Richard and Peggy Puffer



Peggy Puffer guiding birders

Long time Vieques winter residents and birding enthusiasts Richard and Peggy Puffer live in La Llave where the birding is excellent For the past several years, they have graciously volunteered to lead monthly bird walks for the Trust.  Intrepid birders, Richard and Peggy have birded around the world, particularly in Central and South America and are very knowledgeable about the birds in Puerto Rico. They know when and where to find migratory and year-round birds on Vieques and can identify most birds by their call. On the walks for the Trust, they have lead birders from the dry scrub in La Llave to the lagoons near Sun Bay. Equipped with binoculars and spotting scope, they make sure that everyone clearly sees the birds, and they offer helpful hints to novices. Their walks have been rewarding for everyone.

Richard and Peggy’s friends, Dale and Priscilla Doucette, have attended many of the bird walks and will be leading the tours next year.  Many thanks to Richard and Peggy for the volunteer work they have done for the Trust.


Birders on Malecon outside Trust building

Richard and the spotting scope

Volunteer Spotlight: Craig Harrison, AARP Foundation

Thank You Craig for your wonderful letter about your volunteer experience at VCHT.  We hope more people like you would come out to help us accomplish our Conservation Goals.


Volunteer Vieques!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to volunteer with The Vieques
Conservation and Historical Trust!

As I mentioned to you guys, one of the great benefits I have working
with AARP is 6 paid days of leave a year (use or lose) only for
volunteer work in the US or US territories.  I was so happy to have
found your organization!  It meshed so well with my interests and
offered me an incredible experience.

I had a wonderful time meeting and working with you.  The island is
truly a special place!  I’m sorry that we didn’t end up having more
time together but am so happy that I was able to go out on my own and
clean some of your amazing beaches.  I have attached some photos of
me, some of the trash I found, and my most favorite beach, Playa
Grande.  I know that no one can really validate the work I did out
there, but I know what I accomplished on that beach and am so happy to
have left it cleaner than the it was on my first visit.  US Fish and
Wildlife should find 4 big bags of garbage…including an old computer
monitor!?  I spent time picking up in Esperanza and Blue Beach as
well…  Everyone was so nice and appreciative!

I do plan on returning and hope to make more of an impact the next
time!  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments or if
you need more pictures!  Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

W Craig Harrison
Sr Accountant AARP Foundation
Washington, DC


Thank You Volunteers



The VCHT is fortunate to have a terrific group of dedicated volunteers who provide a wide variety of services to the Trust. The Trust simply could not run without their commitment to the vision of the Trust. From beach cleanups, to fund-raising to developing our strategic plans, we depend on our volunteers to help the Trust play a central role in the community and beyond.


The VCHT Gift Shop and Information Center is one of our main sources of revenue for the Trust’s environmental and education programs. Run entirely by volunteers, the Gift Shop is also a great place to meet visitors and residents and provide them with all kinds of information about the Trust and Vieques. There are opportunities for creativity at the shop in areas like buying, display and developing new products that fit our mandate.


Other volunteers take care of the grounds and gardens at the Trust, or help with maintenance activities, like painting or minor repairs.


Anthony Civitello has turned his passion for Vieques history into a much in demand historical tour of the old Playa Grande sugar central. Rich and Peg Puffer, who are experienced birders, lead excellent bird watching tours that have participants saying they have never had better tours —anywhere.


Those who are interested in marine ecology and bioluminescence can work with Mark Martin to become field assistants to help in monitoring the Bay or docents for the Marine Life Exhibit and the Barbara Bernache Baker Bioluminescent Bay Room. Or assist in developing educational materials for these exhibits.


The Trust has been fortunate to find volunteer computer experts, like Marc Margate, who have donated their time to assist in keeping our computer network and internet service humming along.  It may seem mundane, but assistance with office duties and keeping the membership up to date is another vital but necessary task. We have benefited greatly from the expertise of volunteers willing to research grant opportunities and write grants. We are very fortunate in counting on our member-volunteers for expertise in strategic planning, budgeting, finance, fund-raising and legal issues.


Our annual programs and fund-raising events depend on a host of volunteers to provide transportation, organize in-kind donations and housing.


We are especially grateful for volunteers, Annette Bou and Mireya Padín,  who are the founding developers and stars of the annual Vieques Pops concert.


We welcome all volunteers and will try to match our needs to your talents.  It’s a great way to become part of the community and know you are making a difference in Vieques.


The Trust would like to thank all the volunteers who in 2010 provided more than 5500 hours of service to the community. If you are interested in volunteering, no matter what your skills, please send us an email and we’ll get right back to you.

Celebrating Vieques Dinner and Volunteer Awards February2011

2011 Celebrating Vieques Award Winners

2011 Celebrating Vieques Award Winners: From left to right, Haydée Piñero Buck; Annette Bou; Mireya Padín; Liz O'Dell


The 2011 Celebrating Vieques dinner , held February 10th at El Quenepo restaurant, was dedicated to the memory of Bill and Marian Littleford. The VCHT would like to recognize them for their early efforts in making the Trust a reality; their dedication to the mission of the VCHT and for their unswerving care and concern for the people of Vieques.

The Award Winners:

Haydée Piñero Buck – Community Builder Award

  • For her long-term support for Vieques and many individual Viequenses.
  • For her dedication to Vieques institutions including the Vieques Humane Society, the Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust, the Montessori School, the Navy League and the Vieques Concert Society.
  • For her passionate concern for the children of Vieques


Liz O’Dell — VCHT Volunteer Award

  • For her dedication to the ideals of volunteerism
  • For her willingness to work for the good of the VCHT and its mission no matter in what capacity and no matter how long it takes and to be an unsung hero
  • For being a good friend to so many Viequenses and newcomers


Annette Bou and Mireya Padín — Young Leaders Award


  • For introducing the musical traditions of Puerto Rico to Vieques
  • For passionately sharing their love of music with the children of Vieques
  • For supporting VCHT through the wonderful Vieques Pops concerts


VCHT would like to thank Kate and Scott Cole from El Quenepo Restaurant for their wonderful contribution in making this evening such a success. As well, many thanks to Bill Shank for his superb illustration for the awards and for the design of the program.

The VCHT is very grateful for the contributions of our dinner benefactors:


José Carrasquillo and
Douglas Reese
Tim and Margaret Eburne
Alison Flemer
Connie Greaves Bates
Elaine Gurian and
Dean Anderson
Pete and Mary Haab
Bill and  Anne Heaphy
Barbara Hyland and
Geoffrey Armstrong
Bob and Joan LePard
Ed Lewis and
Glen Weilgus
Nancy Mickelson
Jeffrey Milham and
Senya Maslovsky
Ed Mullen and
Jerry Hanley
Claritza Navarro
Harry and Ellen Parker
Evie Rickley
Marisol Villamil
Steve Wertheimer
Tom Wright and
Rosalie Frankel



Successful Beach Clean UP

Beach Clean Up


Written by Barbara Hyland
Friday, 23 January 2009 09:57
Successful Beach Clean UP 

More than 30 volunteers worked hard to collect trash on the beach in Esperanza on Monday, January 19th.

Young people from the MANTA club, using kayaks, and equipped with masks and snorkels, picked up garbage from under-water sites in Esperanza under the direction of VCHT director, Mark Martin.

Thanks to Harry Parker for taking all that trash to the dump.

See our calendar for the next clean up activity!