Mission Exchange Trip to Puerto Rico

June 22-30, 2018

As part of the American Baptist family efforts for Rebuilding, Renewing and Restoring Puerto Rico, we at ABCMNY Region are organizing a mission trip for June 22-30, 2018. We will serve as helping hands in a project that will be assigned to us by the combined coordination of American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) and the Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico. Our group will also participate in a children’s program serving children affected by the devastation of last summer’s hurricanes. This program will attend to their emotional health and spiritual care.

The mission trip allows for up to 30 participants. Although, knowing that the need is great, according to the number of persons showing interest, we will organize a second group with a new date to be determined later.

If you feel led to join this mission trip, here are several important considerations before making your decision:

  • You need to be able to cover for you airplane travel expenses to and from Puerto Rico, and any other on-the-side personal expenses.
  • You will also contribute $150 toward lodging and food while participating in the work project.
  • You must be willing to sleep dorm style.
  • You need to fill out an application form, and you need to provide information regarding your own medical coverage and health condition.
  • You need to provide information regarding your skills for physical work and be willing and able to engage in regular physical work.

If you are interested in participating, and you have any questions, please write to the Rev. Isaac Castañeda at icastaneda@abcmny.org. The deadline to register is Monday, May 21. To do so, download the four forms provided by ABHMS. Fill them out and return them to our office:

  • by email: icastaneda@abcmny.org
  • by fax: 212 870 3228

Make sure to provide us with your email address and cell phone number, in order to receive further information and instructions. To learn more about these disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, visit Rebuilding, Renewing and Restoring Puerto Rico.

Necessary details to keep in mind


Please be advised that you will need to consult with your doctor regarding the appropriate vaccinations you will need to have in accordance with your health condition and vaccination history. It is particularly advised, however, that you obtain a tetanus vaccine. Please consult your physician.


Our time in Puerto Rico and the tasks we will undertake will be divided into two sections. On Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 we will be assigned work with the children’s program that Primera Iglesia Bautista and Iglesia Bautista Barrio Corazon in Guayama, are doing for children of the church and community. During the afternoon/evening of Sunday, June 24 we will have the opportunity to do some sightseeing.

From Monday the 25th through Friday the 29th, the group will be doing hands-on work each day, all day long. The specific sites will be assigned to us on a day closer to our arrival. During our stay, time and circumstances permitting, we will have moments for short group devotions.


It is our hope for the entire group to travel together in order to not only simplify logistics and ensure safety, but also to lessen any eliminate any unnecessary burdens on our hosts. However, we understand that some of us may have other commitments and prior engagements. Below, we have identified some options with good prices that are best for us to choose from in order that we may coordinate ground transportation between the airport and our lodging. Everyone is requested to arrive by the afternoon of Friday, June 22 to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). After your application is received and confirmed by the Region owing to the maximum number of participants, we will then advise you to book your air ticket, and share your itinerary.


Departure from Puerto Rico June 30, 2018

Departure from NYC June 22 2018


JetBlue – departs Puerto Rico (SJU) @ 9:47am arrives NYC (JFK) @ 1:39pm

JetBlue – departs Puerto Rico (SJU) @ 3:05pm arrives NYC (JFK) @ 7:00pm

Delta – departs Puerto Rico (SJU) @ 1:02pm and NYC JFK @ 4:59pm

JetBlue – departs JFK @ 2:42pm
 arrives Puerto Rico (SJU) @ 6:43pm

JetBlue – departs JFK @ 12:59pm
arrives Puerto Rico (SJU)@ 5:02pm

Delta – departs JFK @ 11:55am
 arrives Puerto Rico (SJU) @ 3:44pm


It is vitally important for you to check with the chosen airline regarding their baggage policy. For example, we know that for a basic economy class ticket, JetBlue charges $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second. It is highly recommended to travel light. Bring clothes you are comfortable working in and won’t mind if they are ruined due to manual labor. Remember that we will go to a Sunday worship service, where the dress code is not too formal but nice.

For ground transportation in Puerto Rico, we will rent vans to move from our lodging to the work sites, the children’s program location, and any sightseeing we might schedule. Vans will leave the airport on June 22 at 1 PM, 3 PM, and 6 PM. For those organizing flights outside the suggestions above, please heed these times. Similarly, departures on June 30 must take place between 10 AM and 5 PM.

Expected Contribution

Please be reminded that participants are expected to contribute $150 towards lodging and food. This contribution will be collected by the Region for further disbursement to our local hosts. As such, please send a check to the Region, with the memo: “Puerto Rico Mission Trip.”

Gifts for children

Kindly let us know as soon as possible whether you will be willing to take with you some items along in your suitcases, which will be donated to children. The items will be provided by ABCMNY and will be available for pick up in our offices after May 23. To arrange pick up, please contact our intern, Ms. Ramona Providence, at rprovidence@abcmny.org or 347 357 8546.

Informational meeting for participants

There will be an informational meeting (date and time to be announced) for all participants after the registration deadline. It is yet to be determined whether the meeting will occur in person or by phone.