2020 Service Trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico

Event Start Date: 
March 7, 2020
Trip Location: 
San Juan, Puerto Rico


The Yale Alumni Service Corps is pleased to announce its upcoming service trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, taking place March 7-15, 2020. There we will work with the community of Residencial Luis Llorens Torres, located in Isla Verde, 10 minutes from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport. Opened in 1953, this is the largest housing project in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, with almost 3,000 people. Over half the population lives below the poverty line; the median income hovers around 20,000 USD. Like many housing projects in the US, Residencial Luis Llorens Torres is mired with psychosocial problems associated with chronic, multigenerational poverty.

We’re delighted to partner with Instituto Nueva Escuela (New School Institute). Founded in 2008, INE seeks to transform public education in Puerto Rico by offering Montessori education. Historically, Montessori education in Puerto Rico was only available in private schools. INE is currently operating in 53 schools and growing. Our service trip will focus on the two schools that children from the community attend: Escuela Luis Llorens Torres (pre K–6) and Escuela Republica de Peru (7-9 grades).

We anticipate offering projects in:

Athletics: Organize activities involving Frisbee, jump rope, kick ball, soccer, baseball, and other athletic activities.

Construction: Hurricane Maria greatly affected this area. The elementary school needs shaded areas built and rehabilitation of the patio used by kids 18 months to 6 years old. Tables and chairs are needed for the middle school.

Education: Arts, Music, Journalism/School Bulletin, Murals and Coding (both schools have requested projects that enhance curriculum).

Public Health: Parent education about children and loss, appropriate boundaries in social media and other topics. Development and implementation of anti-bullying campaign, healthy eating, and dental hygiene education.

The minimum age for this trip is 10. All participants under the age of 13 must have a parent participating in the same project in the community.

We encourage you to sign up soon as we have limited capacity for this trip!


The cost is $2,695* per person, double occupancy (not including airfare). The deadline for registration is December 31, 2019 or whenever we reach capacity, whichever occurs first. A limited number of single occupancy rooms will be available for an additional charge of $850.

*Note that the price of $2,695 per person (based on double room occupancy) is based on registration of a minimum of 50 Yale volunteers. Final price is subject to adjustment if fewer volunteers register for the program. You will have an option to opt out by December 31, 2019 if you prefer not to pay the higher price.

Accommodations: We’ll be staying at the Verdanza Hotel in the heart of Puerto Rico’s Isla Verde district, just a block from one of the best urban beaches. The hotel features rooms with A/C, swimming pool, WIFI and exercise room.

Cost includes
Accommodations, ground transportation, meals, celebration events, and related activities.

Cost does not include
Airfare to San Juan; airport pick up/drop off; health, travel or baggage insurance; visa fees; other personal and incidental expenses.


For questions or further information feel free to contact trip leader Elena Labrada ’86 at elenayascpr2020@gmail.com or João Aleixo at the YAA at joao.aleixo@yale.edu.

No special skills are required.  If you want to join us, we will find a volunteer opportunity for you! Alumni from all Yale College classes and all graduate and professional schools— including their family members and friends—are welcome. You will make new friends who make service and hard work an important ingredient in their lives. Be one of them!

For families, there is no better gift you can give your children than working with them side-by-side while serving an enthusiastic community in another part of the world.

As with our prior programs, this trip will undoubtedly prove to be life-changing—for both the local residents and for our volunteers—including you!

Service Trip Scholarships
The Yale Alumni Service Corps may be able to provide a small number of scholarships depending on availability of funds. These funds are donated by other travelers inspired by the program. Please refer to the “Scholarship” section of the registration form for details about applying for a scholarship, as the deadline for submission is Dec. 31, 2019. You must complete this application and pay the required deposit, which is not part of the scholarship award. Awards will be based on financial need, skills, and knowledge needed for service projects, and previous volunteer experience. We cannot accept any other form of requests for funding at this time. You will be notified about any scholarship funding that you have been granted by Jan. 15, 2020. If you do not receive the necessary assistance and you need to withdraw from the trip, your deposit will be refunded.

If you would like to help sponsor a Yale student or alumni scholarship applicant, you will have an opportunity to do so when you register for the program!