Partnered with YouthWorks, The Thalia United Methodist Youth will be traveling to Puerto Rico to assist the community of Arecibo. Come be a part of this once in a life time mission opportunity! You’ll meet new friends from around the nation, dive in to a different culture, be immersed in a beautiful environment, and most importantly assist the local community through your service!

You’ll find more information about the upcoming trip, important dates, and costs down below. All important forms and documents will appear up there on that red bar!

As we move closer to the trip date more information will be provided so be sure to check back regularly!

If you ever have any questions or need more information please don’t hesitate to contact our youth director Eric at 757.340.5015 during regular business hours or email at [email protected]

We’re looking forward to this amazing opportunity. Don’t miss out!

Puerto Rico, known as “La Isla del Encanto” (the Island of Enchantment), possesses immense natural beauty with beaches, mountains, and a warm climate, as well as rich culture and history. Puerto Rico’s unique and vibrant culture can be heard in its music, seen in its art, and tasted in its delicious cuisine. While Puerto Rico is a popular destination for tourists, it can be a very difficult place for its residents. With four million people living on this relatively small island it is densely populated with 1163 people per square mile. The unemployment rate in Puerto Rico is significantly high at around 12%, higher than that of any U.S. State. Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, no passport is required to visit, but since Spanish is the primary language spoken there, traveling to Puerto Rico offers a sense of an international experience.
Serving in a place where Spanish is the primary language spoken will give you an incredible opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and into a genuine cross-cultural experience. You will learn about and help to address the island’s economic struggles, poverty, and homelessness by partnering with local organizations that exist to confront these issues. Service in Puerto Rico is highly relational, whether working with children, youth, or people in rehab programs. Hear from local residents of Arecibo about the unique aspects of life on the island. In this culture, listening to stories and learning about history is in itself an act of service. You will also have the chance to visit the beach, attend a local church service, and share a community meal with Puerto Rican friends.


4:30 – 6 p.m. SUNDAY ARRIVAL
Our staff are excited to welcome you to the site!  When you arrive, staff will help you move in and get settled.
6 – 10:30 p.m. SUNDAY EVENING
Once all groups have arrived, dinner will be served.  After cleaning up the meal, both Adult Leaders and students will have separate orientations where they will learn more about what to expect during the week.  At the end of the Adult Leader Orientation, the Site Director will collect paperwork from Trip Leaders and Trip Leaders will split their students into ministry crews for the week.  An evening large group gathering will start around 9 p.m. and Church Group Time will follow around 10 p.m.


All crews will help with the preparation and cleanup of meals at different times throughout the week. A staff member will always be present to help students as they serve each other in this way. During breakfast, students will also put together bag lunches to take with them to their ministry sites.
Every morning, students will have time to connect with God and process the week. To help in this process, each student will receive a YouthWorks Trip Journal, a resource that will connect students with Jesus and their experience during the week; it does this by using the YouthWorks summer theme. To help leaders further process devotion material and for leaders who want to lead small group devotions, we’ve provided a Small Group Devotion Guide.
 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. MINISTRY DAY
After a brief circle-up time, crews of youth and leaders will depart for ministry sites. (These crews, selected by Trip Leaders, will be together all week at ministry sites as well as for some meal and cleanup crews.) YouthWorks staff will give orientations for ministry sites, helping students and adults better understand how they will be serving the community each day.
 3:30–5:30 p.m. SHOWERS / FREE TIME
These times may vary by site!
Each day all Adult Leaders will attend this meeting with the Site Director. This time allows the Site Director to hear how things are going and communicate what happens next. It’s also a great time of processing and sharing with each other. (At some sites this meeting time may, instead, occur before breakfast.)
5:30–6:30 p.m. DINNER
A crew of students will help prepare dinner each night and a different crew will help clean up.
 6:30–8:30 p.m. *EVENING ACTIVITY
Evening activities will help students interact with the community through cultural, educational, and fun activities that will engage the whole group.
The staff will host a group time of processing the day, worship and reflection. Each of these large group gatherings along with morning devotions will further develop the week’s theme, with the purpose of connecting students’ mission trip experience with God and with life back home.
After the large group gathering, each church group will gather in their own space to process the day and further discuss content centering on the day’s theme. YouthWorks considers this the most important programatic aspect of the day. We will provide each group with a Church Group Time Guide, which contains questions and ideas to help the Trip Leader facilitate this time.


Although Friday departure varies by site, groups will typically pull away between 8 and 9 a.m. Before departure, groups will load their vehicles, help clean the housing site, eat breakfast and have a short send-off time to close out their week.

