After arriving in the capital city of San Juan for their first night, the group of volunteers traveled an hour south to Yabucoa, the municipal where they would spend the next seven days engaged in an immersive service experience. Partnered with Group Missions International (GMI), a non-profit with close ties to the mayors and local community members in several municipalities, MMC students were tasked with providing much-needed assistance to hurricane survivors. After helping identify specific homes in need of critical repair, the group split into two teams to help with scrapping, painting, debris clean-up, and communicating with homeowners.
After each day, the students reconvened for nightly reflections and to share the service work of the day, what they learned, and how it would impact the homeowners (and themselves).
“Alternative Spring Break is always an enjoyable learning experience,” reflects Fanny He, MMC’s Assistant Director of Student Activities and Inclusivity Programming, who accompanied the students alongside Zakkiyya Taylor, Associate Director for Student and Community Engagement. “This year, even more so because the social issue and location was a call to action from our own MMC community. It was wonderful to see our students put their hearts into service learning and community engagement.”
The staff advisors could see the strong bonds built during the trip, not just between students, but also with the community they served. Several of our students plan to return to serve with GMI this summer and during their next winter break.