The Great Work of the 21st century will be to reconnect our humanity to the reality and spirit of nature, to the fullness of life. Instead of settling for an age of emptiness, we could be entering one of the most creative periods in human history.
— Thomas Berry

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.

The Puerto Rico 2018 trip was and will forever be the best thing I have experienced. Also by far the best choice I have ever made. I truly feel as is if I grew with not only my Spanish but all and all as a person.
— Cami Brewer, CCI Volunteer

Highlights

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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

Detailed Overview

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10-15 Community Service Hours

Coral Conservation

Activities:

  • 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.

Completing Grades/Age

9th-12th / 13-18 years old

Duration

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.

Accommodations

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

Arrive/Depart

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.

Itinerary

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

Closing Campfire

August 10 - Day 7 - Departure Day

Pack for departure

Old San Juan historical district

Goodbyes

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.

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Videos

Watch this video from last summer to get a taste of what you or your school group may experience

Watch this video to get a better glimpse into the amazing El Yunque National Forest where this amazing summer camp resides and where we will be doing service projects and learning about the environmental beauty this rain forest has to offer