Join fellow Harris alumni & friends for a special access trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 28 - 31, 2019.

In partnership with the Center for Municipal Finance, travelers will get insider access to local and federal policy leaders at the forefront of addressing the serious issues that this unincorporated territory faces including the ongoing government debt-crisis and post-Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.

This trip has concluded. Read about Kathryn Hagerman's, MPP'13, experience on the trip and consider joining us on July 27-30, 2019 in Mexico City.


*Please note that the activities as listed are subject to change as schedules and availabilities of speakers may change. Participants will be notified of changes with a note of the replacement speaker or activity.

Thursday, March 28 – Policy Immersion Trip

Thursday, March 28

Kick-start your trip with a welcome reception sponsored by Harris Public Policy. Get to know your fellow travelers and meet your faculty host, Michael D. Belsky, Executive Director, Center for Municipal Finance.  We will also be joined by local alumni who will brief us on the policy issues facing Puerto Rico.

Following the welcome reception, we will board a bus for an early evening tour of the city of San Juan followed by dinner and conversation with the Honorable Luis Gutierrez. For those who want to explore the local night life, we’ll head to La Placita de Santurce.

Meals Included:  Dinner

Friday, March 29 – Policy Immersion Trip

Friday, March 29

On your first full day in San Juan, get ready for a deep dive into the complicated policy issues facing Puerto Rico.

We’ll be joined by high ranking officials representing the local and federal government–including PROMESA, PREPA, COFINA, and the Governor’s Office–for a series of panel discussions on the complicated issue of debt restructuring and the privatization of electricity as a proposed energy policy.

Select speakers include:

Natalie Jaresko, Executive Director, Financial Oversight & Management Board for Puerto Rico (PROMESA)

Christian Sobrino, President & Director, Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico

The Honorable Eduardo Bhatia, Senate Minority Leader

Following the panels, we’ll stretch our legs out for a walking tour of Old Town San Juan in hopes that you’ll work up an appetite for lunch along the famed Fortaleza Street.

We’ll end the day connecting with NGO leaders for a roundtable discussion over dinner. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Saturday & Sunday, March 30-31 – Policy Immersion Trip

Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31

Saturday, March 30

Hurricane Maria wiped away roughly 80% of farmland in Puerto Rico and coffee plantations were amongst the hardest hit with an estimated 85% loss of crops valued at $60m. We’ll visit a well-established coffee hacienda to learn about the work being done to rebuild the coffee sector. During the 2 hour drive down to the hacienda, we will be accompanied by well-regarded investigative journalists who will share insights on the economic impact felt by every day citizens.

After a free afternoon we’ll enjoy our final night in San Juan, we’ll take up a salsa lesson, enjoy a hearty dinner and put those salsa moves to test at a local club with live music.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sunday, March 31

We’ll close out our trip with a farewell brunch and final panel discussion with leading local economists who will share their insights on the economic future of Puerto Rico. During closing remarks, we'll reflect on the lessons learned and how we can eep the conversations going beyond the trip. 

Meals included: Breakfast/Brunch