Bringing Hope to Arecibo

July 2nd, 2013

Enjoy the beauty and culture of the Caribbean without a passport! Expect the climate to be tropical with an average temperature of 82 degrees, getting to know the wonderful people of Puerto Rico and be welcomed by their warm hospitality and help bring hope to the community Arecibo.

Arecibo, Puerto Rico is World Servants’ newest community partner and is a US territory located on the Northwest coast of the island, about 50 miles west of San Juan.  Our first mission trip in April 2012 went exceptionally well and World Servants has been invited back and asked to help with another community project.

2013 mission teams will be partnering with the Iglesia de Cristo en Arecibo, which is led by Jim Gullette, World Servants host community leader.   Our construction project will be to help build a new church building, to be built behind the current structure.  The congregation has outgrown its current meeting space and so the team will be working right alongside church members building block walls, installing windows and doors, laying tile or painting.  When completed, the church will have a new worship space with expanded classroom, fellowship and additional restrooms.

Last year, the team worshipped with the Iglesia de Cristo en Arecibo and enjoyed a picnic lunch afterwards in a park overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  This year, after lunch we’ll visit the mountain site of a planned church youth camp to be built by future mission teams. The evening meal will be prepared by the team. We’ll worship with the Park Gardens church and engage in additional cross cultural training after services.

After a long day of working and building relationships, participants fall asleep quickly in their dorm style rooms replete with bunk beds.  Male and female restrooms are available and showers are usually refreshingly cool, especially at the end of a long, hot work day.

Although Puerto Rican cooking is somewhat similar to Spanish, Cuban and Mexican cuisine, there are distinctly different local Puerto Rican dishes you’ll enjoy, such as “cocina criolla”; a unique tasty blend of Spanish, African, Taíno, and American influences, using indigenous seasonings and ingredients as coriander, papaya, cacao, nispero, apio, plantains, and yampee.

Friday is our day-off and could include sightseeing and lunch at El Yunque National Rainforest Park and swimming at beautiful Luquillo Beach.  Or we may take a ferry from Catano to Old San Juan and spend the afternoon seeing the sights of El Morro Fort, walking the historic blue cobblestone streets, shopping for souvenirs and enjoying a delicious Puerto Rico dinner out on the town.