El Yunque Experience
Environmental, Cultural and Community Service Experience in Puerto Rico
August 4th-10th, 2019
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Join us on a 7-day environmental exploration and community service trip experience in Puerto Rico! From the depth of the rich vegetation in the rainforest to the crystal clear water where the coral reef lies, Puerto Ricos magic, welcoming people and unhurried pace is an incredible way to step out of your comfort zone, immerse yourself in a new culture, meet other young people from around the country and take time to give back through hands on community service projects. This is a place to meet new friends, enjoy a variety of fun activities/adventures and learn things about yourself and the world that you never thought you could. As you work together with other young people to make an impact in the amazing country of Puerto Rico you will realize the leadership and incredible potential you have within you. We hope this camp experience sparks a flame in you - a flame that reminds you that you can make a difference on this planet and the world will be better because you are in it.
Catamaran Boat Tour Snorkel Trip
Sail aboard the 54 ft. Catamaran, TRAVELER and snorkel in Puerto Rico's endangered coral reef with a marine biologist. This is a chance to glide through the calm, protected Caribbean waters of Fajardo Sound on the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. There are options of exploring the uninhabited island of Icacos, hitting the beach, getting geared up for the first snorkel session and experiencing the coral reefs or just relaxing in the sun as the sail boat moves through the water! This is both fun and extremely educational as you will learn about the different endangered reef and species that reside below though the surface!
Bio Bay Kayak Tour
Bioluminescence is one of planet Earth’s best-kept secrets. Tiny organisms make the water the glow at night. They found the perfect place to live in the Fajardo Bio Bay. Stir the water of the Bioluminescent Bay and lots of sparkles will activate. Glowing trails will swirl and flow with the water.
The Fajardo Bio Bay Kayak Tour feels like discovering a whole new world. This bioluminescent bay is part of a nature reserve. The entrance is a beautiful mangrove channel. All along the way you are surrounded by protected life, and at night, the stars fill the sky! * add something science related
El Yunque Conservation
El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. Though a small forest compared to other sites in the system, the 29,000 acres are a huge chunk of land for the small island of Puerto Rico. Eight endangered species live in the forest, and the management focus is on habitats, which include a range of forest types across the elevation gradient. These unique habitats attract 1.1 million visitors every year. Climate change and the pressure put on the soil and watersheds due to the high concentration of visitors are just a few of the planning problems that the forest faces. (source)
Cabezas de San Juan Conservation
A bioluminescent lagoon, mangroves, coral reefs, dry forests, sandy and rocky beaches set between headlands—visit all these ecosystems in one place, the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, in Fajardo.
Include more about the conservation project
Camp Life at Camp El Yunque
When we are not out exploring and working in the Puerto Rico’s beautiful rainforest, beaches, coral reefs, city architecture or the diverse culture we will be having tons of fun at our very own Camp El Yunque. With a swimming pool, bunk house, basketball court and green space we will have lots of activities planned to get to know each other with games and team building, enjoy campfires, laughter and meals together, learn about leadership and who we are as individuals and who we want to be in the world. And perhaps maybe even partake in some friendly competition as that is always the best way to make lasting memories! * add more science if possible
Zip Line Rainforest Adventure
There are few better places in the world to take a zipline tour than the beautiful landscape of Rio Grande and El Yunque National Forest. A zipline tour where you will experience thrill and adventure while also learning about the the preservation of the forest ecosystems and the wonders of the living nature that surrounds and encompasses us. You will also get to relish in the history and mystical enchantment of the island and El Yunque itself!
Historical Tour of Old San Juan
Old San Juan is a “Must See” while visiting Puerto Rico. That is because this old historic city offers so much. There is something for everyone: beautiful views (great for photography), architecture, restaurants, art, museums, shopping, history, sculptures, people-watching, music, dance and so much vibrant culture.
Exploring the Beautiful Beaches of Puerto Rico
Not only does Puerto Rico house the only Rain Forest in the U.S. National Park System - it also has miles and miles of magical beach to enjoy to your hearts desire. During your time at Camp El Yunque we will be sure to visit the beach so you can take a swim in the gorgeous blue tropical waters and perhaps do some conservation work at the beaches as well, as it is important to keep our beaches healthy so we can enjoy their magic! * add microplastic survey and more science
10-15 Community Service Hours
Explore: The town of Old San Juan and its vibrant cultural
Snorkel: In the crystal blue water off the island of Icacos
Enjoy: Time with people from different cultures and backgrounds as you work side by side to help do community service work, play games, share meals and conversations and go on epic adventures together!
Sail: Catamaran sailing & snorkel excursion
Nighttime Sea Kayak: Mangroves and the bioluminescent bay under the stars
Zipline Tour: Over the Rio Grande and Yunque National Forest
Beach Time: Enjoy the tropical beaches and water of Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Immerse Yourself: In a culture rich with diversity and overflowing with welcoming people.
9th-12th / 13-18 years old
7 Days, 6 Nights
Tuition/Program Fee (Airfare and baggage fees not included)
$885.00 per person includes all food, lodging, in country transportation, full time volunteer coordinator, project materials, liability insurance, and educational/recreational activities. Project Service Fee does not include flights to and from Puerto Rico.
During your time at Camp El Yunque you will be staying in bunk houses with all your fellow student volunteers. We will have our own camp with bathrooms, showers, a full kitchen, a swimming pool, green space, basketball court and big indoor spaces for gathering for meals and workshops. *add more science to where we will be living and located throughout the week
Arrival and Departure should be booked out of the San Luis Munoz Marin airport in Puerto Rico. Transportation will be provided from the airport to camp and then back to the airport on departure day. You will be met at the airport upon arrival by a camp staff member.
The itinerary below gives you an idea of possible projects and timeline for travel.
August 4 - Day 1 - Arrival Day
Arrive San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, met by volunteer coordinator, arrive to our Home in the rainforest, bunk assignments and settle in, Welcome dinner and campfire.
August 5 - Day 2 - Orientation and Service Project #1
All Camp Orientation, Team Building, Getting to each other
Afternoon Service Project in El Yunque National Forest
August 6 - Day 3 - Service Project #2
Ecosystem orientation at Cabezas de San Juan
Lunch at Lighthouse
Conservation Project at Cabezas de San Juan
August 7 - Day 4 - Fun and Education at our home in the Rainforest and Bio Bay Tour!
Leadership, educational, cultural workshops
Fun and games as a whole group - time to get to know new friends and create an international family!
Night time excursion to kayak in the bioluminescent bay
August 8 - Day 5 - Adventure Day
Zipline and ropes course in the Morning - test your comfort zone as you sour about the rain forest
Beach in the afternoon - Time to to relax, take a swim and engage in a micro plastic project
August 9 - Day 6 - Sailing, Snorkeling and Sun - Yippee!
Full Day Excursion:
Coral reef exploration snorkeling and catamaran trip guided by a Marine Biologist
August 10 - Day 7 - Departure Day
Pack for departure
Old San Juan historical district
Drop at airport 2 hours before departure
If you are interested and want to learn more please submit your name and email below and we will reach out to you to find a time to have a further conversation and answer anymore questions you may have.