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San Juan, Puerto Rico Project Center - IQP

Current Director(s): 
Program Term(s): 
C-Term during winter
D-Term during spring
Project Opportunities: 

Established in 1992, the Puerto Rico Project Center offers an opportunity to be immersed in a Caribbean culture that is a unique and exciting blend of Caribbean, Spanish, and North American influences. Located in San Juan, the Center offers the attractions of a large metropolitan area within easy reach of El Yunque National Park, white sand beaches, the historic El Morro Spanish fortress, Arecibo Observatory, and many other sites of interest.

Puerto Rico projects focus on sustainable community development and include a diverse portfolio of themes related to community climate resilience, livelihood improvement, and environmental management. Our partners include non-profit organizations and government agencies (federal and Puerto Rican), with a strong focus on small communities and their grassroots initiatives. In the coming years, we are conducting an exciting set of integrated projects focused on building community climate resilience and repurposing elementary schools that have been abandoned by the state into community centers that can enhance resilience to natural disasters, turning a loss from austerity cuts and the outmigration of the Puerto Rican population into resources for local communities under the increasing threat of climate-related challenges.

PRPC students have recently:

  • Worked with local partners on "rescued school" projects to envision and develop community centers and services at abandoned public schools;
  • Developed educational games to support mangrove reforestation efforts on San Juan Bay;
  • Evaluated the feasibility of recycling glass at Caño Martín Peña, establishing a composting facility in Cantera, and the potential for solar power and rainwater harvesting in Cubuy;
  • Supported non-profit volunteer programs and other operational activities with various non-profit groups;
  • Helped local museums and groups strengthen and share their art and cultural heritage with others near and far.