January 17, 2019 (OMAHA, NE) – Staff and partners of Travelex Insurance Servicesreturned Sunday from the company’s first-ever corporate mission trip with smiles on their faces and dirt on their shoes. The group of 50 volunteers spent two days helping with hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Over a year since Hurricane Maria, which The New York Times called the deadliest storm in over 100 years to hit the islands, many locals are still living in uninhabitable conditions, especially those in rural and impoverished communities. Volunteers painted a former, local school building, which is functioning as temporary housing to shelter displaced families in the rural, mountain community of Bartolo, Lares, located about 78 miles southwest of San Juan. Bartolo residents have been working to transition the old school building into a multi-purpose resource center to fulfill the community’s educational, clinical and alimentary needs. Thanks to financial support from sponsors and individual donors, Travelex purchased painting supplies for the service project, as well as a stove, washer, freezer, power tools, gardening supplies, shelving units and blankets for the residents of Bartolo. Volunteers also helped with reforestation efforts at historic Cueva Maria de La Cruz park, reestablishing a variety of native trees in danger of extinction as a result of hurricanes Maria and Irma. In addition, each volunteer distributed gift cards to Puerto Ricans in need that they encountered to purchase necessities at local stores. Travelex Insurance Services’ President & CEO Michael J. Ambrose said: “It’s been a wonderful experience for our team, as well as a number of our partners. It was good for our souls to work for others and provide them with goods and services benefiting their lives. I can’t thank our partners and our sponsors enough for providing us with the support needed to accomplish our mission. It was truly an American effort!” Working on the ground in Puerto Rico is San Agustin Relief and Recovery Mission’s Dr. Maria R. Procaccino, Ed.D, who coordinated with Travelex in preparation for the mission trip. Catholic Charities USA was instrumental in connecting Travelex with Procaccino and the residents of Bartolo. “You can see the before and after of 7,000 people who were trapped on top of this mountain as [Hurricane] Maria passed for two weeks and what they’ve accomplished with your help,” Procaccino said to volunteers. “We thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts.” Fox World Travel’s Vice President of Meetings and Incentives James “Keller” Keller made the travel arrangements and participated in the service projects. “Volunteer tourism is a growing trend in corporate travel,” Keller said. “Whether the sole purpose of a business trip or simply a component, companies like Travelex Insurance Services enjoy giving their employees the opportunity to experience the excitement of helping those in need.” Travel industry partners participating in the trip included Travelex’s underwriter and claims administrator Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, owner and leading Australia travel insurance provider Cover-More, and travel assistance provider On Call International. Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for On Call International Melissa Tollie said, “We take calls from travelers all over the world experiencing natural disasters, and to come here and see the devastation itself was truly eye-opening.” Mission trip corporate sponsors (in alphabetical order): Aradius Group, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, Hemphill Search Group, Incentives Marketplace, Interstate Printing Company, Kistler Tiffany Benefits, Marriott Vacation Club, McGrath North, Sanders Travel, Signature Travel Network, Strong Travel, Tierpoint, TRX, Vernon Graphics & Promotions, and Virtuoso Travel Network. Travelex Insurance ServicesA leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Travelex Insurance Services was founded in 1996 when the Travelex Group purchased Mutual of Omaha Companies’ travel insurance distribution services. Travelex Insurance Services became a subsidiary of Cover-More Holdings USA, Inc. in November 2016, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zurich Insurance Group Limited (“ZIG”), headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Travel insurance plans are underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. Travelex Insurance Services delivers a wide range of travel protection plans through travel agencies, tour operators and at travelexinsurance.com. San Agustin Relief and Recovery Mission is part of a coalition of community-based organizations known as the Mutual Support Center. For the past months after Hurricane Maria, the Mutual Support Center has focused its best efforts on the homeless and landless social segment, which has had special medical and economic survival needs. The urgency for shelter and assurance of a safe home has been the priority for the coalition.