entertainment

Puerto Rico’s Airbnbs And Experienced Will Take Your Vacation To The Next Level

Mark / Airbnb

Aside from just straight donating to charities, visiting Puerto Rico is one of the best ways to help the island continue its recovery from the damages of Hurricane Maria. The island has a long history of relying on tourism to boost its economy, and it’s for good reason: es bellísima. 

Learn to rappel down a waterfall | $135

CREDIT: Diego / Airbnb

If you came to Puerto Rico for the waterfalls, then climbing several small waterfalls with Diego to reach the top of El Salta Waterfall is for you. He’ll teach you how to rappel down the 80 foot waterfall and then zipline out of the forest. Plus, reviewers say that Diego’s family accommodated their vegan dietary needs for a home-cooked meal afterward!

Tree House | $62 p/night

CREDIT: Enrique / Airbnb

I see you outdoorsy people. Enjoy a stay in a five star rated modest treehouse in Utuado, close to rivers, lakes beaches and caves. One reviewer raves, “A magic, romantic and private place for anyone who like wilderness and peace. Much better than i expected. Crazy for going back there. And centric for whoever visit and is planning to adventure the whole island.”

Culebra Snorkeling Getaway | $115

CREDIT: East Island / Airbnb

This sold out experience gets you six hours of Caribbean Sea views, both above board and under water. Enjoy Culebra’s beautiful beaches and coral reefs at your leisure, along with a lunch buffet and all snorkeling gear included.

Pool House with Underground Jacuzzi Grotto | $850 p/night

CREDIT: Max / Airbnb

If you’re swimming in dough or have a big group of friends, you’ll enjoy this 8-bedroom mansion complete with an underground jacuzzi. The home itself is a piece of history, complete with private pools and unique features.

Rainforest Water Slide Tour | $89

CREDIT: Chris / Airbnb

This is Airbnb’s #1 adventure tour in Puerto Rico for a reason. You’ll get to go to remote giant rainforest water slides and jump off of 30 foot cliffs into crystal clear water.

Body Rafting™ & Caving ∙Nature Reserve | $110

CREDIT: Mimi / Airbnb

Mimi is a scientist who has spent 7 years surveying the geo hydrology of Tanamá caves. She takes adventurers in life vests to float downstream and get a nature tour of the caves she studies so intimately.

Horseback Ride on Luquillo Beach | $99

CREDIT: Alejandro / Airbnb

You guys. Bring your boo to “traverse the crystal clear waters of the Mameyes River to finally reach Luquillo’s Gold Coast” on horseback. Then, relax on the beach, have a drink and enjoy the breeze.

Casablanca | $79

CREDIT: CasaBlanca / Airbnb

Rent out your own air conditioned space just blocks from Ocean Park beach in San Juan. When you’re not taking in San Juan, you can relax on your own hammock in a tropical private garden.

Condado City Lights – LED Night Paddle | $49

CREDIT: mark / Airbnb

If your idea of enjoying San Juan’s nightlife is from an LED lit paddle board, then Mark has you covered. The glow face paint is included. ; )

Sail San Juan Bay | $75

CREDIT: Ivan / Airbnb

Spend a couple hours with Ivan on a romantic sunset sail on San Juan Bay. His complimentary drinks really hit home with reviewers, along with his excellent photography skills. Get that couples’ shot with flying manta rays. This is your vacay.

Mofongos! Mofongos! Mofongos! | $29

CREDIT: cristian / Airbnb

You haven’t been to Puerto Rico until you’ve drooled while eating its famous mofongo. Join Cristian and his family in learning how to make the dish, offered to meet your dietary needs.

Entire Condominium in San Juan | $115 p/night

CREDIT: Annet and Andrés / Airbnb

A recent guest says it all about this gem: “A rare piece of history and beauty. An incredible opportunity to see, hear, and experience Old San Juan from the most premier location. The Victorian doors and windows were stunning. The open balconies on the interior was fascinating and incredible – facilitating a constant warm ocean breeze when the louvers and shutters were open. A roof porch in the center of town. Great views of the lively colors of the city. Thanks to Lourdes for her kindness, recommendations, and welcomeness. Kind neighbors downstairs. Muchas gracias!”

Go Paddleboarding in a scenic lagoon with Julio for $25

CREDIT: Juilo / Airbnb

Check out Puerto Rico’s manatees, sea turtles and sting rays in a beautiful lagoon adjacent to the city of San Juan. His staff are all certified by the American Canoe Association to give you the best experience possible of the Condado Lagoon.

