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The island of Culebra-still under attack.

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  • The island of Culebra-still under attack.

    Recently my wife and I spent a week in the idyllic island of Culebra. I had visited the island many times before when I was a kid but it was the first time for my wife. The Culebrenses are very hospitable and really nice people. There is really not much to do in the island but dive and snorkel which is exactlly what we planned to do and we did just that. Flamenco and the other beaches are to die for and we biked everywhere since there are only two roads in the island and it is pretty much flat land. Life there is very expensive and the residents have to sacrifice a lot for the comforts found in the big island. We are glad we biked since there is only one garage with very expensive gas and they ususally run out by Tuesday until the gas arrives from Fajardo late Wednesday. If you need to get gas, there is usually a half hour to 45 minute wait. There was a lot of garbage in the form of discarded water bottles and other throw away stuff around the island. The have an ecology school with solar panels and other enviromentally conscious features and a dedicated student population wich tells me most of this garbage comes from the outside. The residents are very worried with a new proposed project which will encompass over one thousand "cuerdas" of their land. The project will go from the north to the south coast literally dividing the island in two. They are worried about the environmental impact of such a proyect and the few benefits that it will bring the residents. Their main concern is that, due to the centralized form of government in PR the decisions regarding this development will be taken in San Juan by outsiders who do not understand or care about their plight and they will have no saying in the matter. I could not find one resident who was in favor of this project which seems to consume their conversations with outsiders. They have started a petition opposing the development which my wife and I signed even when we do not oppose progress.
    A month before our trip we checked the Culebra island blogs in the Internet because one big concern was the Ferry from Fajardo since we have heard horror stories about it.. All the bloggers recommended not to call the Ferry office because they never answer their phones. We tried many many times and Alas!, they NEVER answer their phones. I also tried once we arrived in the big island and they never answered either. The day we were to leave from Fajardo we arrived at Puerto Real at 5 AM and they already had people camped out waiting in line until they opened at 8 AM. People who were late cut in line and asked other people to buy tickets for them and there is no security and when asked, the state police said they had no jurisdiction in the matter that it was the Port Authority. There was no Port Authority security around either and we almost got bumped to the 3 PM Ferry, even tough we had arrived that early that morning. You can not buy them ahead of time and there is no Internet sales. Finally we took the Ferry, which went smoothly and coming back was not such an ordeal since we came back in the middle of the week. In our next visit we plan to take a plane from San Juan ( we did not do it this time because my wife is deathly afraid of the small planes) if I'm able to convince my partner to fly in one of them.

  • #2
    Culebra need it's autonomy just like Ponce and other island municipalities already have. But Culebra has the added problem of being a whole separate island which is where the trasnportation problem comes in, much has been talked about a "bridge" between Puerto Rico and Viequez for example but the costs of such a project vs how much use it would really get, plus the fact that it would also bring like a storm tide all the crime and drug addiction problems the Big island has makes the whole thing questionable at best.

    But Autonomy so the Culebrenses can run their own thing and invest their hard earned tourism dolllars in whatever projects are truly fit for their island. In Ponce it has worked pretty well...
    EDIT: I hope you also visited Gilligan's island while you where in the Island. I'm glad you did, hopefully now you have a different picture of us Islanders...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Yujike View Post
      Recently my wife and I spent a week in the idyllic island of Culebra. I had visited the island many times before when I was a kid but it was the first time for my wife. The Culebrenses are very hospitable and really nice people. There is really not much to do in the island but dive and snorkel which is exactlly what we planned to do and we did just that. Flamenco and the other beaches are to die for and we biked everywhere since there are only two roads in the island and it is pretty much flat land. Life there is very expensive and the residents have to sacrifice a lot for the comforts found in the big island. We are glad we biked since there is only one garage with very expensive gas and they ususally run out by Tuesday until the gas arrives from Fajardo late Wednesday. If you need to get gas, there is usually a half hour to 45 minute wait. There was a lot of garbage in the form of discarded water bottles and other throw away stuff around the island. The have an ecology school with solar panels and other enviromentally conscious features and a dedicated student population wich tells me most of this garbage comes from the outside. The residents are very worried with a new proposed project which will encompass over one thousand "cuerdas" of their land. The project will go from the north to the south coast literally dividing the island in two. They are worried about the environmental impact of such a proyect and the few benefits that it will bring the residents. Their main concern is that, due to the centralized form of government in PR the decisions regarding this development will be taken in San Juan by outsiders who do not understand or care about their plight and they will have no saying in the matter. I could not find one resident who was in favor of this project which seems to consume their conversations with outsiders. They have started a petition opposing the development which my wife and I signed even when we do not oppose progress.
      A month before our trip we checked the Culebra island blogs in the Internet because one big concern was the Ferry from Fajardo since we have heard horror stories about it.. All the bloggers recommended not to call the Ferry office because they never answer their phones. We tried many many times and Alas!, they NEVER answer their phones. I also tried once we arrived in the big island and they never answered either. The day we were to leave from Fajardo we arrived at Puerto Real at 5 AM and they already had people camped out waiting in line until they opened at 8 AM. People who were late cut in line and asked other people to buy tickets for them and there is no security and when asked, the state police said they had no jurisdiction in the matter that it was the Port Authority. There was no Port Authority security around either and we almost got bumped to the 3 PM Ferry, even tough we had arrived that early that morning. You can not buy them ahead of time and there is no Internet sales. Finally we took the Ferry, which went smoothly and coming back was not such an ordeal since we came back in the middle of the week. In our next visit we plan to take a plane from San Juan ( we did not do it this time because my wife is deathly afraid of the small planes) if I'm able to convince my partner to fly in one of them.
      Well, Yujike I visited Culebra last in 1998. It was still a beautiful place. But you are right. Everything is expensive for the locals. It is hard to make ends meet for many. Eco tourism that is organized and well planned could be the ticket. But, it all depends on the dumbells in the legisbasura in San Juan. A lot of those politicians don't really care about the Culebra locals. It is a problem that lack of accountability.

