Hello! My name is Anabel Barnett, and I am one of the 14 students traveling to Puerto Rico for my senior project. Our 12-day trip is chock full of cultural and environmental explorations that intersect with service work. We’ve met as a group about fives times to get to know one another as well as prepare for the trip. I certainly feel ready to go, and that seems to be the collective sentiment as we inch closer to our departure on Sunday.
While there were a number of other school-sponsored trips that appealed to me in the selection process, none did so more than Puerto Rico. In my Spanish 5 class last year, I learned much of the history of Puerto Rico, particularly in regards to its relationship with the US, through which I gained important socio-historical context that frequently fails to appear in American history/social studies classrooms. This context, for me, is vital in grasping the present situation in Puerto Rico and the (mainland) US; it has helped me unpack the president’s response to the post-Maria crisis as well as the overall socio-political climate of our country. In traveling to Puerto Rico, I am seeking to expand my present understanding alongside my classmates, hopefully gleaning experiences, information, and ideas that can be brought back to campus to fuel discussion and action.
We fly out Sunday morning, so I will be in Fajardo the next time you’ll hear from me!