Hurricanes Maria and Irma impacted the island of Puerto Rico in September of 2017 and caused widespread damage that affected both the seashore and mountainous regions of this island paradise. Fortunately, due to aggressive clean-up efforts by local community members and organizations, particularly in the most popular tourist beachfront destinations, Puerto Rico is once again welcoming and encouraging visitors to return.
Supporting the Economy of Puerto Rico
The areas still experiencing problems, primarily long-term power outages, are located in less populated, rural locations. The tour itineraries that Educational Discovery Tours offer remain unaffected with one exception, the El Yunque National Forest. According to the USDA website “from the massive number of downed trees to crippled facilities and severely impacted infrastructure, it remains likely that the recovery operations throughout the Forest will continue for many months”.
While the announcement sounds ominous, this blogger is excited to announce that while I was writing my post a new addition to the USDA website was added that announces the opening of a number of roadways and trails in the El Yunque.
Educational Discovery Tours supports the well-being and recovery of our travel partners and the people of Puerto Rico, by encouraging travel to this territory. Much of the Puerto Rican economy is based on tourism and the losses to locals are multiplying exponentially as vacationers avoid the island due to fears of travel inconvenience and lingering damage.
We have also added a volunteer service day to our 2019 itineraries for our performing groups. Students will participate in a service learning project at local schools, orphanages or soup kitchens in Ponce. Bands will perform at the service location during the day in addition to working on rebuilding projects. Groups will learn about rural communities and their challenges as they help these same communities to rebuild by painting and cleaning. Community members have graciously offered to cook and serve lunch to our bands as their way of thanking them.
2019 Puerto Rico Music Festival
The 2019 Puerto Rico Music Festival schedule will provide students with plenty of opportunities for cultural immersion as well as meaningful travel experiences. The festival will feature musical exchange and performance clinics with renowned directors that will be HD professionally recorded. Performances will take place at the Historic Teatro La Perla where a folkloric dance show, workshop and dinner will also be hosted.
Educational Discovery Tours is excited to announce that the Puerto Rico Music Festival for 2019 is now accepting applications. Our Program Directors will assist you with this process.
In addition to the music festival and hurricane relief volunteer day, top Puerto Rico sightseeing favorites include:
- Salsa lessons at a local Ponce dance academy
- Visit to a local family pineapple plantation
- Ponce main square tour featuring the firehouse, cathedral and shopping at Calle Atocha
- Mofrongo cooking class
- Afro-Caribbean Bomba workshops
- Walking tour of the La Perla neighborhood, the home of “Despacito”
- Old San Juan day walking tour through historic sites followed by shopping
If your performance group is more adventurous and looking for excitement, add these popular attractions to your group’s itinerary in Puerto Rico:
- Deluxe catamaran day excursion including coral reef snorkeling
- Hike and tour of Cabo Rojo’s Los Morrillos Lighthouse
- El Yunque rainforest tour (if the USDA approves the forests opening)
- Cavernas de Camuy (Caves and Cavern Tours)
- Fort San Cristo’bal or Fort El Morro tour
- Private eco-boat tour of La Parguera’s mangrove cays
- Local fisherman show, sunset and a swim at the famous bioluminescent bay
Is your performing group interested in discovering the island paradise of Puerto Rico? Join Educational Discovery Tours on a performance tour in Puerto Rico. Chat with one of our travel experts to learn more about the amazing opportunities that await with Educational Discovery Tours!