In late September 2017, Hurricane Maria whipped through the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico with tornado-level winds, drenching the island with intense flooding, crippling communications, and decimating countless homes. With the whole island affected, the relief and recovery efforts have been slow to start and will be needed on a massive scale.
As soon as news of this disaster started spreading across the media, we began getting inquiries from our wonderful teams and volunteers about how they could help, so we will be bringing as many teams as possible to Puerto Rico during the spring and summer of 2018. If you are looking for an opportunity to have a tangible impact on the lives of real people in need, then this is a great trip for your group.
Will your team come alongside the people of Puerto Rico as they recover from a massive natural disaster?
In Puerto Rico we partner with a local organization called Hunger Corp to support teams like you who help families recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.
Home Repairs: On a standard 7-day trip you will assist local families who have homes that were damaged by Hurricane Maria. Your projects will consist of essential home repairs such as replacing roofs that were destroyed in the storm. Your team could literally be the difference between whether a family is sleeping under a leaking tarp or in a dry home. Not only will you be meeting a need but you will be bringing hope in the midst of suffering!
Your work in Puerto Rico will be physical manual labor, but there are opportunities for teams of all different skill levels to serve. EM/Hunger Corp staff will be available for instruction/oversight, and local skilled workers will be hired to work with your team. That being said if you are able to bring professional contractors or individuals with construction experience that is helpful and it will increase the effectiveness of your team.
Home Building: If you are able to serve on a longer 11-day trip you will have the opportunity to help with a house that EM/Hunger Corp teams will build from the ground up. These houses will be built for families who lost their entire homes, and they are designed by professionals who have engineered them to last through future hurricanes. Depending on the skills of your team you probably won't be able to complete the house within the duration of your trip, but you can expect to see significant progress. You may have the opportunity to start a brand new home or continue work on a home that has already been started by another team. If you are interested in an 11 day trip please indicate this on your interest form.
*Experience Mission works closely with local leaders to identify work projects and ministry opportunities that address authentic needs within the community. We ask that you come with a servant's heart and willingness to adapt to the unique qualities represented in each location. Opportunities can vary significantly from one week to the next. Your team may work at one location or serve at multiple locations each day. Due to the changing needs of our community partners, we cannot confirm your specific activities until your team arrives.
You will be staying at a local church in Puerto Rico. We have partnerships with multiple churches, and we will assign your specific church closer to the start of your trip. This allows us to more affectively spread the impact of our teams to different communities. The facilities will be sufficient but minimal, so you should come prepared to leave the comforts of home behind.
You will sleep in a secure church compound. Twin size beds or air mattresses will be provided. Sleeping quarters will include rooms inside the church building and tents within the compound that are next to the church. Teams on weeks with over 40 volunteers should be prepared to have some team members sleep in the tents with air mattresses.
Showers will be available at the church where you are staying.
There will be modern toilet facilities at the church.
There will be drinkable tap water available at the church.
After Hurricane Maria, most of Puerto Rico was under a blackout. There is no way to know exactly when electricity will be fully functioning on the island, but the churches where you will be staying will have generators if electricity is an issue during your trip. This means that you can expect to have electricity at your lodging facilities without any major issues.
A team of Puerto Ricans will be preparing and serving meals for your team. You will have an ample selection of tasty food. You can expect to be served breakfast and dinner at the church, and you will pack sack lunches to bring with you to work each day.
Destination Airport: San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)
You as a team are responsible to cover the cost of your round trip airfare to the San Juan airport and should make plans to arrive between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm on the first day of your selected trip.
Return travel should be arranged with your flight departing after 11:00 am on the last day of your selected trip. If you have trouble finding flights that fit into this time frame please contact us before booking your tickets to make special arrangements.
Upon arrival in Puerto Rico, all ground transportation is included in the cost of your trip.
We have partnerships with multiple churches, and we will not be able to confirm the specific church you will be staying at until closer to your trip. This allows us to more effectively spread out the impact of our teams in different communities. That being said, you can expect the church where you will be lodging to be within about a 2.5-hour radius of the airport or less.
Because Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States you do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico!
If you're interested in bringing your group on a mission trip, fill out this quick interest form! Our staff will be in touch with you shortly to help answer your questions. Also, many questions about trips to this community are answered under Mission Trip Details & Logistics above.
Experience Mission has specific policies regarding registration and withdrawal. Please refer to the document below for specifics.
All volunteers on a week-long EM mission trip must be part of a team of at least six (6) people, with at least one team member age 21 or older to serve as the Team Leader. Not part of a group? All young adults ages 18-30 are eligible to apply for EMís IMMERSION program.
Mission Trips involve many details, and we know you probably have a few questions about EM mission trips.
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You must have a group size of at least 10 members to join this trip. Please view the Small Team trips or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.
For most trips, you must have a group size of at least 10 members. Please view the Small Teams tab on each Community page or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.