AMPLIFY! | People Live Where You Vacation

Welcome back from break! Whether you stayed in Ithaca or went abroad, I hope you were able to use this time to rest and recharge away from the stress of coursework. 

While we’re all settling back into class-mode, I thought I would take some time to discuss ethical tourism in the context of Puerto Rico — fun, I know. Given how popular of a destination the island was for Cornellians this year (and most of my years at Cornell), and what I’ve noticed to be a widespread unawareness of Puerto Rico’s political, economic and cultural status, I wanted to take some time to reflect on and address the tourism industry in Puerto Rico, and how visitors can behave respectfully and ethically during their time on the island.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Puerto Rico’s Governor Should Resign

To the Editor:

As of July 19, 2019, the island of Puerto Rico, along with many cities across the mainland United States, have begun mass protests directed towards Governor Ricardo Rosselló. On July 14, nearly 900 pages of leaked group chat conversations were released to the public. The group chat designated Governor Rosselló as its administrator, as well as other government officials. The comments made in this group chat display misogyny, homophobia and denigration towards other government officials and fellow Puerto Ricans, as well as a mishandling of government information, which was freely and openly discussed in unofficial and inappropriate conversations. These revelations exposed a great deal that has left members of the Puerto Rican Student Association, along with thousands of Puerto Ricans across the island and the mainland United States, with feelings of contempt, disgust, frustration and flat-out disappointment in Governor Ricardo Rosselló and his administration.

GUEST ROOM | One Year Later: A Reflection on Hurricane Maria

Today marks one year since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. Maria immediately thrusted Puerto Rico into darkness as the electrical grid was devastated, cellular communication was rendered impossible and basic necessities such as food and water became scarce. Maria exacerbated the ongoing economic depression, with the poverty rate increasing to 52 percent (at least 3 times higher than the national average). Since then, the Trump Administration has displayed a blatant disregard for the needs of Puerto Ricans. For example, Trump praised how Hurricane Maria was not a “real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina, refused to extend Puerto Rico’s Jones Act waiver beyond ten days.