It has been a while since we posted a new blog entry. We have been down in the dumps with blow after blow of bad news from Puerto Rico and could not bare to reminisce and ponder over it all, let alone talk about it. Today, however, we do feel that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and a feeling of hope flared up for us!
[Photo Credit: Louis Padron]
We are fortunate to be in contact with many of the Culebrenses via Facebook who keeps us updated on the current situation on the island. Many thanks to Louis Padron for keeping everyone updated on what the new normal means for the residents of Culebra, regardless of how busy he is surviving the day-to-day obstacles faced on the island. Today there has been some good news for small business owners such as Louis and his family. They received a 7500 Watt generator for their guest house from Unidos Por Puerto Rico to get back up and running which means they will be able to open their doors for business very soon. Louis is posting regular updates by checking in to the Culebra Region Facebook page, so check it out and express your support!
Once we have more information to share, we'll post another update. In the meanwhile, here is what we know at this moment:
According to locals, Culebra's potable water service has been restored, however, it is not consistent and very unpredictable at this time. Visitors should not expect water to be available 24/7. Should this change in the future, we will provide an update. Many residents and guesthouses do have cisterns, so do check before you book if water is a concern to you. Drinking water can be purchased from grocery stores which includes Costa del Sol and Milkas.
Generators currently provide electricity to most of the residents in Culebra from 6.30pm through 6.30am every day. According to a current resident, there are Two 2 Megawatt generators in San Juan destined for Culebra, but as of today we cannot confirm that it has arrived on the island or when it is scheduled to arrive. Residents noted that a 20,000 gallon diesel reserve was parked at the airport last week and the federal government stated that diesel will be funded until the end of March, 2018. Since Culebra's power is coming from the main island via Vieques, it seems that we will have to wait many months, if not a year, for permanent restoration of power. Since no one knows when this may be, many residents are not holding their breath but instead look to solar and turbine solutions to completely remove them from the grid. Once again, if you plan on visiting Culebra over the next year, we recommend that you check with your host if they can offer generator, turbine, or solar power for electricity during your stay. Please be aware that excessive use of power will not be regarded as accepted behavior on the island in the forseeable future.
Restaurants and Grocery Stores
The holiday season is around the corner and many restaurants are hard at work to prepare for the season. Check Facebook for updates on restaurant status just before you travel to Culebra. Heather's Pizza is open on some days, Mamacitas opened on November 15, 2017 and Susie's Restaurant will open on Friday, November 24, 2017 with a fun but limited menu. Zaco's Tacos is believed to reopen end November or early December, 2018.
The grocery store on the hill close to our house, Costa del Sol, is fully stocked and also have ice! Milkas is also open and currently fully stocked as shown in a recent video posted on the Culebra Noticias Facebook page.
The Mayor of Culebra is on board with receiving toursist again and the ferry is currently open and taking visitors on the cargo ferry, but note that it isn't always on schedule:
Fajardo to Culebra
Culebra to Fajardo