Beautiful Beach of Isla Verde

Today I saw a tweet by the Police of Puerto Rico communicating to every responsible citizen to bring bags for their trash and make sure they take the trash back home.

The biggest problem is that the authorities find it easier to take this approach and preach to the choir than actually do something about it when it is in front of their eyes.

 

Few adhere to local beach laws

While living on the beach, I can confirm that only a small fraction of the population picks up after themselves and even fewer take their trash home to dispose of that trash properly.

As I write this, it’s 8:00 a.m. and there are people already drunk with pitched tents (actually illegal to set up) and speakers which are probably more appropriate for a reggaeton event, not the beach.

A Simple Solution

If the cops had the proper support from politicians and authorities, they could start giving fines to everyone violating the current laws of non-alcoholic beverages on the beach and leaving no trash behind. In very little time, people will think twice about bringing stuff they can’t take back and if they continue to do it, they become an income source for the government instead of an expense.

When in Rome

This problem amplifies itself when tourists walk through our beaches and see the locals trash the beautiful beaches of our island. Some of them join in the habit of throwing trash on the beach and being publicly intoxicated not knowing the risks. I have seen tourists get mugged, alerted the police, and the cops have their hands tied in how much they can do with the current laws.

Volunteering comes with a price

A few weeks ago I saw how groups of volunteers and contractors (paid by the government) cleaned up the mess from “La Noche de San Juan”. An environmentalist was injured while documenting the trash on the beach by a vehicle who was there hauling the trash off the beach. Some of the drunks were actually giving those cleaning a hard time, while the cops and press observed and did nothing to protect those doing a good deed.

Income from the Pigs v.s. an Expense

We need to fix the problem in others ways than just running campaigns that cost money the government does not have.  Why not flip the situation around and create an income opportunity for our almost bankrupt government by making those who decide to trash the place pay.

When our politicians and authorities decide to work together and find ways to limit expenses, then our island will be in a much better place. But then again Colonial Sickness Causes Delusions on Celebrating Independence. 

If you can share this post and share your thoughts on other possible solutions it would mean a lot to me.

Bonus: Sound Pollution and More

The image below was taken today, July 4th, 2014,  when I observed how locals violated many laws by bringing cars on the beach and setting up equipment that will blast music to everyone on and near the beach, possibly without a permit.

Tourist Beach Puerto Rico

48 Comments

  1. José E. Maldonado on July 5, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Why did you take down the photo? Was it not taken today?



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      @jos_e_maldonado:disqus which photo are you talking about? Might be the one in the other post I shared.



      • José E. Maldonado on July 7, 2014 at 9:09 am

        The one that said Happy 5th of July.



  2. Israel Adames Hernandez on July 5, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Estoy de acuerdo k cobren $5.00 por entral a las playas por grupo para la limpiesas



    • d.o.c on July 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Lo hacen pero isla verde es una playa turitica



    • Stevich on July 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Alguien por aqui como que no entiende el problema…



    • Jose on July 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Como nosotros no aprendemos a la buena, pues tenemos que ser tratados duro y la UNICA forma de cambiar esta CULTURA de PUERCOS que tienen muchos, es dandoles por donde les duele ($$)



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      @israeladameshernandez:disqus se puede cobrar pero no elimina el problema de contaminar.



      • Raúl Collazo on July 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

        Raul, mi tocayo. I have always said that being puertorican and having puertoriqueñidad is not the same thing. This culture of messing things up and letting someone else clean it up has been going on from the beginning of time in PR. I can’t understand how some people in the island celebrate the USA independence, but choose not to be independent as a country. It is the “mantenido” mentality that plagues our society.



  3. anne on July 5, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I would gladly post this but you need to correct your errors. It lacks credibility when you don’t write correctly no matter how important the message is. We as a society have to stand up to one another and stop being bystanders when we see something wrong. The societies that are successful have citizens that think about their community and not just about themselves. That’s what Puerto Rico needs because there are wonderful, beautiful, and caring people in Puerto Rico but we are letting the minority rule and we will all be judged accordingly.



    • Jose on July 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      I wish I could agree with the previous commentator but the reality in the Island is that you can try to clean up the beach 100 times and the next hundred times it will be the same or worse… what needs to be done is a change in our CULTURE of saying “I don’t care because there will always be someone picking up after me” … or “that’s the Government’s job to clean the beach”. That’s why hitting people where it hurt$ is, unfortunately, the LAST AND ONLY recourse that is available to change the CULTURE.



      • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:50 pm

        Jose,

        I have to agree with you. This person has a different agenda and it seems to be tied to show off how much she or he knows.



        • Ricardo Rosado on July 6, 2014 at 9:11 am

          It’s easy not to do anything and criticize those who are trying to make a difference. Arrogant. But I won’t say the other words that she deserves.



          • Raul Colon on July 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm

            Thanks @ricardorosado:disqus I appreciate the support!



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      Anne,

      I am always up for suggestions or corrections. Sometimes timing and intent are more important than getting something out in a perfect way. To your point as a society we need to learn how to support each other instead of finding faults in what others do. The only way to get better writing is by publishing and having critics like you. But sadly the majority does not truly care about our island. I Can’t agree with you there. The day we support each other and build on each others efforts is the day we can move forward. Feel free to contact me directly and chat more.



      • Luis Cruz on July 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

        Raul,

        You are as they say, a gentlemen and a scholar. To be honest, I would have responded by pointing out the few syntax and grammatical errors she made within her critique. Irony is seeing how someone who attacks credibility based on how an individual writes, expresses it using flawed syntax and CLEARLY is writing in one language while thinking in another. I have caught a few errors on CNN myself and it does not purge or void their credibility.

        Anne,

        People like Raul try to make a difference and to an extent, they do because they take out of their time to share their concerns with society for them to wake up. It is people like you, who take the time to criticize others noble gestures and act as an impediment by finding lousy excuses to not share the message, the reason for which things do not get done. You are a pure example of what the Puerto Rican system produces: overconfident and arrogant individuals who make others lives difficult by looking for faults and not stepping up to the plate when needed. I hope to God that at least you have the decency to leave the beach the same way you left it… You want articles to come out perfect? Learn proper English, go apply for an editor job and stop being such a pain in the ass!!!



        • Roberto Cruz on July 6, 2014 at 11:37 am

          Anne,

          Does it make the news less credible???



          • Raul Colon on July 6, 2014 at 11:41 am

            Thanks @disqus_dQwnvJbRHj:disqus.



          • Roberto Cruz on July 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

            You’re welcome brother. Godspeed on your endeavors.



        • Raul Colon on July 6, 2014 at 11:42 am

          Thank you Luis…



    • Alexa Figueroa on July 6, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Anne…..where do you live?…. I’ll dare you to as a comon citizen of Puerto Rico approach another, at a public place (or any place for what metters) in any kind of way without the fear of that individual pulling out a gun and shoot you, just because you told them to pick up their trash….that its why its the authorities job to do it…..



  4. Erik Metzger on July 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Truly sad but this is the result of generations feeling that someone else will be along to clean up their mess. Some parents never learned to clean up from their parents and therefore were ill equipped to pass the responsibility on to their kids. Most laws here are more like recommendations until some cop feels the need to enforce something like say, sound systems or cars on the beach – how much more blatant could an infraction be? I love this island and have called it home for 25 years: Fear not my friends, Cuba will be open for business soon and like the Dominican Republic, will start pulling would be coqui tourists away with friendly people and beautiful, inviting unspoiled landscapes.



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      Erik,

      Good point on how tourists will keep on shifting to places where they are welcomed and locals here instead of fixing the problem will keep on trashing the place and complaining how things have gotten worst while politicians and authorities put a band aid to the problem.



  5. Ramon Castro on July 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Very sad. How ever the government is to blame as they give the people of this Island 100% freedom to do what ever they want. Police do not get involved because they do not make enough money. The “Local Puerto Rican ” attitude is ” Let someone else clean it. ITS JUST PURE LAZINESS. FINES MY ASS THESE SLOBS SHOULD BE JAILED FOR A DAY OR TWO. OR BETTER YET PUT THEM ON TRASH DUTY ON THE HIGHWAY. BUT THEY’LL SING A DIFFERENT TUNE THEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      I like the trash duty on the Highway idea…



  6. mrjtramirez10 on July 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Reckon sub cultural trends taking over the population lately its to blame. Engulfing all prcans as pigs is nothing but profiling, I was taught the right way as were most ppl. I know, but guess is easier for some to follow down the wrong way. Maybe the mentality of us island ppl lacks of the broader view of how ppl and enviorement interacts long term, though not hard in general terms to raise consiousness, its hardly practical in todays society where lack of values seems the order of the day, indeed sad but true.
    We already have a big problem with our garbage dispousals as our avalable space limits, on top of that ppl littering around as theres no tomorrow. But again in these days where value of personal life and property is of little worth and its even promoted in urban music and so on, the problem of the garbage its just the top of the iceberg here..future not too promising pai.



