Culture

Take Virtual Guided Tours Of Puerto Rico To Feel Like You Are On Vacation

Wouldn’t a little vacation sound nice? Sure it would. However, it is not the best time to get onto a plane with too many surfaces to touch. Puerto Rico understands this issue and is going to be offering guided tours of the island to give people a virtual vacation from their couches.

Discover Puerto Rico wants you to join them for some 30-minute virtual tours of the Caribbean island.

Your Puerto Rico Moment: El Morro

It's National Travel and Tourism Week and imagination is the highest kite you can fly! It’s time for you to #TravelFromHome and build your own Puerto Rico moment from the comfort of your own 🏠. ✨ From bed sheets to curtains, we can’t wait to see you recreate your favorite spots on our island. 🇵🇷 Don’t forget to tag us on your photos and Stories! #DiscoverPuertoRico #AllinGoodTime #SpiritOfTravel #NTTW U.S. Travel Association

Posted by Discover Puerto Rico on Friday, May 1, 2020

This is a pioneering move by the Caribbean island. Puerto Rico is the first to offer live guided tours using Google Maps. It is an attempt to give people a break from their self-isolation realities and give them a chance to explore Puerto Rico.

It is an inventive way to get people thinking about travel once the COVID-19 pandemic starts to subside.

A recent study of American travel plans after COVID-19 shows a country of people too scared to travel after the virus is under control. About one-third (33 percent) of Americans surveyed said they would be willing to stay in a hotel three months after COVID-19 subsides. Only 28 percent of Americans are willing to get on a plane three months after the pandemic subsides.

“With nearly 73 percent of Americans saying they miss travel, we want to continue offering travelers ways to vacation virtually,” Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, said in a statement. “Through these and other activations we’ve been offering, we’ve not only been able to keep Puerto Rico top of mind, reminding travelers of everything that will be waiting for them when the time is right to travel again, but it’s also given us the opportunity to highlight valued members of the local tourism industry.”

There are several tours that you can take through Discover Puerto Rico in the coming week.

It may look like a ✨ dream– because every place you visit in Puerto Rico will look dreamier than the one before. All in…

Posted by Discover Puerto Rico on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Discover Puerto Rico is using National Travel and Tourism Week as a chance to help all of us travel from home to escape the mundane routines of waking up in isolation and going to bed in isolation. Here are a couple of the tours available through Discover Puerto Rico.

On May 5, you can tour the natural beauty of Puerto Rico.

This tour will give you a chance to explore El Yunque, which is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Parks system. The tour will take you through the trails of some of the most beautiful and sought after hiking destinations.

On May 8, you can get a taste of Puerto Rico less traveled.

From Ponce to Gilligan’s Island, this virtual tour will offer you a look at the Puerto Rico you rarely see plastered on social media. These destinations are rarely the first places people would think about visiting when traveling to the island. The local guides provided for the tours will offer you some local insights into the places you are virtually exploring.

On May 13, you can kick back and enjoy a road trip across Puerto Rico.

Just sit back and enjoy some of the biggest and best landmarks on the island. The road trip will include seeing Castillo San Felipe de Morro, which we have all seen all kinds of photos of.

All fo the tours are available on the Discover Puerto Rico Facebook page at 5 p.m. EST.

READ: Going Stir Crazy In Quarantine? Then These Awesome Virtual Tours Will Help You Escape Without Ever Leaving Your House

Protestors In Puerto Rico Bringing A Guillotine To The Governor’s Mansion Is Just Another Reminder Boricua’s Don’t Mess Around

Things That Matter

Protestors In Puerto Rico Bringing A Guillotine To The Governor’s Mansion Is Just Another Reminder Boricua’s Don’t Mess Around

@JoshuaPotash / Twitter

Like every other Latin American country and state, Puerto Rico has a long and torrid history with racism.

On the island, hundreds of protestors are now also taking place in the demonstrations that were sparked by the death of African-American police victim, George Floyd. In an effort to combat racism, protesters marched outside the mansion of Governor Wanda Vázquez in Old San Juan. Meanwhile, they chanted and demanded justice for George Floyd while also demanding change in Puerto Rico.

Ignoring the island’s coronavirus curfew, protestors took to the street and protested with all sorts of messages, but the one that truly caught those of us watching was the moment when protestors brought in a guillotine.

