Christmas in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Renée and I love Puerto Rico and living up here in the El Yunque rainforest. Every twenty years or so a "high wind" comes along and there is some hardship and adjustments. We are always prepared and have the inn back in operation within weeks of any storm but not everyone is as lucky. This season we are working with the community of Rio Grande (our local city) to give back by helping the children have a Christmas or Three Kings.

The Rio Grande mayor Angel "Bori" González and police commissioner Sr. Escobar are seated in their emergency office. In this photo Renée and I are just starting the interview.

The Rio Grande mayor Angel "Bori" González and police commissioner Sr. Escobar are seated in their emergency office. In this photo Renée and I are just starting the interview.

A former guest, Michelle Roover, suggested a "gofundme" campaign to help finance the Rainforest Inn's hurricane difficulties (we were prepared for nearly every contingency with our vast water storage cisterns, new ultra-quiet generator, and solar panel solutions -- except for the one where nearly 95% of our upcoming guests cancelled their winter vacations with us). We didn't feel right about asking for personal donations  (especially from beloved former guests) but we thought of what an excellent opportunity it would be to help our local community so "Christmas Relief for the children of Rio Grande GoFundMe" was born.  We have collected over $1500 so far both from that page and from family and friends donating directly.

You can go to our Puerto Rico Podcast page for a link to the different ways to stream our podcasts including the latest, our interview with the Mayor about distributing Christmas gifts and his update on the hurricane relief his office has been accomplishing.

Renée, Laurie Michaels and Melina Devoney posing during their present wrapping

Renée, Laurie Michaels and Melina Devoney posing during their present wrapping

We will get some more photos and maybe a video when we distribute the gifts to the children with the Mayor. Hopefully we will have enough presents for all the children that show up and avoid a riot.

Using our gym as a workspace to wrap the presents.

Using our gym as a workspace to wrap the presents.