    • Jose on July 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      I don’t think the writer said that ALL Puerto Ricans are pigs… but those that trash our beaches ARE pigs.



      • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        Jose… Thank you for clarifying and your support.



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Mr Ramirez, the pigs are the ones creating filth. I did not say all of them are but the way I structured the headline was to capture the attention of those that normally would care like you but not read it until sometimes looks in a way they want to change it. 🙂



  7. evolucion8 on July 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    One of the main reasons I left the island, its untolerable to live in there as most people don’t care about their island, throwing trash, crimes, lack of jobs, their agressive attitude and disrespect even to the elderly. Its a no man’s land.



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Sometimes I do feel that way.



  8. Carol on July 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I think that some people in the island are sick, dependable and their lives are deteriorating every single day. Some of them decided to move on and run outside the island because they saw that it’s almost impossible to try to fix the problem. The “Boricuas” that stay does not have where to run or are cowards to start working for a new island or probably does not know how to use the tools to start doing it. There are a large amount of people that want to try to change the situation while other group prefer to live like pigs, doing what they want, when they want and wherever they want. Can you see the ambiguous way of doing things? The mental health in the island is affected enormously. The population is tired to intent something new to make at least a little change but it goes no where. The corruption and the lay back people that justified themselves to be what they are and no change can be done are mediocre and they see no future at all. I think that’s one of the reason they want to live like they are. New things means changes and they resist changes and prefer to live like a poor nation created by them. That is one of the main reasons that maintained the island almost in a 3rd world country. The problem is in the base, and it starts with the government attention.
    I agree with Mr. Colon when he stated “If the cops had the authority and proper support from politicians and
    authorities they could start giving fines to everyone violating the
    current laws of non alcoholic beverages on the beach and leaving no
    trash behind and in very little time”. Thant will be a beginning of a great change.
    It’s so sad to see abandoned houses, deteriorated streets, tired and unhappy people living there. They celebrate the 4th of July not because of the Independence of USA but because is an excuse to get drunk, make noise and forget their way of living. Puerto Rico needs a change NOW!



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I honestly feel that we need change now and politicians are too busy playing games that benefit themselves not the well being of the Island.



  9. Olivero Rodriguez on July 5, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    quien le dara educacion a esas personas que no son educadas, la vida que llevan de que hacen y haran lo que les de la gana, segun ellos nadie puede ni debe decirles nada, ya que son tan educados que ni sexto grado tienen. digo sexto porque ya para este grado tienen 12 o 13. y para ellos nadie sabe mas que ellos ni le dira nada a ellos. Historia dice que el que viene de del puerco, puerco sera. Sali de Puerto Rico desde el 1978, voy de vez en cuando a ver a mi familia, hummmmmmmmmmmmm, hay quienes me asustan. por eso aveses ni para alla miro. perdonen familia pero la verdad es hija de Dios. No de mi. Solo digo…



    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      Olivero,

      Falta educación aunque aquí muchos tienen instrucción. Grados de universidad pero hasta algunos de esos piensan que otro debe resolver el problema. Vivo aquí y entiendo por que piensas así. Gracias por comentar.



      • Olivero Rodriguez on July 11, 2014 at 12:05 am

        realmente deberia ver importancia a lo que en verdad es. Sr. Colon la vida deveria ser mas facil. Si miramos otros paises del mundo como yo he visto, Korea, Japon, Alaska, Alemania, Honduras, Panama, y por otros que no he logrado ir, la dedicatoria a lo que en verdad deben de hacer. He ido a estos paises y la basura esta por doquiera, eh estado en diferentes estados de los Estados Unidos y la basura se ve en todas las calles, especialmente New York, Chicago, California, Washington State and Washington DC. la Capital, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina donde vivo, Amigo le digo que no hay tendencia a la limpiesa, Pues Puerto Rico es solo otro pueblo con malos habitos. Y pagan unos por todos. Por ejemplo tengo vecinos que botan la basura porque apesta no porque se ve feo en su casa, La realidad de la vida. Y le doy gracias a ustedes por haber puesto esto en la computadora haci puede que haiga quien lo lea y piense un poco mas cuando vaya a nuestras playas. Gracias mil caballero por darle tanto valor a este problema.



