For those who have been to Rincon, Puerto Rico, you know it's charm. You know it's open beaches and warm waters. You know the sunsets over the water, the coco frio vendors on the side of the road, the tsunami warning signs on every hill and the road to happiness.
As of September 20, the Rincon that we have grown to know and love may never be the same again. With trees bare, beaches washed back, and power and water in the process of being restored, Rincon is in need.
While you can donate to online fundraisers for rebuilding efforts, you can send water filters and mail packages of food and solar lights, you can do something else for the people of Puerto Rico - you can return. The community is no doubt in need of supplies and aid, yes. But more so, Rincon and the entire island of Puerto Rico is in need of your support. We need the support of our tourists back. We need hope for the future. We need our restaurants full with visitors, we need our guest houses booked with vacationers and we need our retail stores selling locally made goods to travelers.
From the months of November through April, Rincon is a welcoming home to many travelers and vacation home owners looking for warmer weather, consistent surf and small town relaxation. This six-month season provides the year's income for majority of businesses and families in Rincon. With the saddening effects of Hurricane Maria, this season will no doubt be affected and many small business owners are praying they will be able to make it through the year not only for themselves but also for the livelihood of their local employees. What we ask of you now if you cannot donate, is to wait and to come back. There will no doubt be change. The beaches will look different at first. The roads will be worn. Many buildings will be gone or empty. But when power is restored and water is running again, remember the island town that has brought you countless beach sunsets, right handed reef breaks and happy memories. Remember the community that is the core of that town. Support Rincon businesses this Winter and Spring. Help bring tourism back to la isla. Puerto Rico se levanta.
-Words by Marcy Fitzpatrick