* Some sites include one option night during the week, where scheduled events end around 7 p.m. and church groups can choose between additional free time or options in the community provided by YouthWorks staff.

Mission Trips Bring Youth Groups Together.5-reasons-every-teen-2

If you’ve ever been on a weekend student retreat, you know how that experience can build community. Teenagers ride together, play together, eat together, stay up late together, get up tired together… “Together” is a powerful word. Think of “together” as glue – the more broadly it’s spread, the better a youth group will bond. Mission trips apply “together” to students’ sense of adventure, their desire serve, their relationship with God, their daily experiences, their broken comfort zones and much more (including these things below!).

Mission Trips Broaden Perspectives.

Teenagers might be more connected than ever with what’s happening around the world, but have they seen what it’s like to live below the poverty line in small-town America? Or experienced the energy and exhaustion of inner-city living? Or felt the heartbeat of Native America beaten across the taut surface of a drum? Pulling teenagers from their typical context helps them understand that the world is larger that their daily lives would have them believe. By beginning to understand another setting, their own context comes into truer focus.

Mission Trips Challenge Comfort Zones.

Beyond broadening perspectives, mission trips demand that teenagers participate. Painting a house, playing with kids, serving a meal, sleeping on an air mattress, experiencing a new culture – these are a few examples of ways comfort zones are crossed. But when coupled with intentional processing and worship, mission trips have the unique ability to challenge students’ comfortable perceptions of God and the world. Faith steps beyond the doors of the church and demands to be applied to real-world living.

Mission Trips Empower Students.

God is doing incredible work through the Church. The energy, authenticity, fresh perspective and passion teenagers bring are a vibrant part of that church. Done well, mission trips help students take ownership and initiative. Eyes are opened. Passions are ignited. Possibilities are exposed. Pursuits begin. Mission trips help teenagers see what they are capable of. But first, the Church chooses to believe in the incredible opportunity of being a teenager – not a possibility to be met “someday,” but a boiling potential just waiting to overflow.

Mission Trips Create Sacred Space.

The Israelites used to build monuments by throwing together big piles of rocks to point at later and say, “That signifies God’s faithfulness in our nation.” For many teenagers, mission trips represent a time and a place when God worked in and through their lives. More than a mere mountain-top high, these sacred spaces both anchor students in their faith and propel them forward in their relationship with God. Even in times of trouble, teenagers often point toward their mission trip experience and say, “That signifies God’s faithfulness in my life.”

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way from the start.ESTIMATED COST PER PERSON: $1000.00

That’s definitely a lot of money!  But, before you close this page and never look back let’s clear a few things up!  Through program funds, numerous fundraisers, and generous gifts from groups and individuals of the church we can make this happen!!! Our goal is to work toward funding all members of the mission trip leaving the deposit as the only cost per person!Please be aware that this is purely an estimate and we erred toward estimating on the high side!  For more information on funding the trip take a look at the fundraising tab.With that out of the way, the following sections show the breakdown of the estimated costs of the trip.  Until the deposit deadline has passed and the team has been formed we can only estimate some of the trip costs.

We have the cost, per person, that YouthWorks charges for the six days we reside with them.  This amount covers housing, food, and mission resources.YOUTHWORKS COST PER PERSON: $379.00
We have researched airfare prices.  When the team has formed we will further research prices through travel search engines and personally contacting airlines for group rates.  The following is an example chart of prices based on arrival and departure times.  The actual YouthWorks mission dates are from 2 JULY to 7 JULY.ESTIMATED AIRFARE PER PERSON: $400.00flight-estimates
We have researched transportation costs while on the island.  When the team has formed we will further research prices through travel search engines.  We cannot use 12 or 15 passenger mini vans as the United Methodist Church has disallowed use of them.  The following is an example of transportation costs.  Depending on the amount of individuals on the team these costs may change.  The cost of gas is not included.
As stated in the trip estimates, our goal is to fund all team members.  That being said, all members must participate in fundraising events and programs in order for funds to be allocated toward their individual cost!  The more events each team member participates in, the more funds will be allocated toward their overall cost.  An outline will be posted soon; however, until it is please participate in as many opportunities as possible!

The following is a list of tentative fundraising events and dates.  We have also included local mission opportunities and chances to assist other programs and groups in the church who may assist us in our funding!  Please check back here often or the youth calendar for up to date information! 
 Date Time Event Description
 Sunday 02/05 12p – 2p Stop Hunger Now Packing Event
 Saturday 02/11 6p – 9p UMM Dinner Dance  The youth will assist in waiting tables for the Dance
 Sunday 02/19 8a – 1230p TShirt Sales We will begin selling TShirts in the church and start advertising!
 Thursday 02/23  Cashola TBD

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