        • Raul Colon on July 14, 2014 at 9:28 am

          Gracias @oliverorodriguez:disqus



  10. Hector Rodriguez on July 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    So sad to see our beaches like that. Such a linda isla and this is how we represent ourself and Puerto Rico. I look at travelers magazines and I don’t see Puerto Rico as one of the places to visit for vacation anymore. So Sad!!!



  11. Deborah on July 6, 2014 at 4:19 am

    The cleaning and picking up after them self is ok am all for it. But PR has some way bigger problems than trash. I think we should.focus on the high volume of crimes and.drugs then trash. You want to clean trash well start by taking the trash of the drug dealers of the.street. The.trash of ganbangers of the street. The trash of killers the streets. All that trash needs to be cleaned up before any other trash. PR is a beautiful.island to let this trash of gangbagers and drug.dealer.come in to the.island. But I don’t think this will ever happen because the moment you put dollar signs before safety from that moment fwd you lost.control of the island and put all the.puertoricans and their love ones in danger. Until the.government Stop.doing things behind the ppl meaning the puertoricans and takes.control of the island the way is.suppose to be nothing will change for the.better. No puertorican is going to take the island sirius if the.government don’t take it sirius. I don’t know about you but this is my.opinion.



  12. Los Acribilleitors De Santurce on July 6, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I remember back in the 90’s going to a Noche de San Juan and seeing cops making people open their coolers for a bottle check. Nice cops would make you dump your coke liter and fill it with your bottked beers, but not so nice cops wouldn’t let you near the beach around the Condado/Ocean Park beach area.



  13. Carlos J Encarnacion on July 6, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    The key to solving this problem is: Let’s bring a SWAT team and start shooting those puertorican pigs. THERE, PROBLEM SOLVED! Why is it that some people think that the exception is always the rule! And that the only way to fix people is by insulting everyone and letting out so much venom. If I say that the person writing this is a retard and so are those that echo his words, then THEY get offended, but then, if they have the right to offend freely, so do I. Or are they so perfect that it gives them the right to offend? Last year’s day after Noche de San Juan, there was four times as much trash than this year on those same beaches, the majority of the people are beginning to comply and learn. I have Photos that prove it. For example, Balneario La Monserrate was VERY clean the 5th and 25th of July last year. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202224814364427&set=p.10202224814364427&type=1&theater Playa La Pared was clean, maybe the difference is the kind of people that visits this beach, surfers, they love and protect their beaches. Plus, this normally happens in San Juan and Carolina beaches. The noise and the music is only part of the event. I remember the 70’s, beaches looked more like sanitary landfills after a holiday in Luquillo, now I see parents teaching kids and often I see kids teaching parents about garbage control. So why insist in calling EVERY Puertorrican a pig and insult each and every one, do you all enjoy it? I am soo tired of seeing this same photo over and over on the web, it is like the same crashed airplane photo on an airfield in Viet Nam. It seems to me that there is an agenda to keep us thinking that we are inferior with no remedy. If a Penepé does this we all know their motive: “we cannot handle our own destiny and we need the feds to take over”. But when an independentista falls in line with this same chorus, then it hits deep inside. Let’s stop feeding this inferiority complex, it does no help at all! ¡SE PUEDE, PUÑ!



    • Raul Colon on July 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      @carlosjencarnacion:disqus You’re the one making the assumption that I called everyone pigs. The pigs are those who litter. I live on the beach and I can surely say that the only thing that gets progress is how big the cleaning crews are.

      Feel free to express your opinion but keep in mind my objective was to get people mad enough where they would do something to change it. Based on your comments I see that you would love to see the beaches without litter as I see it everyday. I write this minutes after walking my dog and the beach was littered. The wind and the cleaning crews will take care of some of the items but there is pollution.

      As far a political objectives I have none. My objective is to keep the environment clean and safe from everyone.

      Feeling inferior goes in hand with misleading people into not having a problem. My standards of clean are very different than what you might be used too. Keep in mind I did not offend or direct any attacks at you. But you clearly are not getting the point.

      It’s irresponsible to lead people into believing that things are ok when the trash pollution is jus the tip of the iceberg.



