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JetBlue Airways leads effort to build playground in Cantera

Volunteers get together to build the playground's slides, see-saws and other features.

Despite the persistent rain, hundreds of volunteers from JetBlue Airways, stateside nonprofit KaBOOM! and Apoyo Empresarial for the Cantera Peninsula, came together Thursday to build a new playground for kids residing in the San Juan community.

JetBlue and KaBOOM! have worked together over the last seven years to build playgrounds for children across the airline’s network. This was the 13th playground built through the partnership and the first in Puerto Rico.

“During the last decade, San Juan has become an integral part of our route network, and we remain committed to serving our customers and the 300 JetBlue crewmembers who call the commonwealth their home,” said JetBlue’s director of corporate responsibility, Icema Gibbs.

“As Puerto Rico’s largest carrier, we can’t think of a better way to strengthen our commitment to the community and city of San Juan than to link up with our charitable partners at KaBOOM! to create a safe space for our kids to play,” she said.

As a funding partner, JetBlue volunteers and community residents worked side–by-side to create a new playground for the children of the Cantera Peninsula.  The project began early in the day, when the group gathered to build the park from the ground up, installing colorful slides, swings and see-saws, among other kid-friendly features.

“KaBOOM! is thrilled to expand our tremendous work with our National Partner, JetBlue, to Puerto Rico,” said Founder and CEO Darell Hammond, who established the nonprofit in Washington D.C. in 1996. “Every child deserves to have a great place to play and we made that possible for children in San Juan, while bringing KaBOOM! one step closer to our vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.”

Some of the playground's components were built from scratch by JetBlue volunteers.

“The team and volunteers of the Proyecto Peninsula de Cantera reaffirm our commitment to the children of the community, who deserve a safe place to have fun and develop,” said Maria L. Rivera Grajales, Executive Director Proyecto Peninsula de Cantera. “We feel thankful with JetBlue and KaBOOM! for making this playground come true.”

The Cantera playground is the first JetBlue has built outside of the mainland U.S. and in the Caribbean. In seven years, JetBlue and KaBOOM! have built 12 playgrounds, engaged 2,380 volunteers and served 5,680 children by providing a safe place to play, the carrier said.

This year, JetBlue will build five playgrounds, in: Long Beach, CA; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Boston, MA: San Francisco, CA; and New York, NY.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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