By Camelia Rodriguez

Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island and unincorporated U.S. territory.  Since it is a U.S. Territory it is easy for American citizen in the mainland to travel to the Caribbean. Our primary language is Spanish, but because of our liaison with the USA, English is taught on schools.  Most of Puerto Ricans are fully bilinguals.  When one visits Puerto Rico, the American influence is very noticeable in advertisements, American chains and even restaurants have menus in English. Since we are a Caribbean island, it is summer all year long. We have amazing beaches accessible to public.  We have great food and music, but most of all we have an amazing culture. We are known for our people who make you feel at home.  We celebrate every single chance we have. Always looking for excuses to party.

Over the years we have had a lot of devastation. First, Hurricane Maria that left 3,057 people dead. The island was without water or electricity for months to come. It was hard to come back from that, but we did it all together. After that, we had the corruption of our government. It was amazing how the whole island came together and passively protested for our right. We closed a highway and walked all the way to the governors’ house to claim for his resignation, we made history. Early this year, we had many earthquakes that were affecting the south-west of the island. People were losing their homes and many businesses were affected.  Needless to say, we were scared. When that happened, people from the other side of the island came together to help those in need. I am telling you all this, because it is important for you to know how our culture is.  We are compassionate and softhearted and even if we don’t know the people, we are going to treat them like family helping them get back on their feet.

The tourism industry was recovering quickly, almost two and a half years after two of the strongest hurricanes on record made landfall on Puerto Rico and billions spent in recovery and reconstruction the lodging infrastructure.  According to the data from Discovery Puerto Rico, the island attracts over 4 million visitors each year and is on track to achieve a record-breaking in 2019. The island experienced an increase of 62.3% in the first six months of 2019.  Currently experiencing a set back due to the coronavirus outbreak, which is affecting everybody globally.

Puerto Ricans are resilient and compromised to make the island a prime destination again. We have so much to offer, the old city of San Juan with the original structures and cobble stone street with nice restaurants and cafes with an amazing views.  Also, nightlife in Puerto Rico goes on all night long with great discos, bars and hangouts.

There is a large number of Puerto Rican students in the Bryant community, which have brought their friends to come visit the island and share the wonderful experience. They all come back to Bryant with treasure memories.  Needless to say, we are open for business.