Do I need to be able to speak Spanish in order to participate in the Puerto Rico center?

Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking culture, but many residents are bilingual with English. In some places, especially outside of San Juan, the ability to speak Spanish is a distinct advantage, but most Puerto Ricans, whether they have strong English skills or not, are accustomed to communicating with English speakers. You do not need Spanish skills to get by. However, the ability to speak Spanish well is often an asset in project work, since many projects involve close interactions with members of the communities where the work is being done.

Many participants in the project center have little or no experience with Spanish, and previous study of Spanish is not required for admission to the center. However, strong Spanish skills are highly valued.

Prospective or current participants are encouraged to seek Spanish learning opportunities in advance of their travel to Puerto Rico, as even a little conversational Spanish will help you to navigate everyday activities.