ARRIVAL -Thur, June 9, 2024.
Please plan on arriving to Rafael Hernández International Airport (BQN) Aguadilla, Puerto Rico BEFORE 3pm local time. We are providing group transportation for a 3:00PM PICK UP from BQN to Hotel Columbus in Aguada, which is about a 20 minute drive from the airport. We also will try to arrange a 15 minute grocery store stop on the way to the Hotel Columbus from pick up at the BQN Airport
If you are flying in to San Juan/Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), you will need to find your own transportation. It is ~2 hour (150km) drive WITH TOLLS. We recommend joining our Facebook group and link up with each other to coordinate a ride share & expenses: GTMs Puerto Rican “Island Time” Playshop Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/325543749906395/permalink/325543783239725/)
Puerto Rico’s main highways are home to an electronic toll system. Drivers pay toll roads with an electronic stamp called Autoexpreso. Before you sign your car rental contract, ask if there is an additional fee for the Autoexpreso. Some car rental locations will include the usage of the stamp on your daily rate (possibly up to $10day) and others will charge an extra fixed rate for using it. Check with your preferred car rental company what is required for rental and what the costs will be.
DEPARTURE- Sun, June 9, 2024
A hot breakfast is provided Sunday morning. Closing Ceremony on the last day of the Training will be finished by 11:00am and check out from Hotel Columbus has to be done by 12:00pm.
We are providing group transportation from Hotel Columbus to BQN Airport after the Playshop ~12:30pm.
*Watch for updates* GTM Team will be going to lunch at a local beachside restaurant at 1pm (location TBD), you are more than welcome to join if you are staying an extra day.
Also, GTM is trying to arrange a post-Playshop field-trip of sorts late Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned for more details.
If you wish to stay before and after the program dates you must BOOK extra nights with the venue directly. Accommodation pre and post Playshop is your responsibility and is not included in the training cost.
.Hotel Columbus, Aguada, PR https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057722400463)
* Bring note paper, pen/pencil
* Bring the VMC 3-Day Playshop Participant Handout
*link to download/print when purchasing your ticket
* Read the Book: Drum Circle Facilitation - https://www.amazon.com/Drum-Circle-Facilitation-Building-Community/dp/0972430717/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1AA820PPJ4LDH&keywords=drum+circle+book&qid=1698719735&sprefix=Drum+circle%2Caps%2C149&sr=8-6 by Arthur Hull (required reading). Bring to Playshop.
* Watch “The Art of Drum Circle Facilitation - https://youtu.be/aIkPn6FPpGE?si=8NYxuflvvgGt2Wxz video by Village Music Circles on YouTube.
* Bring a piece of string/yarn or ribbon for closing ceremony, ~2ft long, thicker than thread and thinner than rope, especially if it has some meaning to you.
* Bring a Hand Drum - any kind, more than one is fine. We will only have a few extra drums to share
* Bring Several small percussion instruments of your choice. Preferably, one each of wood, bell, and shaker You will be playing your drum a LOT, so bring one you really like. It’s worth a little extra weight. However, also bear in mind it is pretty humid there, so thin goatskin heads can get flabby. Cow skin, thicker goat skin, or of course, REMOs work best. People have successfully checked drums in regular drum bag padded with clothes and bubble wrap over the head. Another good layer of head protection are planter pot pads (cork & melamine or similar), available in the garden sections of Home Depot, etc. What works even better is a large, wheeled duffel bag, which carries a lot more other stuff than a drum bag.
*PACKING TIP!* You can stuff a lot of clothing inside your drum and your beach towel can go around your drum. It works best to line the inside with a trash bag so things go in and out smoothly without catching on the wood grain.
