After about 21 hours of sound pollution from people playing reggaeton ( I stopped counting because I fell asleep), I did not wake up early enough to capture most of the chaos left behind by locals and maybe a tourist or two. Clean up efforts started at around 9:30 p.m. and here I am sharing what the beach looks like at around 7:30 a.m. the next day, July 5th, 2014. I was able to capture as much as I could so that I would not put myself at risk and end up being run over by the clean up crews.
I decided to insert some humor into the situation by using a bit of sarcasm of what you and other tourists should expect when visiting a beach during the holidays in Puerto Rico.
1. You won’t be dehydrated!
There are a variety of tropical drinks for you on the beach.
2. Left something behind?
Plates anyone? Just a quick wash and you’re on your way to some delicious beach barbecue.
3. No Need to Bring a Cooler
We have disposable and some slightly used coolers. Thank you Walgreens for making it so easy for everyone to buy cheap styrofoam. This is a great way to work your branding into tourism.
4. Pitching a Tent
No need to bring your Port-a-Potty. You can pretty much go anywhere (note to those walking around the beach barefoot). Although pitching a tent is illegal to do on most beaches, the cops are too worried about their small paychecks and lack of resources to do something about it.
5. No need to take your trash back home.
Someone will come and pick up after you.
6. No Need to know the local laws and rules.
The Beach is yours! Cops are understaffed and they don’t even feel safe dealing with lawless citizens. It’s all about freedom!
7. Taking care of Nature
Look someone even put a blanket over the palm tree in case it got chilly in the evening.
8. Get the Real “Island” Experience
Tourists from hotels in Isla Verde like the San Juan Water and Beach Club in the back, can experience the realities of Puerto Rico. No need to take a cab or have a local guide drive you around the island.
9. Did you forget a towel?
There are plenty of towels always left behind by beach goers. You might be able to pick your thread count and favorite colors.
10. Don’t worry about beach chairs
We have Grandma’s comfy chaise lounge waiting for you. Don’t like that one? I am sure you can find one slightly used chair of your liking left behind by some other “caring” visitor.
11. You will feel safe and so will your valuables
Some people might bring a safe to the beach to make sure their valuables are stored safely like their engagement rings or even a weapon or two.
12. Did you forget to bring a snack?
I am sure you can find a variety of options left behind by those who brought more than they could eat. Arroz con Pollo is an island favorite!
13. Leave your boom box behind
While you are enjoying the sounds of the ocean, someone will ensure that the soft sounds of the waves are amplified.
Feel free to continue the list but even more importantly, share this post with the following hashtags #TurismoInterno #IslaEstrella #AllStarIsland. The only possible quick solution to start fixing this problem is by giving out fines to those who don’t obey existing laws.
Other than picking up after these people, what other solutions do you see to the problem?