Serving in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Support Puerto Rican Children 

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, a common destination for Americans seeking beach vacations with a Latin twist.  But beyond the seaside hotels is a community asking for your help – students looking to sharpen their English skills, orphaned and vulnerable children needing psycho-social support, and community buildings in need of tender loving care. Lend your hands and heart to the efforts. In just one week, you can make a difference and form lasting bonds with the people of Puerto Rico.

Community Partner & Work Projects

Our community partners in Aguadilla include:  

Hogar de Niños Regazo de Paz — An orphanage that has 14 to 15 children. The children come from abusive families or families that cannot afford to take care of them.  About half of the children are two years old or younger and the remaining half are two to eight years old.  

Asociación Probienestar Barrio Marias de AguadaA food bank and thrift store that serves the mountainous community in Aguadilla and Aguada.  

University of Puerto Rico Aguadilla —  A public university campus founded in 1972 with and enrollment of 2,700 students.

Rincón Municipal Language camp — This project takes place in the mountainous region of Jaguey, on the border of Rincon and Aguada. This project is facilitated by the municipality of Rincon. Conversational English sessions are offered to people of all ages.  

Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico – a private, non-profit university with eleven locations in Puerto Rico and an enrollment of 40,000 students. The university offers over 200 associate, bachelors, masters and doctorate programs. 

Volunteers on the Aguadilla service program are pioneers that will help develop the program and establish a strong foundation for future programs. Flexibility is critical. Work projects may include: 

Teach Conversational English to Students and Adults – English is the language of commerce, tourism and opportunity – a critical skill for young Puerto Ricans. No teaching experience required, just a desire to visit with local people. 

Provide Psycho-Social Support – Play with and care for infants and toddlers at a local children’s center. Your love provides critical nourishment to the most vulnerable members of the community. 

Building Repair –Assist with the maintenance and rehabilitation of an old school campus, food pantry, and children’s center, or help build a kitchen to serve area children. Our community partner has funding for these projects, but just needs extra hands from volunteers to get the job done. 

Grant Writing – The community’s agencies need your help researching and writing grants to fund life-saving projects. 

Service Program Logistics

All programs are led by a trained team leader experienced in managing diverse groups of people. In cooperation with the community leaders, your team leader will facilitate your team’s orientation, assist you in becoming fully engaged in the work project, and manage all project-related logistical issues. 

Meals 

Three meals a day are included in your service program contribution. Volunteers eat meals in the housing’s dining room or at the worksite and the team leader purchases food locally for meals to be prepared in the center’s kitchen. A typical breakfast includes eggs, cereal, toast, coffee, and juice. Lunch is taken bag style to the work sites. Typically, lunches include sandwiches and other basic lunch items and snacks. Dinners are often prepared by a local cook and are served family style. Desserts, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages are available for an additional charge. 

Puerto Rico cuisine, known as cucina criolla is a celebration of flavors, blending indigenous African, Spanish and American influences. Dishes are colorful and full of spices such as bay, oregano and cilantro. Rice and beans are a presence on nearly every table. Traditional dishes volunteers may have a chance to try include: mofongo (mashed plantains with pork or chicken, seasoned with garlic and spices), tostones (fried green plantains), pasteles (similar to tamales stuffed with chicken, vegetables or fish), and arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas and spices). 

Lodging 

Standard lodging for volunteers is an air-conditioned guest house a few minutes from downtown Aguadilla. Double and multi-occupancy rooms are available.  A limited number of single rooms are available for $325 per week on a first come first served basis. Each living area has a private bathroom and shower.  The facility has a game area with a swimming pool, foosball table and billiards as week as a basketball hoop, hammocks and an awesome view overlooking the Caribbean Sea.  

Transportation 

All onsite transportation is included in your service program contribution. You will meet your team leader and other team members at the San Juan airport and be driven to our lodging – about two hours away – in a passenger van. You will also be taken back to the airport in the same way on the final day of your program. Transportation to the work sites varies from mere steps away to about 20 to 45 minutes by passenger van.

Note: transportation for free-time activities is not included. 

Free-Time Activities

You’ll have ample free time in the evenings and on the weekends before and after the program to enjoy area cultural and natural attractions. All free-time activities are your responsibility. Some options in Aguadilla include the famous Crash Boat and Survival Beaches, the old Aguadilla lighthouse ruins, the Gozalandia waterfall and the Aguadilla museum of art. Farther afield, the city of San Juan is an historical goldmine with an abundance of shops and restaurants.  Puerto Rico is home to the only rainforest in the United States – El Yunque National Forest. Please note that a rental car is required to visit most of these attractions.  

Service Program Contribution

Global Volunteer’s service program contribution covers all lodging, three meals a day, in-country team transportation, emergency medical evacuation insurance, all preparatory materials, onsite orientation, a full-time team leader, and administration costs. The Aguadilla service program contribution is $1,177 with standard lodging for one week. 

Please ask your volunteer coordinator about referral credits as well as discounts for students, companions, groups, and alumni volunteers. We encourage you to use Global Volunteers’ online fundraising tool where you can create a personalized webpage to request partially tax-deductible donations from family and friends to help cover your service program contribution. Airfare and free-time activity expenses are your responsibility. The service program contribution and airfare are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers. 

Reserve your spot today. Call one of our volunteer coordinators at 800-487-1074 to register.

You CAN make a world of difference in your own backyard!