Puerto Rico's Rainforest

« Back to all Posts

July 16: Final Post from Puerto Rico -- Dancing in the Rain


Today's blogger: Kris Miyashiro

Everyone has now returned home and has had time to reflect on our adventure. And what an adventure it was! It is with mixed emotion that I write our final blog. When I read over everyone’s contributions there is definitely a common thread. A unique personal connection developed between each of the group members which created an extremely comfortable environment.  Within this environment we were allowed to share, to learn, and to grow with no criticism and without any boundaries. The international flavor of our group provided an educational breeding ground. At supper each night there was a hum (besides the Coqui frogs) at each table as we discussed a variety of topics such as sustainability, the environment, culture, politics, religion, educational systems and we even shared a giggle or two. It is rare to receive this type of exposure within a short period of time. For that we consider ourselves truly blessed as we walked away with many new friends. For ten days we did nothing but take in our surroundings; the trees, the vegetation, the habitats of lizards, frogs and even insects and how they all relate to each other. I think I’m safe to say that each of us has taken away a new or renewed awareness of our surroundings and perhaps how we as individuals effect our environment on a daily basis. We definitely saw and learned how clear cutting in Puerto Rico has changed the environment. With Las Casas de la Selva practicing sustainable forestry and monitoring the vegetation and wildlife habitats, they can educate land owners on how to have an economically viable product without devastating their surroundings. Thank you to Earthwatch’s Las Casas de la Selva members for their wisdom and awe inspiring passion for what they do. We like to think we helped make a difference because this experience made a difference for us. Now it’s time to TAKE ACTION! The Alcoa and Community Fellowship members have decided to join together as a team to develop one unique PowerPoint presentation that will allow us to educate our co-workers and groups within our communities about what we learned from our experience and what Earthwatch is all about. In addition, we intend to brainstorm ideas that may assist in choosing a community project or tackle an environmental issue within our community. Nine heads are better than one! On behalf of the Alcoa and Community Fellowship members, I’d like to thank Alcoa for providing us with this unique opportunity. In addition, the merger of the Community Fellowship members into the program was an outstanding idea. They brought a host of ideas and a great deal of enthusiasm and wisdom with them. I’d like to leave everyone with a favorite quote of mine. “Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.” And oh, did we dance!!” 


The experience at Las Casas de la Selva only added to my life. I will carry this experience and friendships forever. Thank you for everything!

Renata (Sangria) | Posted Wed 21 Jul 2010 8:32AM

The first thing I can think of is being thankful for having had the opportunity of meeting this wonderful group and learning so much with every single one of these precious people. Secondly I really recommend this experience for anyone who is interested in getting in touch with the webs of life. There is so much meaning to everything that happens around us, we just have to be aware, conscious and mindful. Thirdly and last, let's make an effort to keep connected in practical terms - email, internet, phone and visits - for in spirit I am sure we all already are!

Maria Rita Villela | Posted Wed 21 Jul 2010 10:59AM

I'm so proud of my friend, Kristine Miyashiro who lives her life with integrity and has courage to change things for the better. She has the ability to rally the enthusiasm of many and it's no surprise that she embraced this opportunity to enlighten herself and others about sustainable industry. Well done!

Tina Bachynski | Posted Tue 17 Aug 2010 10:17PM

Kris, so glad you were able to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I really enjoyed reading of your group's experiences. It's great to see you making a difference! The Sustainable Southern Belize expedititon I participated in during June 2008 is one of the many reasons I praise Alcoa as a world class company to this day!

Chad Kavanaugh | Posted Mon 29 Nov 2010 4:06PM