongly advise that each participant arrange for their own travel insurance)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals not noted in itinerary
  • Medical expenses
  • Costs associated with trip interruption or modification due to weather, travel conditions, political/civil disputes, medical emergencies or other causes beyond our control

FAQs

What is driving the cost of the trip?

First, the cost of accommodations in Puerto Rico is abnormally high right now. A significant portion of the island's hotel stock was destroyed during Hurricane Maria and much of what remains is being used to house emergency responders, contractors, and other personnel supporting recovery efforts. This hotel shortage drives up the price of the limited remaining availability. Secondly, a portion of your ticket price will be supporting local recovery efforts on the ground, including providing financial and in-kind support (e.g. supplies for our volunteer efforts) for the partner organizations that you will come to meet and assist during your time in Puerto Rico. Finally, this trip is a combination of service and tourism, which we call "altourism." We've heard from our partners on the ground (including many RPCVs!) that one of the best ways we can support the recovery of the island is to support the tourism industry (and encourage your friends and family to visit la isla, too!). So while we're there, we'll be experiencing some of the best tourism attractions that Puerto Rico has to offer—and we hope you'll join us!

Who are your partners on the ground?

While in Puerto Rico, we'll be partnering with premier community organizations doing work presently on the island. Some are national nonprofits, while others are local. Some are community initiatives that don't have 501c3 status, but are simply great people doing important work for their communities. The team designing this trip brings two decades of nonprofit and volunteer management experience to the project, including disaster services—and of course, they are RPCVs! They are working closely with partners on the ground (including the NPCA affiliate group Amigos del Cuerpo de Paz de Puerto Rico) to identify the most meaningful and impactful ways our volunteers—each offering their own unique talents—will be able contribute to recovery efforts on the island. We won't be confirming partners until closer to the trip departure, as needs on the ground are changing. We invite you to bring the same "can do, will do" spirit of the Peace Corps to this important effort!

CANCELLATION POLICY

Cancellation by Traveler

The $250 trip deposit is non-refundable.

  • 25% non-refundable 120 days or more prior to departure
  • 50% non-refundable 119 to 90 days prior to departure
  • 75% non-refundable 89 to 60 days prior to departure
  • 100% non-refundable 59 days or less prior to departure

If a traveler leaves the trip for any reason after it has commenced, we are not obligated to make any refunds for unused services. If a travelers fails to join a tour, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund will be made.

Cancellation by Trip Operator - Insider Expeditions (IE)

IE may cancel a trip at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events, it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If IE cancels the trip, traveler can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or alternatively receive a full refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control, refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.

 
Puerto Rico - Reservation
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Puerto Rico - Reservation
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full trip price - $1289 ($299 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT)

This trip is coordinated by RPCV Mary Bruce of tour operator Insider Expeditions.

Reservation fee will be credited towards full ticket.

 
 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico

Join us at the San Juan Airport (SJU). As part of your journey to the island, you’ll also have the opportunity to hand-deliver much needed provisions to there .Local organizations have requested diapers, baby food, batteries, and first aid supplies; we’ll send you an updated list of needed in-kind donations as the trip approaches should you wish to contribute. We’ll head straight to lunch hosted by a local organization leading recovery efforts, El Plato Caliente (The Hot Dish). This non-governmental initiative was started by Rafy Rodriguez after the pass of Hurricane Maria. El Plato Caliente delivered over 32,500 plates of warm food in 21 days to towns all around the island. Here, we’ll learn about the effects of the hurricane on local economy and environment—and how our visit this weekend makes a difference. Jump right into our service efforts, supporting local food security initiatives. From here, we’ll head out for an Old San Juan walking tour. Stroll the narrow streets of this UNESCO World Heritage site, taking in the colorful buildings, the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, the San Juan Gate and Paseo de La Princesa. Explore recently re-opened shops and cafes along the beautiful tree-lined promenade that dates back to to 1853. Puerto Rico is open for business, and tonight we’ll celebrate over a welcome dinner, joined by locals, . From here, we’ll explore San Juan nightlife, hopping into local bars, listening to latin jazz, and scoping out the local craft beer scene. ¡Salud! Meals: Lunch

Day 2 - Coastal Cleanup and Caribbean Cocktails

After enjoying some Caribbean coffee, we’ll head off to our second service project. Puerto Rico is a beautiful island with tropical weather year around and host of more than 1,000 beaches. Today, we’ll be volunteering to keep them clean and safe for everyone to enjoy with the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), which is coordinated by Ocean Conservancy. We’ll clean up, and conduct data collection over coastal and marine waste. Then, with a deeper understanding of the impact of our actions on the oceans, we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch by the waters (don’t forget your bathing suit and towel!). This afternoon, we’ll head to the Bacardi distillery, the largest rum distillery in the world. Together, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of its plant, museums and tropical gardens. You’ll learn the process of distillation of rum and the history of the Bacardi family from Cuba to their exile in Puerto Rico, in preparation for tonight’s libations! Tonight, the choice is yours: enjoy dinner together, wander the streets of Old San Juan, or head to a exciting Bioluminescent Bay tour at Las Croabas (additional costs apply). Under the blanket of night sky, we’ll paddle along the edge of the mangrove forest, searching for streaks of light created by the creatures of this lagoon. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 - El Yunque, Luquillo Beach, and a Local’s Favorite

After we fill up on breakfast, we’ll head out to two of Puerto Rico’s most beautiful natural sights. First, we’ll visit el Yunque Rainforest a wildlife paradise that is still only partially open, as a result of the hurricane. Then, we’ll head to Luquillo Beach, a palm tree-lined beach with sublime views of Puerto Rico’s rainforest-covered mountains in the distance. Today, you’ll learn about the startlingly diverse landscapes of this island—and how its inhabitants have been diversely affected by recovery efforts. Tonight, we’ll have a final farewell with our new Puerto Rican friends at a local’s favorite restaurant, enjoying local specialties like mofongo, a Puerto Rican favorite made of plantains and pork rinds. Then, we’ll head out to celebrate like locals, swaying to the rhythms of live Salsa music. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - Hasta Luego

Savor a final breakfast together this morning, taking time to reflect on our weekend together. Before heading to the airport, take a swim or soak in some sun.. Say farewell for now, before heading back to home destinations with new friends and a sense of a weekend well-spent.

Meals: Breakfast

 

A Note on the Final Itinerary: Itineraries and pricing are subject to change. This particular tour has been designed with specific events in mind, and schedules and availabilities may change in coming months. If any activity or person that is advertised is missed or not available, it will be replaced with an activity or person of equal interest and value. A final itinerary and briefing packet will be ready two weeks before the trip.