17 Apr The Boricua debate on boosting the economy in Puerto Rico ??
What will improve life for those die-hard patriotic Puertorriqueños that didn’t leave the island during tough times? Those that endured that big bad bitch Maria back in 2017. Those families, the elderly and the young trend setters in the music, art, hospitality and culinary scene all stayed on “La Isla Del Encanto”. Then Covid in 2020 crushes the tourism industry and all the related services. Ok now the restart and rebuilding – let’s go! But wait, the island full of kind, hard working and fun Boricua’s with beautiful beaches, mountains and history has mixed-feelings. The issue is the perception that foreigners are tacking advantage of tax incentives. In fact they are working as designed to bring people back. Those wealthy families need housing, schools and services that means jobs. But, not everyone welcomes the gringos.
As a “Roadtripper” I’ve been all over Puerto Rico, getting lost many times while finding that secret local mofongo spot or taking the wrong hiking trail to the waterfalls in El Yunque. I embraced the culture and different communities. Because I have friends and family there, yeah I’m biased. From architects, chefs, DJ’s and non-profits, they are my people. Dozens of trips into San Juan for that city vibe and Aguadilla to run around the East coast and jump off piers at Crashboat. Each time exploring a different town or new beach or bounce around the back roads on Sunday for that Chinchorreando fun (look that up!). Its a local thing that gets you into the lush nature of the mountainsides to eat and drink – en el campo.
This new generation that spoke-up and threw-out a governor deserves a sustainable and prosperous Island. The solution to me is simple! Reform the expensive import restrictions of the Jones Act, incentivize manufacturing & export, support local agriculture and promote tourism. As the gateway to the Caribbean, these are achievable objectives.