The Cardinal Edge


Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean that is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. It is naturally beautiful and caters heavily to tourists. However, it is currently in the midst of an economic crisis that has been building for years and is struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Additionally, popular culture and statistics have demonstrated that many Puerto Ricans are emigrating from the island. Puerto Rico must address these issues to ensure that its citizens can continue to have a good quality of life on the island. To do this, the U.S. government must work closely with Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico and the U.S. need to implement a solid fiscal plan and spend federal aid to rebuild the island after Hurricane Maria, use sustainable energy resources (e.g., solar, wind, hydroelectric) to shift to a more resilient green economy, and employ ecotourism as a primary source of revenue. This will limit emigration from Puerto Rico and help people living there find new opportunities locally. The autobiography When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago was read in detail to understand attitudes surrounding the migration experience for Puerto Ricans. This book highlighted how the local Puerto Rican landscape impacted the author during her childhood. Additionally, the film The Vessel, directed by Julio Quintana, added to this argument by demonstrating the effects of a local disaster on a Puerto Rican community. This put the magnitude of larger disasters, such as Hurricane Maria, into perspective.