As anger and frustration continued to fuel the demonstrations, protestors brought in a massive guillotine to the Governor’s Mansion.

Shariana Ferrer-Núñez, a member of Puerto Rico’s Feminist Collective Under Construction, told Democracy Now that “We recognize that we must dismantle white supremacy, we must dismantle a racialized system, we must eradicate anti-Black violence” about the demonstrations.

According to the blog Orlando Latina, “For Puerto Rico’s elected class, the guillotine ought to be a terrifying symbol, as indeed it was during the French Revolution. But I doubt it, for the political class is a self-serving, self-dealing “firm” that has become unmoored from the people on the ground and oblivious to its needs.”

Here’s hoping this symbol hits elected officials in Puerto Rico enough to attempt to make change.

Mexico Plans To Reopen Cancun To International Tourists But It’s Not At All Prepared For Visitors

Things That Matter

Mexico Plans To Reopen Cancun To International Tourists But It’s Not At All Prepared For Visitors

Omgitsjustintime/ Instagram

There are millions of people just itching for a vacation right now, and Cancun wants to welcome visitors with open arms. However, there’s a huge problem with their plan. Most of the country is still in a severe phase of the pandemic – with all 32 states reporting daily increases in confirmed Covid-19 cases.

In cities such as Guadalajara and Mexico City, even locals aren’t allowed to venture far from their homes and restrictions on shopping, dining, and exercising are still in full force.

However, the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), has resumed his cross-country travels and is trying to portray a ‘new normal’ – the problem is little has changed to prevent further outbreaks.

Cancun is aiming to open its doors to tourists from June 10 – but it makes zero sense given the actual situation on the ground.

Quintana Roo, home to the famed beaches of Cancun and Tulum, will resume activities next week – according to the governor, Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez. The state, which depends heavily on tourism, has lost over 83,000 jobs in the last few months due to the pandemic, and with reopening the state could see an economic rebound. However, that entirely depends on the success and implementation of safety measures.

In a press conference, the governor said that tourists could start arriving in the Caribbean destination as soon as June 8th. He added that tourism is an essential activity and that there is no other of greater importance in Quintana Roo “and we are going to fight for it to be considered that way.”

He stressed during the public address that for the opening to happen by June 10th, protocols and hygiene measures must be followed to protect workers and tourists from Covid-19.

And he has good reason to reopen. According to a new survey by Expedia, ‘Cancun flights’ is one of the top 5 searches on the platform. In the same survey, Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Isla Mujeres (all located in Quintana Roo) were announced as three of the most internationally sought after destinations.

Meanwhile, AMLO has launched a cross-country tour touting the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions.

Credit: Rebecca Blackwell / Getty

President AMLO also held his daily press conference from the state of Quintana Roo to mark the beginning of Mexico’s economic reopening and resume his tours across the country.

But this too makes zero sense. Yes, the government has mandated that states can begin lifting restrictions – if they’re no longer declared ‘red zones.’ However, every state in the country is still in the red, with many seeing peak infection numbers.

It’s just the most recent example of confusing messaging from the president.

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

While AMLO is eager to get the country reopened and put Mexicans back to work, Coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country. Mexico has now recorded the seventh-highest number of Covid-19 deaths in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker, with nearly 10,000 virus-related fatalities and almost 100,000 confirmed cases. Testing in the country is low and health officials acknowledge that the numbers are likely much higher.

The federal government unveiled a red-light/green-light system to implement reopening procedures state by state. But currently every state is still in ‘red-light’ phase – meaning stay-at-home orders are still in full effect – making AMLO’s messaging extremely confusing.

Time and time again, the president has downplayed the virus outbreak and has criticized stay-at-home orders for harming the economy.

Keep in mind, however, that non-essential travel between the U.S. and Mexico is still largely banned.

Since March, all non-essential travel has been banned between the U.S. and Mexico. However, that ban is currently set to expire on June 22. It’s possible both sides could extend the travel ban, but given AMLO’s rhetoric it isn’t likely he’ll keep the country closed to tourists for much longer.

However, it’s important to point that out even if you technically can travel – right now you really shouldn’t. In much of Mexico, confirmed Covid-19 cases are on the rise with many cities across the country just now entering it’s worst phase.