Surfing with Local Brian Ramos! | $70

CREDIT: Brian / Airbnb

Brian promises to take you to uncrowded spots where beginners are able to get 10+ waves in a short two hour lesson. If you’ve never surfed before, trust that this is huge.

Experience Tropical Camping at a Cabin Close to the Ocean | $95 p/night

CREDIT: Francis / Airbnb

Call this glamping, complete with post-modern minimalist decor, AC and a nearby beach. Reviewers truly *rave* about their host: “We loved staying at Francis’ place. It was immaculate and furnished with great attention to detail. There was a nice bottle of red wine and chocolates. Francis was very hospitable and easy to talk to, and he gave us two fresh coconuts and straws to drink from. What makes this Airbnb special is the beach nearby and the local friendliness in the area. The beach is right across the street and through a little trail. It is very private besides a few surfers in the morning. The sand is soft and the waves are beautiful. We spent a lot of time collecting sea shells and swimming. We will definitely be back!”

Exotic Flower Farm Stay | $39 p/night

CREDIT: Britton / Airbnb

Yup. You can stay in a cabana on a tropical fruit and flower farm with ocean views. Grab a mango from the garden and head to the beach for some good surf, all at a very reasonable price.

Barefoot Studio Sanctuary Prime Location Surf Yoga | $50 p/night

CREDIT: Joy / Airbnb

The best part about this studio, complete with a king bed and private garden filled with tropical flowers for your picking, is how integrated other activities are with your stay. You can walk to the beach, take surf and yoga lessons offered by the same company.

Eco-Chalet up in the mountains | $100 p/night

CREDIT: Juan Carlos / Airbnb

Enjoy your stay at the only Puerto Rican eco-lodge listed on Airbnb. The house is on 144 acres of private tropical rainforest. The only electricity in the house comes from solar energy, and you can expect to be completely unplugged from the internet. This place has 100 five star reviews.

Cave Tubing and Ziplining Adventure | $75

CREDIT: Noel / Airbnb

It’s the lazy river for not so lazy people. This trip into the Arecibo area includes a 250 foot biplane, rafting into caves, and hikes through the famous El Yunque rainforest.

El Yunque Rainforest River Trail! | $89

CREDIT: Safuan / Airbnb

Safuan offers transportation to and from the famous El Yunque rainforest. From there, you’ll embark on a short hike to a less traversed swimming hole, complete with a swinging rope, a natural stone slide, and local beach.

READ: 22 Amazing Airbnb Listings For Your Next Trip to Latin America

Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin Killed A ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill In Puerto Rico Furthering LGBTQ+ Rights In The Caribbean

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Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin Killed A ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill In Puerto Rico Furthering LGBTQ+ Rights In The Caribbean

badbunnypr / ricardorossello / ricky_martin / Instagram

Governors in the U.S. have tried and failed multiple times to enshrine discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community by passing “religious freedom” bills. At the heart of these bills is the idea that someone’s religion is enough to discriminate against those of different faiths, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Puerto Rico tried to follow the same failed path as Indiana and the backlash was swift and victorious after Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny (Benito Martinez) spoke out against the bill forcing Governor Ricardo Rosselló to backtrack on his bill to discriminate.

In April, Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló presented the Puerto Rican House of Representatives a “religious freedom” bill.

Credit: @lgbtpr / Twitter

The bill was months in the making and Gov. Rosselló showed his full support for the bill, House Bill 2069. The bill would have allowed for government employees to openly discriminate against people who went against their religious beliefs.

Ricky Martin spoke up against the measure and called out the Puerto Rican government and their willingness to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

“While the world calls for equality, respect for diversity and the defense of human rights, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Governor of Puerto Rico are pushing for a measure that goes against all of the above and it encourages division, prejudice, hatred and the lack of respect for individuality,” Martin wrote on his fan website. “It does so under a premise that undermines the constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of race, sex or belief, and in its place, justifies an irrational protection of the religious convictions of government employees.”

“As a member of the LGBTT community, I join the constituency that affirms that there has never been a willingness among our LGBTT people to allow for the validation or legalization of discrimination against us.”

“House Bill 2069, filed at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and promoted by Representative Charbonier, achieve nothing more than opening the doors to hatred towards anyone who doesn’t share the same ideology, who simply belong to the LGBTT community, or who don’t  have the same color skin, amidst many other discriminatory measures.”