      • Carlos J Encarnacion on July 6, 2014 at 8:49 pm

        So read again, and you will see you are the offending party, asuming that your standards are “different” and what it suggests. Your post has been shown over and over on the web. It is offending if you do not clarify that “SOME people are like that” but not all and I have proven it. I say again, offending and drilling the same offensive attitude does not help, all the contrary. People are beggining to open their minds and hearts in this island and learning new attitudes. Can do attitudes. But you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Like I said, las year’s garbage was about four times the garbage collected this year and that is progress, it was limited to San Juan Carolina area, and that does not mean that all the people that live there are pigs. Many metro area people come to my town during summer time and they respect the area, though. There will always be some pigs, delincuents and so on, the trick is to keep them under control, as they do back in conus. https://www.facebook.com/PeopleOfWalmartFanPage



        • Raul Colon on July 6, 2014 at 9:07 pm

          @carlosjencarnacion:disqus,

          Funny that you have a precise method of measuring trash. I would like to know your method. On another hand some people choose to understand what they read especially when they have an agenda behind their comments.



          • Carlos J Encarnacion on July 6, 2014 at 9:42 pm

            Just access last year’s photos and compare. Remember, there is a theory about human behavior that goes like so: In every argument there is a 10% that defends the argument, there is another 10% against it, the other 80% follows the 10% that has the best argument or the means to defend it, regardless of the validity, legality or justice behind the argument. Remember the Nazi, remember the Jews in in Palestine and the American pulic with 9/11 and the WMD’s. Most people are followers most of the time, they will look around to imitate what the majority does, regardless if it is right or wrong, it only needs to fit their need at that moment, That is the cornerstone in politics, religion and marketing. Empower the people, not by berating them, but by teaching them the good stuff, show them the way, the good way, let them see that life will be better if we all pull toghether as a team, all in the same direction. Feed their pride. AH, Mr Spock, let them learn that: The need of the many outweigh the need of the few, or the one. And in the end, the one will benefit everytime the needs of the many are met, for he is one of the many. Everytime you stop at an intersection, if you stop on top of the pedestrian crosswalk, the next person to arrive will do the same, most of the time, but if you stop behind the crosswalk, the next person will follow, most of the time. Nobody likes to be “el mas pendejo” or “el mas morón”.



          • Carlos J Encarnacion on July 6, 2014 at 10:47 pm

            So, let’s suggest some ideas to help curve this problem. 1. teach people to take their trash back, 2 more trashcans, at least for special events, too many trashcans look ugly, 3. hit them where it hurts the most these days, the back pocket, if you are caught littering, you should pay a steep fine, jail, do community service, even if it is during your work hours, ouch! and/or all of the above. Make it worth the cop’s while. AND, no glass on the beach or rivers!



        • Raul Colon on July 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm

          This is not the first time I write about the subject but when you push the envelope you reach those that would have not cared if I used honey as you mentioned.



  14. Diana on July 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    I just came back from Puerto Rico and Culebra and to say the least I was so sad and upset because it really looks like a third world country. Every road and highway was dirty, grass over grown, buildings and homes looked in ruins. I drove from the airport- Carolina, Isla Verde, Condado to old San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Guaynabo City, Carolina (pueblo), Canovanas, Piñones, Loiza, Rio Grande, Luquillo, Rio Grande y el Municipio de Culebra. When I went to the ladies restroom Ferry Terminal in Fajado there was no toilet paper, no running water out two faucets, no soap, no paper towels. This is my experience as a Puerto Rican coming back to my home full of pride of my homeland and finding that my brothers and sister living in this beautiful island don’t care enough to paint their houses, clean their yards and teach their children to love their beautiful country.
    I’ve been living in the States since 1983 and have visited my homeland perodicaly I have notice the decline of my people moral values and how our culture has been deteriorating through the years. I remember my grandmother always said that there was no shame on being poor and having old clothes, but to always make sure that your were clean and press even with your tattered clothes. We used to be a nation that was proud that our citizens respected our homeland, now I feel shame for my brothers in my island that say that we are how we are and that our society is not willing to learn to respect their PATRIA that they say so proudly

    of two faucets, no soap, no paper towels to dry hands. This is what the people visiting our island get to experience. As a
    passed through all those towns it was all
    the same filth and abandonment of its
    people. No love for

    the Patria to which they so proudly say
    they are sons and daughters. I was raised
    in Puerto Rico and it hurts me to see my
    country so broken with no self worth.
    I was told by my best friend when I was asking why this was happening and her respond was ” this how we are as a country and we will never change, Puerto Ricans don’t the ability to learn or be taught” this broke my heart. Because when your own educated people has given up; the battle is already lost.

    Patria!

    Puerto Rican living in the island say that

    we are no 1 and we are so proud to be
    Boricua and it seems that we are proud to
    be an uneducated and morally broken
    country. What really apalin