Internet and Cell Reception
Cellular phone reception is good for most carriers. There are some spots that are better than others, but while traveling and staying in Aguada several times, we have yet to experience any major issues Hotel Columbus does have free WiFi
Meals, Snacks, Drinks
We have worked out a wonderful selection of meals with the hotel. Easy buffet style serving. Saturday night’s dinner will be a authentic Puerto Rican speciality to go along with that evening’s cultural performance. Thur - Dinner provided Fri - Continental Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner provided Sat - Continental Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner provided Sun - Hot Breakfast provided Coffee, Tea, Water available for drinks.
*A Vegetarian option is available for every meal. Please check the Vegetarian option when purchasing your ticket to the Playshop. If you would like more variety or have particular needs, please bring what you need.
There is also a small convenient store & bakery (Panaderia Gabriel) about a 10 minute easy walk from the Hotel Columbus. We also will try to arrange a 15 minute grocery store stop on the way to the Hotel Columbus from pick up at the BQN Airport. I believe all rooms have a fridge/microwave and few of them have stove. (At the time we visited)
The Hotel Columbus does have a bar (and restaurant) and will be open for purchases on your own tab. Please drink responsibly. We shouldn’t have to say more.
There are a number of room types available:
Prices include $600 deposit paid before April 1, 2024. We will invoice for the balance based on room choice. Must be paid in full by May 31, 2024.
2 rooms with five beds (least expensive option)
*Prices starting at $1,250
7 rooms with three beds
*Prices starting at $1,275
2 rooms with two beds
*Prices starting at $1,350
11 single bed rooms (most expensive)
*Prices starting $1,425 Street Side & $1,530 Ocean Side
Partner/Spouse Add-On - $495.
Available in Double Bed and Single Bed rooms only.
Includes Transportation to & from BQN airport, meals with Playshop participants, Beach drum circle on Friday, BOMBA lecture & performance, Community Drum Circle Saturday.
Multi-bed rooms will be sold at a first come/first serve availability.
*NOTE* While the hotel has modern amenities, it still has a different cultural feel and set-up.
Please be aware that the multi-bed rooms do not have 5 (or 3) separate rooms in them. Several beds are in one large room. Even in the rooms with two beds, there is no dividing door between them., but there is a long hallway with the bathroom between them. There are no dividers between beds, however, the bathroom does have a closing door. Come prepared to share space and spirit.
Bedding and towels provided. Please bring a beach towel if you are planning to go to the beach. */There are a few souvenir shops in town that have beach towels for sale. We might be able to take a small number of people during a break during the Playshop./ On-site laundry available, self serve washer & dryer. Refrigerators and microwaves in every room, a few rooms have stove tops. We will have a few snorkels and fins available for community use during the breaks.
Many thanks to Aquatica Underwater Adventures - https://www.aquaticapr.com
We HIGHLY recommend that you snorkel at least once! There were a number of tiny to medium sized fish and small coral that you can safely get to from the shore. You might even get lucky and see a sea turtle! There are some awesome shells on the beach in this area, sea glass too.
Late Spring weather in Aguada, Puerto Rico:
Daily high temperatures are around 85°F, rarely falling below 82°F or exceeding 88°F. Humid.
Daily low temperatures are around 74°F, rarely falling below 71°F or exceeding 77°F. Always humid ;)
Here you can pack light but BRING SUNSCREEN. A small assortment of shorts, tees, and tank tops, sun dresses, fishing shirts, swimsuits (having 2 is handy), a sarong or beach coverup, and a pair of sandals should do it. Beach/water shoes are recommended if you are going to go in the ocean, mostly for footing. There is a line of worn limestone and we have seen a lot of sea glass on the beach (some of it was not worn enough and still had points) We will have a few snorkels and fins available for community use during the breaks. Many thanks to Aquatica Underwater Adventures https://www.aquaticapr.com
We HIGHLY recommend that you snorkel at least once!
There were a number of tiny to medium sized fish and small coral that you can safely get to from the shore. You might even get lucky and see a sea turtle!
There are some awesome shells on the beach in this area, sea glass too.
Most importantly - pack an open mind, your sense of wonder, and some clean underwear.
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