JFLI Summer Program Students Tour Puerto Rico from El Yunque to Ponce


JFLI students pause in the El Yunque rainforest during their trip to Puerto Rico.

Alvis Christian and John’s Folly Learning Institute summer program participants wrapped up their season with an exciting trip to Puerto Rico in late July.
The students Elisha Auguste, Ira Christian, Rahkeesha Titre, Ce’Khoi Scatliff, Ali-Yah Scatliff and Stephen White Jr. were accompanied by JFLI’s Stephen White Sr. and Christian, the institute’s director.

The group enjoyed tours of Old San Juan, the El Yunque rainforest, Arroyo, Ponce, Guayama and Salinas during their week in Puerto Rico. JFLI’s Summer Program participants were able to cover so much ground during their trip thanks to retired St. John teacher Idalia Scimeca.

Scimeca moved back home to Puerto Rico, with her husband Tony, after retiring from Guy Benjamin School two years ago.


“The Scimecas were our tour guides and they helped us so much,” said Christian. “We wouldn’t have been able to see as much as we did without them. They knew exactly where to go and it cut down on how much time it took us driving from place to place.”

While the entire week was a success, students especially enjoyed viewing waterfalls in the rainforest and touring the forts in Old San Juan, according to Christian.

Up next for the JFLI group is the St. Croix Agriculture Fair, Christian added.

“We want to expose the kids to St. Croix and all the agriculture they have there,” he said. “We also plan to go to Tortola in the future. It’s important for these kids to see their neighboring islands.”

The students are also gearing up for their next big trip planned for July 2011, when they are heading down-island, Christian explained.

“For our next big trip, we’re looking at St. Lucia or Dominica next summer,” said the JFLI director. “We want the kids to get a taste of what Creole culture is all about and see something really different.”

None of JFLI’s trips would be possible without the community’s support, Christian added.

He thanked Skinny Legs, Aqua Bistro, Island Blues, Shipwreck, Miss Lucy’s, Donkey Diner and Estate Concordia Preserve for their earnest and continued support and donations.

“I want to thank the entire St. John community for coming out to our food sales and fundraisers and especially those restaurants for their donations and support,” said Christian.