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Discovering Puerto Rico

On tour: the BHS students and their teachers loved Puerto Rico’s stunning scenery (Photograph supplied)

On March 26, 12 students from Bermuda High School’s Year 9 class and one from Year 11 took off for their long-awaited trip to Puerto Rico with teachers Joanna Jackson-Smith and Sarah Wheddon.

When we landed in Puerto Rico, we boarded our tour bus and were introduced to our tour guide, Naomi, and our bus driver, Paoli. We were all surprised by how American it looked. That was until we entered the countryside and got to embrace all of the hills and beautiful scenery.

On the second day, we visited an orphanage for boys with special needs — this was the community service aspect of the trip. It was very interesting to meet the boys and it was also fun trying to talk to them in Spanish. They tried to talk to us in English, so we managed to communicate with each other.

We ate dinner at the orphanage and were all upset to have to leave. We all wished we could have spent more time there.

We got to learn how to properly salsa and would often practice with Naomi and each other throughout the trip. We also went zip-lining through El Yunque rinforest and had an opportunity to hike and see all the amazing flora and fauna.

In Cuevas de Camuy we had an audio tour through the cave system. As we walked through the caves, we saw many things such as rock formations, Puerto Rico’s largest stalagmite, and even cave spiders and bats.

We also spent the day in San Juan and saw the old fort of San Juan, which was a great learning experience. That same day, we saw the ruins of Juan Ponce de León’s house. He was a Spanish explorer and conquistador and the first governor of Puerto Rico. After the ruins, we went into a big cathedral where we saw beautiful paintings and Ponce de León’s tomb.

On the seventh and final day, we went on a cool mural and street art tour and the art was amazing. The murals ranged from small to being large enough to take up the entire side of a building. They were really interesting to look at, enjoy and learn about.