“Authentic religious freedom calls for respecting everyone equally.”

Bad Bunny also used his platform to stand up for the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Rico.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

“While we ‘bad guys’ do out to unite people and try to send a message of respect and tolerance, the leaders of my country work to do the opposite,” he wrote on Instagram. “We cannot take steps backwards, NEVER! @ricardorossello you make excellent coffee, I know that you can also make an excellent decision.”

Calle 13’s Residente joined his Puerto Rican peers to call out the Puerto Rican government’s wishes to strip LGBTQ+ people of their humanity with the law.

These calls against the action came during Pride month when the U.S. is supposed to be celebrating and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community, which still faces discrimination and violence.

After the outcry, Gov. Rosselló reversed his support for the bill and ordered the Puerto Rican House of Representatives to shelf the bill.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“WE WON! The recent years, Western countries have made significant advances in guaranteeing equal right for the LGBTT community,” Martin tweeted.

Martin celebrated the decision by educating his followers about what the measure would mean for the LGBTQ+ community.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“These advances were threatened recently in Puerto Rico, where the House fo Representatives passed legislation that endangered the progress won in the last decade and risked feeding the division, prejudice, and tensions between the communities.”

He did not sugar coat the true meaning behind the legislation.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“By granting government employees the power to act in accordance with their religious convictions, personal values, and principles, this regressive legislation would have sanctioned the practice of institutional discrimination on the part of those who committed themselves to a life in public service.”

Congratulations, Ricky!

Credit: ricky_martin / Instagram

It just goes to show that enough public outcry can make politicians listen to the majority instead of the vocal minority.

READ: After Delay Caused By Border Wall And Trump’s Feud with Puerto Rico, Congress Finally Passes $19.1 Billion Disaster Aid Package

Here’s How A Goth Makeup Company Is Helping Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Economy After Hurricane Maria

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Here’s How A Goth Makeup Company Is Helping Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Economy After Hurricane Maria

necromancycosmetica / Instagram

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, businesses all over the island were devastated by the destruction. Some were able to reopen months, to a year later, while others had to close for good. While more established businesses such as resorts and restaurants had backing to get back on their feet, it was the independent companies that struggled to reopen. Necromancy Cosmetica, however, is thriving after resuming business as usual.

Puerto Rico-based Necromancy Cosmetica a gothic makeup company was closed for four months after Hurricane Maria.

Instagram/@necromancycosmetica

In an interview with Remezcla, Necromancy Cosmetica owners Desiree Rodríguez and Salvador Pérez talked about their joint venture which has a large social media following. The couple launched the brand four years ago but they said they almost had to shut down their store after the hurricane.

“The store was full of mold. It was total chaos,” Rodríguez told the publication. She adds that they had “like two free days. We got to work before we even knew how our families were doing. My family is from the west side of the island, and I didn’t hear from them for almost three weeks.”

The couple said that they had help locally, and abroad during the rebuilding process. They were able to sell their product online while they continued to work on reopening.

Instagram/@hex_des

Like many local businesses after the hurricane, Necromancy Cosmetica has survived because of loyal and proud Puerto Rican customers. While many people might think of colorful and tropical scenes when they think of Puerto Rico but the goth community needs representation. Just because you live on an island doesn’t mean you will look like you live on an island.

Puerto Rico’s economy is struggling as the island continues to recover from a storm that devastated everything and everyone. As the Puerto Rican economy tries to build up, it is the local stores like Necromancy Cosmetica that are giving the island the support it needs. The company might not be donating money to the recovery effort but pumping their money into the local economy creating a stream of tax revenue that the government relies on.

The owners take pride that their makeup line is vegan and cruelty-free.

Instagram/@necromancycosmetica

If you need more reason to check out the company, how about their stance for animals?

“These and all other Necromancy Cosmetica brand lipsticks are made with 100% vegan materials that have never been tested on animals, that means you can rest easy knowing that your wicked lips will always be on the up-and-up if you decide to join the Necromancy cult,” reads the Necromancy Cosmetica website. “Des and Zal work hard from their crypt in Puerto Rico to fulfill all the orders themselves and have high hopes for their independently owned, produced, and distributed non-liquid lipsticks. So take a look at their witchy works and get inspired.”

Necromancy Cosmetica is located at 59 Calle Arzuaga Local #3 Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Click here for more information on the products.

READ: Here Are 13 Latino Innovators That Prove Latinos Can Do Anything They Put Their Minds To

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