Troopers from the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, New Jersey, traveled to Puerto Rico in June for a week of service and learning with people affected by Hurricane Maria back in September 2017. The trip was coordinated by faculty from the Academy and personnel of Developing Solidarity together with Centro PASO and Casa de Espiritualidad Sagrado Corazon, two local catholic organizations supporting communities affected by the hurricane.
The troop, helped remove debris from homes destroyed by hurricane María in the mountain town of Aibonito, clearing the way for families to rebuild their homes and their lives. The students also worked at an agro-ecology farm impacted by the hurricane, clearing and preparing a new area for planting. In addition, the students helped prepare food and feed manatees at The Manatee Conservation Center in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, severely impacted by the hurricane.
However, not everything was work! The students had the chance to learn first hand about Puerto Rico’s history, politics and geography and to visit places of natural and historical interest on the island, including: the San Cristobal Fort in Old San Juan, built by the Spanish government in the 1700s, Coamo thermal waters, Isla Verde Beach and El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rain forest in the USA park system. The students also went kayaking at the Cabezas de San Juan Natural Reserve.
At Developing Solidarity, Centro PASO and Casa de Espiritualidad Sagrado Corazon we are profoundly grateful for the support given by students, faculty and parents from the Academy of the Holy Angels. We hope this friendship will continue and more students from the Academy have the chance to serve with us!!