As you wander through the cobblestone streets of old town San Juan lined with pastel colored colonial buildings and Puerto Rican flags proudly waiving from balconies, it’s tempting for a visiting tourist to forget, or ignore, the aftermath of hurricane Maria. It’s easy to get carried away by the lively music, ice-cold frappes (fruit smoothies) and deliciously rich seafood cuisine on offer. Puerto Rico’s sandy white beaches and surrounding teal blue Caribbean Sea have a way of making you feel the presence of paradise.
However if you talk to anyone on the island who lived through the experience, there is no forgetting when the lights went out on September 20, 2017 – the night that Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm, made direct landfall on Puerto Rico. Winds reaching 175 mph lashed out on the island for over 30 consecutive hours tearing down power lines, ripping apart rooftops and shattering windows in homes, restaurants, churches and commercial office buildings. Maria’s fingerprints are everywhere; among trees with amputated branches, bent sign posts, crushed cars and collapsed rooftops. Bridges were washed away. Power lines were torn and left dangerously dangling. A coastal surge filled homes with several feet of muddy water leaving behind dangerous mold and an eery trail of dark water stains. [Read more…] about Remember Puerto Rico