Puerto Rico #4: Group Bonding

Koai Solano Ortiz ’24 and Aaron Gibbons ’24, share the days activities with an interactive visit to Basura Cero, a waste management company. 

Koai Solano Ortiz ’24:

On Thursday, the visits that most peaked my interest on the Puerto Rico Trip were Basura Cero and the Arts Museum. Our first meeting of the day with Basura Cero was highly interactive and the icebreakers were quite nice to do as group bonding. Throughout the presentation, we also learned about circular economy and how we can convert plastics and glass into a myriad of useful materials, including art supplies. As a kid with a knack for art, I wondered more about how plastics and glass can be used for architectural purposes, sculptures, etc..

My wonder was then exalted by our visit to the Art Museum. Some of the pieces that spoke the most to me were typically the most interactive. One of the rooms imitated that of a peach colored barber shop, with mirrors and old barber chairs growing old with growing veins hugging them tight. The mirrors had TV’s on them, playing the same film and tires hung from each wall of the room. To our left, the wall had a tiny mural with roses and bullets between the cursive words, Perdóname Madre. A statue of a religious figure kneeled down near the right wall in our direction. The room transported us to a life that may not be known by all its visitors but it provides a glimpse. The beauty of its mystery told me to stay and decipher its roots but as time was limited, I decided to visit the rest of the museum. I hope that one day I can come back and have more time to process the art pieces I saw.

Aaron Gibbons ’24:

In the morning we met with two guys who talked to us about waste management. We played a connection game where you had to throw the yarn to someone who has someone in common with you. This game really showed how similar we all are and how we can all relate to each other in different ways. Then we played another game that was based more on waste management. We had to cut out pieces in a very efficient way and make sure that we didn’t have a lot of waste left or we got points taken off. It really helped me personally notice the patience and time that having a business comes with, and it expanded my knowledge on sustainability in Puerto Rico. Then we went to a Colombian restaurant for lunch where we got to try so many different foods. My favorite food, along with some others, was Arepa De Choclo which is a flat bread made out of corn with cheese on the inside and a guava sauce drizzled on the top. It was sweet but also savory at the same time and it left me full for the rest of the day.