Updates from Service Learning Trip to Puerto Rico
Jessica Neves, Fashion Merchandising Student
On our second day at the service learning site we got to plant a garden for the first time. The weather was not on our side at first as it was down pouring, but storms come and go here in the tropics. A few minutes later, the weather cleared up and we were good to go. I was assigned to plant some flowers, and when I started I never knew how much work it took planting a garden. The soil I was working with was kind of dry and when it was dry it turned kind of clay-like. But with the right resources, hard work, and determination, we pulled through and planted flowers at the corner of what was becoming the new entrance of the facility. We wanted to beautify the new entrance so when visitors arrived we could give them a warm and inviting welcome. All in all, it was a very rewarding experience.
Dr. William Morrissette, Criminal Justice Program Chair
We had a great second day at the service learning site. Weather was a bit rough at first but things cleared up and we had a cool overcast day to get the work done. The project is going really well thanks to all the supplies and organization we have. With seventeen people we have been able to run multiple projects which allows for everyone to have meaningful work. The site has provided flowers to plant and other resources like mulch which have helped us to take beautification projects to full completion. My biggest surprise yesterday was an 18 inch tree snake that had made a home in some vines I was cutting down around the playground. We are doing our best to respect the critters that make this area home and making the playground safe for the children. I think with my pruning, the snake will now hang out high up in the tree and far away from the children. Looking forward to finishing the playground which will require cleaning up two sitting areas on either side of the main play area. Students are really doing fantastic and representing Bay State extremely well. I couldn't ask for anything more from them.
Daya Clark, Fashion Design Student
I am here at Hogar De Ninos De Cupey, a residence for girls from the ages 9 to 21 who are dealing with hurt and trauma from living in abusive homes. There are 5 homes with around 40 girls. Our Service Learning group is in the gazebo ready to work, and the woman who helps run this nonprofit organization is telling us about the girls and giving us insight on why we are here to help. She is short and soft spoken. She takes us on a tour of the land and is speaking in Spanish. I notice that they are in need of some help. The place was a little run down: Swings were broken, and parts of the land looked dead and not cared for. I helped with raking and taking care of the land. It was hard work, yet I enjoyed it because I knew that I was helping them in so many ways.