By Lindsey Zwecker
Photographer: Trisha Cabantac
We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico around 3 o’clock yesterday the 10th and immediately headed off in our van to Ponce where we are staying and spending most of our time. All 11 of us squished into this large van with our luggage and the group lit up with excitement. Everyone ooo’d and aww’d at the beautiful mountains and sighed at the evident damage from hurricane Maria. Our first stop was Raítes a delicious restaurant where Gladys, our trusty Puerto Rico native, pre-ordered us monfongo with shrimp and flan, Tres Leches, and guava with white cheese for dessert.
After dinner, we headed to Ponce. Even in the dark we were amazed at how beautiful the city was. We were all exhausted from traveling and went straight to bed.
In the morning of the 11th, we had a great breakfast in the hotel and then explored the city center of Ponce.
We then headed off to the boardwalk in Ponce where we got to do some souvenir shopping and eat some delicious authentic Puerto Rican food. And possibly the highlight of the day, feeding fish and pelicans sardines by the dock.
Afterwards we headed to a fair in Salinas where the national guard is stationed. There we got to meet Gladys’s son, Ricadro, and listen to some live salsa music and again do some shopping. We ended the day with a great dinner at the hotel and some ice cream from a local shop. And to cap it all off, we happened upon the municipal orchestra playing a set in the street in front of the capital building.
We are grateful to enjoy some site seeing for our first two days but are eager and excited to get to work and learn about the healthcare system in Puerto Rico tomorrow.