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Education

Cleveland Students and Teachers Are Heading to Puerto Rico to Help With Hurricane Recovery

A photo of Isaiah Butchart and his classmates practicing painting the mural they'll paint in a Puerto Rican elementary school when they travel to the island to volunteer over their spring break.
ASHTON MARRA
/
IDEASTREAM
Isaiah Butchart and his classmates practice painting the mural they'll paint in a Puerto Rican elementary school when they travel to the island to volunteer over their spring break.

A group of Cleveland students and teachers are headed to Puerto Rico to aid in recovery efforts, six months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. 

The group of six students and four educators from Lincoln-West High School will spend a week in southern Puerto Rico, volunteering at a local elementary school and orphanage.

Teacher and translator Awilda Morales says the group started raising money for the trip soon after the September storm that left thousands without power and running water. The group will paint a mural and build a vegetable garden in the school and has collected medical, educational, and other supplies such as flashlights and batteries to distribute.

Morales says she hopes the experience of helping a community in need will be a valuable lesson for her students.

“I want them to be those problem solvers," Morales said. "What can we do in our community back home? Since we’re already helping those in need in Puerto Rico, what can we do when we come back here in Cleveland, Ohio?” 

Morales, who has family in Puerto Rico, says power has still not been restored in southern Puerto Rico where she and her students will spend their spring break.