Three years ago, two good friends and I went to Puerto Rico. I had been there once with my husband back in 1992 for a quick stay before boarding a modest-sized cruise ship for a sampling of the islands.

What I do recall from 1992 and then 2015, is an island with generous, warm-hearted people, taxi drivers and restaurant servers helpful and friendly, counting on our dollars to help their families survive. We also noticed roads that needed tending to, homes of all kinds that have the standard iron gates to protect their cars, curbsides that were in need of attention. This was an island where the gorgeous rain forest was in danger of being destroyed by car traffic, where the San Juan harbor waters were polluted by the giant cruise ships moored below the famous San Juan fort.

We noticed the disrepair of homes near our hotel; even in Rincon, the surfer town where we were the LLBeaners of yesteryear, it was apparent that residents year round were struggling to keep an economic balance. To know now the terrible state the hurricanes have caused their livelihood makes us acutely aware of the fragility of those out there in the big angry sea. We as Islanders should send dollar donations now to the Red Cross. They need far more than what Trump is sending them. And we salute the lady mayor of San Juan for being fearless in defense of her people.

Liza Coogan
Vineyard Haven