Amanda Pitzer and Taryn Moser shared experiences of their April trip to Puerto Rico during a recent meeting of the Elkins Rotary Club.
The pair were a part of Rotary's District 7530 Group Study Exchange program that sponsors non-Rotarian business people and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 years of age who are in the early stages of their careers.
The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experienced the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practices abroad, develop personal and professional relationships and exchange ideas.
REVIEWING THEIR?TRIP TO PUERTO RICO — Amanda Pitzer, left, and Taryn Moser recenty spoke to the Elkins Rotary Club about their Group Study Exchange trip to Puerto Rico.
The team leader for the trip to Puerto Rico was David Cooper, president of the Tucker County Rotary Club.
During their presentation, Pitzer and Moser compared many interesting differences and similarities between their host country and their home state of West Virginia. While the two countries are similar in physical size, Puerto Rico, according to Pitzer and Moser, is a very crowded place with more than 4.0 million residents compared to West Virginia's approximately 1.8 million.
The duo said that their hosts were much like West Virginians being very friendly and eager to learn about the customs and culture of their guests native land.
When asked what the learned about how the Puerto Rico's feel about becoming a state of the United States of America, they said the reactions were mixed.
"There are many aspects of the debate," they said, "and the reactions are as varied and mixed as the many different groups we heard express an opinion."
While there the young women visited with many families, the longest stay with any one family was a mere six days.
Pitzer is executive director of Friends of the Cheat and Moser is a GIS Analysis working for Derow Enterprises.