In 2008, I was lucky enough to visit Puerto Rico. I, like so many other travelers, was taken by the history and culture of the island, the incredible food, and the warm people I met. 

Today, that all seems like distant history, as Hurricane Maria left the island devastated. Three million Americans are without power and running water and, while the federal government is sending aid, it seems nothing will change anytime soon.

Image by Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

In times like this, it is incumbent on all of us, especially those of us who have seen firsthand what Puerto Rico is, to help. I have teamed up with a couple of my favorite travel bloggers to bring you our most cherished memories from our travels to Puerto Rico. If these inspire you, make you smile, or rekindle memories of your own, please join us in making a donation to Global Giving to help the island and its people recover.

Anisa from TwoTravelingTexans

“It’s been a while since I was last in Puerto Rico – 2008 to be exact. We had just returned from a 7 day Southern Caribbean cruise and had some time to kill before our flight. We decided to check out Barrachina, the place where the Pina Colada was invented. Just one of the many things that Puerto Rico has contributed to our culture. Barrachina is located in beautiful Old San Juan and you really must taste one of their Pina Coladas for yourself.”

Natalie from CosmosMariners

“When I first visited Puerto Rico in 2009, I was in love with the island within the first hour of stepping off of the plane. It’s hard not to fall in love with a place that has a tropical rainforest, a centuries old capital city, and the most incredible ocean water that you’ve ever seen! As an American territory, Puerto Rico has many of the amenities that U.S. citizens recognize from home while also having a distinct culture that’s inspired by the island’s Spanish roots as well. 

After hearing me talk about Puerto Rico for years, my husband was determined to visit the island for the first time in September. As an avid runner, he was delighted to find the Lola Challenge race series on Puerto Rico during the time that we were planning to visit, and he started his training for it back in spring 2017. We planned to be on the island for our first non-kid trip since 2014 from September 12th to 19th, but had to cancel it due to the arrival of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Having to cancel a trip is always upsetting, but knowing that I had to cancel this trip because a place that I adore was being battered by massive hurricanes was heartbreaking. 

This beautiful island has a very long road ahead of it as the residents begin their clean up and restoration efforts, and I hope that you’ll consider finding a way to help them out however possible!”

My favorite Puerto Rico memory

“It was a rainy day in San Juan, but my family determined not to let that prevent us from exploring the old city. We walked out to the San Felipe del Morro fortress (really cool, and oh the views of the water!) and on our way back, ducked into a small restaurant to avoid the weather. This was my first exposure to what has become one of my favorite foods: black bean soup. Warm, vibrant, and a bit spicy, the soup had the qualities of the Puerto Rican people in it. One day I will return to enjoy it again!”

A view of the fortress amidst inclement weather.

Have you visited Puerto Rico? Please share your favorite memory with us in the comments section.

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