Pepperdine University students spent 8 days with us in February, and for several days we cleared the homestead of vines, worked on trails, and created new nursery areas. Alex Johnson was the team leader, and Alex has already volunteered twice before at the project. Thank you team, we really value our collaboration with Pepperdine. Maria Cristina, from Cayey, cooked wholesome and hearty meals, and Ana Pagan from Patillas, held a wonderful salsa dance class.

We were joined for the final days of this team by Professor of Architecture, Seth Wachtel, who was planning a trip for students from the University of San Francisco in May 2020.

As February drew to a close, there were whispers of a virus spreading rapidly over the globe. On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. On March 15 a severe lockdown was ordered by the Governor of Puerto Rico, as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), became a household name! The January 2020 earthquakes had already caused the cancellation of several of our regular university teams for 2020, but with the lockdowns, all our teams cancelled; our brief time with the Pepperdine students was so valuable.

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