Last week was the VCHT's Mantastic summer camp! Mantastic is an integration camp between students from the states and Puerto Rican students. This was one of my favorite weeks of my internship. The ages of the students ranged from 6 to 17. The older students mentored the younger students, and all the students learned to communicate despite a language barrier. One day when hiking, to facilitate this communication, we split into groups of three: one spanish speaker, one english speaker, and one bilingual speaker. I had a lot of fun during this exercise. I did my best to help a 17 year old student from New York City communicate with a young local student.
Everyday of the week was packed with outdoor activities. The first day we did an eco-cultural tour of the island: visiting the sugar mill ruins, the ancient Ceiba tree, and the Puerto Ferro archaeological site. The second day we snorkeled, scuba dived and learned about sharks from Black Beard Sports. The third day (my favorite) was a hike in Cerro Playueleda and eco-nautical day. We hiked to a beach where boats were waiting for us. Then everyone got a chance to navigate in every boat. I got to sail a hobie catamaran! It was such a blast. I know what kind of sail boat I want in the future.
The fourth day was biobay! In the morning we kayaking in Puerto Mosquito through the mangroves. Then later that evening, we returned to the same bay, looked at the stars and experienced the beauty of bioluminescence.
The fith day we visited a cave at Navio beach! After we headed back to Esperanza beach to paddleboard and snorkel. That evening we had a barbecue celebrating Mantastic! It was a fabulous week.