Projects

Our mission is to positively impact as many people’s lives as possible with our volunteers’ time, local skilled labor and contractors, and resources for materials.  For so many in this community, aid and help never arrived after Hurricane Maria, and they continue to live in unimaginable conditions.  We’ll do everything we can with the resources we have to improve that, especially in people's homes:


Here are a few examples of families and houses whom we’ll be helping:


Jose, aged 62:  We met Jose one day as he was crossing the road to wash dishes and feed a pack of stray animals abandoned since the storm.  He hasn’t had running water since before the storm as Maria destroyed many of the pipes coming down from the water source up the mountain.  While power and the electrical grid gets all the media attention, any Hurricane Maria survivor will tell you it’s much easier to live without power than without water.  We can help install a cistern system to collect rainwater and allow him to wash, cook, flush the toilet, and more, without having to cross the busy highway to collect water and haul it back.


Migdalia, aged 42:  Migdalia and her family, including a special needs’ teenager, are still living under a blue FEMA tarp for a roof (which wasn’t professionally installed, so it’s leaking).  She loves interior design and was shy to talk to us until we commented on her wall paintings and complimented her attempts to beautify her simple home.  We can help by clearing debris from her yard (including a small house that’s now overrun by vegetation and the elements where her parents lived until the roof and walls were ripped off during the storm) and installing and sealing a better roof.  


Gonzalez family, three kids, ages 6-12: This family has been displaced from their home since Maria.  They are living with extended family in the central part of Utuado.  Like an estimated 60% of “homeowners” in Puerto Rico, the house has been in their family for decades, but they do not have the proper paperwork and clean title which is required for any government or FEMA aid.  Their house is structurally sound, but lacks running water and the roof is leaking, making it uninhabitable.  Again, we can help by installing a rainwater collection system, repairing the roof, and making repairs around the home to allow them to rebuild their lives in their own home. 

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Typical Work Day

6 am               Wake Up

6.15-6.45       Breakfast

6.45                Depart for worksites 

7-12 noon      Work

12 noon         Return to camp for lunch

1-4 pm           Work at homes or on a central project near the camp (depending on weather) 

4-5 pm           Cleanup/showers, and free time 

5-6 pm           Cultural activity at the camp -  music, art, cooking, etc.

6-7 pm           Dinner

7 pm-8 pm    Devotions

8 pm -            Campfire (rainy season permitting)

Sample Schedule

Day 1: Travel Day

  • Arrive SJU airport by 3 pm
  • Van transport to Utuado camp 1 ½ hours from the airport
  • Orientation & introductions
  • Welcome dinner
  • Evening devotion led by Taino Volunteers team


Day 2: Work Day 

  • Evening devotion led by church leaders


Day 3: Work Day

  • Weather permitting, afternoon R&R experience river trekking and searching for Taino petroglyphs in nearby Rio Caonillas (click here
  • Fresh seafood dinner at the camp
  • Evening devotion led by church leaders


Day 4: Work Day  

  • Evening devotion led by church leaders


Day 5: Work Day

  • Special devotions, music, and traditional lechón asado (roasted pig) celebration, with our host families and new community friends (click here to learn more) 


Day 6: R & R 

  • Breakfast and goodbyes at the camp
  • Van transport to Cueva de las Golondrinas (click here) or Mar Chiquita  (click here) 
  • Boxed lunch at beach
  • Early afternoon van transport to Old San Juan hostel
  • Old San Juan - walking, shopping, visiting El Morro fort
  • Dinner at Pirilo Pizza in Old San Juan (https://www.pirilopizza.com/)


Day 7: Travel Day

  • Breakfast in Old San Juan
  • Van transport to SJU airport 

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