Puerto Rico #7: Lessons Learned

Gabe Swisher-Rosa ’23 and Donald Hutchinson ’23, expresses gratitude for their time in Puerto Rico.

Gabe Swisher-Rosa ’23 :

Landing on Monday feels just seconds ago as I take in the sweet smells of salty Puerto Rican sea and luscious tropical fruit for the last time. I board my plane ready to see my parents once again, but I don’t come home alone. I’m traveling back with the weight high expectations that I will make a difference in my home community just as the infinitely strong people of Puerto Rico do in theirs. In the seven wonderful days we spent on the island, I learned how to approach and fight for gender equality from the wonderful women of Coordinadora de la Paz Para las Mujeres, I learned how to be more proactive about ecological conservation in meeting with La Basura Cero, and I relearned the importance of music, culture, and dance as I learned Bomba and it’s beautiful history. I go home with the life changing experiences I had ready to share them with everyone I see in hopes of changing their lives just a little bit. Thank you so much Puerto Rico and paciência y fé por todos.

Donald Hutchinson ’23:

It feels like I left Puerto Rico as soon as I got there. My Sunday was spent cramped into two airplanes next to people I didn’t know. During this time, I thought about the plane ride to Puerto Rico, when I sat in between two people that I would come to know in the following week. The bond that I created with my classmates in Puerto Rico is a special one that I will never forget. I realized that throughout the week I had become comfortable with all of the people on the trip, and I had learned something about each of them that I hadn’t known before. As I said goodbye to San Juan, I knew that I would take the experiences and connections that I had enjoyed with the others on the trip with me. I am happy that I left Puerto Rico with positive experiences, and having improved my Spanish tremendously.


Click here for more pictures of the Puerto Rico trip!