Building Puentes: Grateful


From Victoria Broderick, from Ellicott City, MD

After arriving Sunday night to the camp site, we got our assigned bunk houses for the week and then went to a pizza place nearby for dinner. So good! And great view of a rainbow from the porch.


After coming back to the campsite, Mark led devotions and worship in which we also spoke to each other about one thing that we brought with us as well as one thing we left at home.

Monday we couldn’t start at our construction sites because of the mass protests occurring in San Juan, therefore spent the morning getting familiar with others working at our construction site as well as figuring out what sort of activities we’d be doing. After meeting with my group I was pleased to know that I was not the only one that was nervous about the construction tasks needed and was glad that I had some experience with using a power washer before.

We then had some free time for the day so our group of 57 people split up to travel to 4 different beaches in the area. We were amazed by how beautiful the water was and how clear compared to the beaches back home. A few of us even walked up to the flag in that picture and contemplated cliff diving. We decided not to since we weren’t sure how deep the water was. The clouds started rolling in and we could see lightning in the distance so decided to head back around 3pm. Once back at the camp site, we had some free time so a few of us got in the pool which I was amazed by how warm the water still was!


On days like these we’re reminded to find joy in the ordinary and remain flexible...we weren’t expecting to not be able to start working, but saw this circumstance as a way to respect those native to Puerto Rico in the midst of this historic moment and movement.

“Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments—often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out in the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.” -Brene Brown

Katie Simbala