DSCF0464This stark but thought provoking mural was located west of Quebraillas at Playa de Guajataca where an old sugar cane rail line was cut through the rocks in 1911. You can now walk through the tunnel that connects two beaches.

The symbolism of this painting was not lost on me and foreign language skills weren’t needed to interpret the meaning. The tightly wound ribbons of a rigid (military) thinking/mindset are replaced by a steward of the earth with free-flowing ribbons for hands that are open and accepting and going to do the work that is needed.

We ran into everyday people, even shuttle and cab drivers, who talked freely about their concerns regarding the environment of Puerto Rico-without prompting them or telling them who I was. While the government is bankrupt, many people expressed that the true value of Puerto Rico was it’s environment.

With some of the best beaches in the world that are nearly empty during the winter and truly friendly people where ever you go – Puerto Rico will succeed as it moves forward. There is a lot of work to be done though. Pollution, littering, poverty and some poor planning regarding pristine resources needs to be addressed. However, those are the same challenges we face at home as we realize the real value of our environment.