      I hope you and the wife had a relaxing stay. Lol!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Suki View Post
        Well, Yujike I visited Culebra last in 1998. It was still a beautiful place. But you are right. Everything is expensive for the locals. It is hard to make ends meet for many. Eco tourism that is organized and well planned could be the ticket. But, it all depends on the dumbells in the legisbasura in San Juan. A lot of those politicians don't really care about the Culebra locals. It is a problem that lack of accountability.

        I hope you and the wife had a relaxing stay. Lol!
        As I said Municipal Autonomy might be a start if not the whole solution to the problem but I'm certain it would go a long way.
        BTW: May I ask why is that you people chose to write in such huge lettering? Are you both impaired as in cannot see small fonts or something like that?

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        • #5
          He cannot let go: Still calling us names like IMPAIRED, Why?

          I remember way back we had some elderly people in the forum who said they could not read the small font, so we obliged. Hopefully it had nothing to do with our intellectual abilities but arose out of a practical reason.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Yujike View Post
            He cannot let go: Still calling us names like IMPAIRED, Why?

            I remember way back we had some elderly people in the forum who said they could not read the small font, so we obliged. Hopefully it had nothing to do with our intellectual abilities but arose out of a practical reason.
            Chill I was just curious, at least now I know and understand, still browsers can be adjusted to bigger lettering if need be...

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            • #7
              I love la isla de Culebra. Sailing in at night at high tide on a full moon, is a great memory for me. Culebra, isla de una de mi amores.
              Pro-Black, Pro-Diversity. " Live and let Live"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Corvo View Post
                I love la isla de Culebra. Sailing in at night at high tide on a full moon, is a great memory for me. Culebra, isla de una de mi amores.
                That's awesome but back to the subject at hand do you think that giving the island municipal autonomy would help at least a bit the people of Culebra? I reckon it would, It has worked in Ponce so it should at least be a start in Culebra in my opinion...

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                • #9
                  In general yes, but I don't know all the issues there. A small community can't always foresee problems ahead. it all depends on the resources available and much more...
                  Pro-Black, Pro-Diversity. " Live and let Live"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Playa Zoni, Culebra Puerto Rico - 2008

                    I took this pic last year in Culebra.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Tipo, la isla de Culebra es bella, como muestra tu foto. Mi esposa y yo estuvimos muy decepcionados por la cantidad de basura en la isla, realmente fue una verguenza pues hasta tienen una escuela exclusivamente dedicada al ambiente, con paneles solares. Llego el momento en Flamenco, que agarramos una bolsa plastica y estuvimos unas dos horas recogiendo basura en el litoral y unos jovenes se nos unieron y llenamos cuatro o cinco bolsas grandes de desperdicios. Este es un recurso demasiado valioso para desecrarlo de tal forma.

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                      • #12
                        Nueva información sobre Culebra revela que vaciaron en el mar una laguna llena de químicos y sustancias muy dañinas al ambiente y en todo esa área del mar han desaparecido todos los peces y se ha reducido grandemente la vida marina. Lo Pescadores de Culebra dicen que no en esa área se ha eliminado por completo su sustento proveniente de la pesca. Culebra aún sigue sufriendo las décadas de abuso a su ambiente por parte de la Marina de los EE.UU.¿Dónde están los polítiqueros que se aprovecharon de esta tragedia para avanzar sus carreras políticas y sus agendas personales?

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