It's been over a year since Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and I'm offering this as a brief progress report. Basically everything is returning to normal, particularly from the perspective of a short term visitor. (For local Viequensians, especially families with children in school, the story is more complicated. This has been a tough year.) As of December, 2018:
So, big picture, things are very good. The weather is fabulous and the natural beauty of the island shines at every turn. Still, I don't mean to seem unaware of the complexities. Naturally, when you dig into the details, not everything has progressed at the same pace, and not everyone is back to "normal". Maria was a monster, but everyone has worked really hard to bring Vieques back to life and to restart our economy. Both the businesses and the people are looking forward to welcoming visitors and enjoying a great season!
Casa Amarilla is a great little house on the island of Vieques. Vieques and it's sister island Culebra are the Puerto Rican Virgin Islands, sometimes referred to as the Spanish Virgin Islands.
From our house you can see the island of St. Croix off to the southeast, and on other parts of Vieques you can easily see the islands of Culebra to the north and St. Thomas about 18 miles to the east. Our house is on a quiet cul-de-sac in the small fishing village of Esperanza, which is on the southern or Caribbean coast of the Vieques.
The entire second floor of the house is a private, completely self-contained apartment which can be rented by the week. The second floor includes a huge deck with glorious views of the ocean, the surrounding mountains and the evening sunset.
The brick walkway in the next picture is a short two block walk from the house. This is called the Malecon; it's the sea-side face of Esperanza with a row of restaurants, bars and shops. At the far end of the Malecon is small beach and the fishing pier.
The third photo, the picture of the sunset, was taken from our deck looking west towards Coconut Beach. The mountains in the distance have been set aside as a Nature Preserve under the control of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Out of sight beyond those mountains, about ten miles further west, lies the main island of Puerto Rico.