Puerto Rico – A Caribbean Paradise

You know the strength of a country when hardship strikes. Hurricane Maria brought unprecedented destruction to the Caribbean. Puerto Rico, “The Land of the Lamb”, as many know the Island, was struck with a Category 4 hurricane. The magnitude of a hurricane with winds of 155 mph is no joke. With sustained winds of 130-156 mph, a hurricane this powerful snaps trees from its roots, wood properties are torn down and even cement structures are affected. Communication towers and electricity poles get knocked out and running water is interrupted because there’s no electricity. Having no running water for the daily needs like drinking and showering makes it difficult enough, then adding to that, no electricity to keep the refrigerator going, stove for cooking and air conditioners to ease the Caribbean heat, it’s impossible to keep it “normal”. With no cell towers, people in the island are not able to communicate to ask for help or notify their loved ones they are OK. The infrastructure was destroyed. Many parts of Puerto Rico are mountains, making it almost impossible to distribute vital provisions.

I want you to know a bit more:

Puerto Rico measures 100 x 35 miles. You can drive around the island in just one day. It consists of 78 municipalities with about 3.4 million residents. The island has been blessed with the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south, these two make splendorous beaches for all to enjoy. Also on the east of the island we find the rainforest – El Yunque. Right in the middle of island is La Cordillera Central, a group of mountains that forms in the interior of Puerto Rico and extends about 50 miles.

You can also enjoy:

  • caves
  • waterfalls
  • bioluminescent bays
  • surfing
  • zip lining
  • hiking
  • snorkeling
  • museums
  • delicious food
  • waterfalls

Just to mention a few the attractions.

After hurricane Maria “Nothing is the same. Puerto Rico went back 50 years” a good friend told me, still in shock by the devastation.

But Puerto Ricans are characterized by their faith, big heart and their service to others. This is the island that welcomed me as a little baby and saw me evolve as a young adult. I left the island with the dreams of reuniting with my family in the states and start a new life. As I look at the pictures after the hurricane it’s indescribable how I feel when I can hardly recognize parts of the island where I lived.

It has been 3 weeks since devastation struck and I still can’t believe what happened to my island. Those not living on the island but with family and friends there, wish they could go help, but for many it is not possible. The people living on the island can have one thing for sure, there is an army of people outside Puerto Rico praying for them and sending all the help possible. The reconstruction of the island will take years, but this time it will be rebuilt better and stronger. There’s no time for what if, this is time to rebuild: the rainforest and the vegetation will be stunningly green and robust, the blue waters of the beaches will again be a destination to many looking for true beauty. El coquí will sing again.

The hurricane’s destruction brings sadness, It is difficult to see the island so broken, but Puerto Rico will rise again.  This is the reason I wanted to share with you some amazing pictures of Puerto Rico before hurricane Maria.

Although I haven’t visited the island in a few years, a friend who had the blessing of visiting Puerto Rico this past summer was kind to share her pictures for all of us to enjoy. These pictures will give you an idea of the natural beauty of the island.

The fountains of Paseo de la Princesa located in San Juan. These fountains were built in a European style going back to the 19th century.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro is a fort constructed in the 16th century to protect the island from enemy attack.  

El Morro was the only defensive fortification of the island.

A fantastic view of San Juan and the Atlantic Ocean.

Old San Juan has a European look due to the fact  Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain after it was discovered in 1493.

Average temperature of 82° Fahrenheit. Just perfect for the spectacular beaches all around its coasts.

The view from this cave is breathtaking and you can actually explore it.

Explore El Yunque – the tropical rainforest.

At El Yunque and other places of the island you can find refreshing waterfalls.

My nightmare, lagartijos. I never liked them but couldn’t get rid of them. They are harmless and pretty common on the island.                                                     

Food cannot be out of the pictures. Fresh fish with yummy white rice, beans and salad – great after an afternoon of discovering the island.

Puerto Ricans are fighters that never give up. They know trials and tribulations come but their Father in heaven does not leave them nor forsake them. There is a tomorrow, there is a future. The “today” will not determine who they will be tomorrow. La Isla Bonita (The Beautiful Island as it is also known) will rise up and better and stronger.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Have you visited Puerto Rico?

If you haven’t, I hope you have the opportunity to do it after the reconstruction. 

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