Culebra may not have suffered the severity of damage that the main island has, but the Culebrenses have suffered and is still suffering in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. The main concern at this time is the lack of water which makes life very hard for everyone living on the island. As of today, the island has been without running water for 6 days. Access to water currently depends on when the water pump will be fixed in Vieques and we received no further information regarding the time-line. All we can do is wait and support the island by spreading the word of their need and reach out to officials to make sure the Culebrenses are not forgotten.
The second concern is electricity. Right now Culebra has intermittent access to a generator, mainly at night from 7pm to 6am. When the generator runs out of diesel the island is without power. Since 2008 there has been a generator in Culebra that has the ability to completely power Culebra and Vieques. Due to a legal financial dispute between AEE and the contractor the generator has never functioned. Instead the AEE has been renting a generator (that can only handle Culebra for 12 hours) at the cost of $29,000 a month! Or $2,784,000 since the beginning of the dispute! The people of Culebra are petitioning the Governor to use his power to resolve this legal dispute in order to restore electricity to the island in this time of need. This information is being spread on facebook and was sent to certain individuals thought to be able to make a difference. We are in contact with friends currently living in Culebra and will post updates as we receive more information.
The Mayor of Culebra has officially announced there will be no tourism on Culebra until after the new year. This applies to day visitors as well. This decision was made because there simply are not enough resources to handle any more people. Water, electricity and sewer are overloaded now and simply can not stand more. This is heartbreaking, but it is the reality right now. We all need to respect his decision and allow Culebra to recover and heal. This is the official announcement from the Mayor of Culebra in the island and residents best interests.
At this time we have also heard from various sources that there is a possibility that Culebra may not be open for visitors until sometime in March next year. We cannot confirm these rumors and but we will have to wait at least until early December to see if the situation in Culebra has improved enough for the island to welcome visitors in the new year. We suspect that everything depends on the restoration of the water pump coming from Vieques as well as power and Wi-Fi.
Please support Culebra by sharing only verified information with friends and the public on Facebook and other social media platforms. There are many charity organizations as well as GoFundMe efforts that is helpful to the Culebrenses. Do make sure you can trust the source before making any donations for the benefit of Culebra.
Culebra Se Levanta!
~ Sunny & Jeff