A History and Biology Lesson in Puerto Rico

PR 4By: Andy McIlvane,’19 and Ethan Parker, ’19
The day started off with waking up in San Juan. We boarded a bus that took us to old San Juan. When we arrived, we started a walking tour that explored the old city. We walked along the very thick wall which was built in order to protect the Spanish colonists from their enemies. We walked to the point where the Spanish had built a huge fort where we learned where the cannons went and the strategies they used for their protection. Exploring the many rooms of the fort was interesting because they had been maintained in their original condition. We then went to the Puerto Rican capital building where we learned about important events and saw mosaics on the ceiling of the huge hall. We also got the chance to go into the Senate room. We then walked around the old city where we all liked learning about the statues and history in the city.


After we had our history lesson, we were able to have free time in old San Juan. We got a chance to practice our Spanish in real-life situations in the many souvenir shops and an ice cream truck in Plaza Colón. It was a memorable experience for all to meet the very nice San Juan residents and shop owners.

Finally, we went to our much-awaited kayaking trip to the bioluminescent bay. This bay has tiny organisms that glow if they are disturbed so you see the glow as you paddle. These small organisms are a type or marine plankton called dinoflagellates. We kayaked through a bay, through a spooky canal and then into the dinoflagellates’ home, the lagoon. Our tour guide gave us a brief explanation of the bioluminescent plankton and how they glow. We then kayaked all he way back to the bay. Everyone loved this trip because we not only learned about the bioluminescent plankton, we were able to actually see them.

After a long but fun day, everyone went to bed straight away, but nobody could wait until tomorrow, where we will travel to a rain forest, and go to the beach to snorkel.

A History and Biology Lesson in Puerto Rico

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