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Ronald Porter
Acting Director of Service Learning

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Service Learning

Service Learning

Puerto Rico: Spring Break 08

Puerto Rico

View photos from Puerto Rico | View video

Students traveled to Patillas, Puerto Rico to work with Tropic Ventures, a 1000 acre rainforest preserve and research site for sustainable forestry. The week began with digging irrigation ditches to slow erosion and learning about organic gardening first-hand. The group constructed a greenhouse for a family of organic farmers and transplanted vegetables so they could be used in educational workshops and be sold in markets. We also had an unexpected opportunity to work with a famous local sculptor to improve his space for community gatherings of artists. We took breaks to watch him sculpt stone and he later gave us a tour of his gallery. In the second half of the week we planted a hilltop coffee plantation, and made the organization's ethno-botanical trail and swimming hole safer for researchers and rainforest wanderers alike. We also weaved palm leaves that will be laced together to create a natural wall. We spent most of our time working hard and getting exceptionally dirty, but we still made time for drum circles, a midnight bonfire, jewelry-making, an evening in a local village of putting our new sabroso dance skills to the test and hikes to waterfalls. Easter Sunday was spent was spent in Old San Juan watching hundreds of kites flown by families over the fields surrounding El Morro, an ocean-side fort, and visiting the oldest church in the western hemisphere.


This video was filmed, edited and produced by student Kelly Schiller.

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View photos from Puerto Rico | View video

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