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Arriving in Puerto Rico

Authored by Dr. Melissa Martinez-Adorno.


As I flew over the city of San Juan as we were approaching final landing, my first thought was that the colors were wrong. Palm trees were bare and brown. The rooftops were bright blue or black covered with tarps. The kites that are a hallmark of a beautiful day off the park of el Morro were missing as no one was flying their kites.


As we drove through the streets, the end of walkways and driveways were still littered with the debris of what was once the inside of homes. Mattresses, furniture, appliances all strewn at the end of their property waiting for the trash collectors that don’t come frequently enough, because they haven’t been paid in weeks.

None of the street lights are working. None. Traffic was a bit like the attack on the cornucopia during Hunger Games BEFORE the hurricane, now there is a city with as many people as there are cars and NO TRAFFIC LIGHTS.

Hardly anyone has Christmas lights. Folks, this is Puerto Rico...Christmas is one of the most important times of the year. It’s joyous and a celebration that lasts a full month. There are hardly any Christmas decorations up.

But Isla Verde, and the metropolitan area is starting to have some resemblance of normalcy. Restaurants are opening. Night life is returning. But everything just seems brushed with a light gray wash. Everything is duller, less vibrant, less energetic.

My island is recovering from the fog of this destruction but it’s far, far from better.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Much love to you back home and I can’t thank you enough for all your efforts and work in this mission. #SupportRyder #PRStrong




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