Pastor Mark Parker, of Breath of God Lutheran Church in Baltimore, is putting together a group of volunteers to head to Puerto Rico over two weeks in September: the 9th through the 15th and the 16th through the 22nd. The bulk of our work will be construction in response to Hurricane Maria, so construction skills/experience are very helpful. Our goal is for half of our group to have significant construction expertise, with the other half being able-bodied and ready to learn. Volunteers may come for one or two weeks.
The total maximum cost is $800 per person if coming for one week, $1300 if coming for two weeks. Those costs include flights, all meals, housing, transportation, spending money, supplies, and a donation. Please note, those are our starting figures, and we’ll work over the next few months to bring them down. For example, we have an active grant request to Southwest Airlines for forty flights, our partners in Puerto Rico are currently trying to buy vehicles so there would be no rental costs, my estimate for flights costs is conservative, and we plan to do at least a little bit of fundraising by soliciting support from local businesses and from people who are unable to join us on the trip themselves. Our goal is to get the cost to $500 a person.
We will be staying in the Lutheran camp outside of Dorado, about forty five minutes west of San Juan. They have space for sixty people at a time. We’ll be working with Lutheran Disaster Response, a branch of Lutheran Social Services of Puerto Rico. Pastor David Guadalupe runs the operations there.
The camp is serviceable but certainly not luxurious. We’ll sleep in bunkhouses which are divided into rooms with bunkbeds sleeping 6-14 people in each room. We’ll work hard each day, and expect to wrap up mid-afternoon when the heat peaks. Most late afternoons will include the option to visit the local public beach or to rest at the camp. We’ll spend at least one half-day exploring San Juan or have some options for other cultural experiences.
Registration is now open—you can register online at http://breathofgodlc.org/welcome/serve. A deposit of $100 is due upon registration. Seven Young Adult Scholarships of $500 are available on a first-come, first serve basis. Direct requests to [email protected].
If you have questions or would like more information you can contact Mark Parker at [email protected] .
Thanks for your interest!