It’s tourism season once again in the Caribbean, and although the Atlantic hurricane season is over, the destruction caused by a series of powerful storms remains. Now, three months after Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria tore through the region, many islanders wonder how they’ll rebuild their homes – and lives – without the additional funds normally received during this time.
Many of the Caribbean’s 7,000 islands are promoting themselves as “open for business”, but others struggle to return to a sense of normalcy. Much of Puerto Rico is still without power, and Barbuda is considered by some residents to be a “ghost town”. The US and British Virgin Islands, Cuba, and Dominica, are also in need of aid and relief.
“Every tree, down. Power lines were down. Telephone lines were down. My mind started racing about other communities that were vulnerable”, said Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, whose own home was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria. “I thought, if this area suffered this much destruction, then we have complete national devastation.”
So, how far have Caribbean nations come on the road to recovery – and what do they still need to get back on their feet?
On Wednesday, Caribbean residents join the programme to provide updates about ongoing relief efforts across the region, and explain what they’re doing to prepare for next year’s storms. Join us at 19:30 GMT.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Julian Bishop @juliandonbishop
St. Croix resident
Hon. Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Immigrations
Ambassador to the United States of America
Julio Lopez Varona @julopezva
State Director, Make the Road CT
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