There is a lot of marketing on the island, most in the form of advertising. Most of the ads are focused on tourism. I believe that the ads could be geared towards other things, such as sustainability and what a business might be doing to achieve that. This could benefit the island in multiple ways.
One thing I noticed was that the island is very focused on sustainable sourcing. The people respect and care about the island they reside on. They are trying to be more sustainable and create a better environment for future generations.
The Utuado Campus of the Univerisity of Puerto Rico allowed us to learn about a major problem the island is facing. The majority of coffee farmers are over the age of 50. This is a problem because there are no farmers there to replace them. I believe awareness and also incentives for people that may not reside on the island, to come and farm there might solve this.
Today is our last day and we got to see the BEAUTIFUL island of Culebra! I was looking most forward to this day during this whole trip and I was so glad we got to have a hot sunny day while we were there. Although the ferry ride was an awful experience on the way there, it was great on the way back. Before we got to the beach we had the honor of learning about the history of Culebra. Something I noticed that could’ve been implemented more as for ethical marketing is to ask for help and donations to help sustain the island and to help the sea life and the coral reef. With Culebra and Flamenco Beach one of the most touristy beaches out there, it’s important to keep on marketing for the right reasons and in the right ways. It’s also really important to bring awareness to what the island has to offer and what we can do as tourists to help out. So to even have a jar out at each kiosk or anywhere around the beach for donations on helping out the island’s sea life would be a great way of ethical marketing. Overall I had an amazing time here and glad this is how we got to spend our last day of the trip!
It is now day 5 (March 10th) and today we got to visit Seven Seas Beach and also spend some time again in Old San Juan in the evening. It was really great to have a relaxing day and having the weather on our side for most of the time! When we arrived to seven seas, I wanted to grab something to eat. Being vegan I had to watch out for what I could have. There was this ethnic snack called an arepa and fell in love with it. It is made simply with flour, oil, and light seasoning. It was delicious and so fresh that made me think of where they get their ingredients from. For a way of sustainable sourcing, I believe that they get their flour from a local area since it was a small place just across the beach. This is a way to be sustainable without having to use a lot of labor factors into getting the main ingredient for this. There was also a coconut flavor which is also sustainable since Puerto Rico is filled with coconuts! I got to just grab it without needing a plate and just take it to the beach. This also allowed me to not waste any more plastic plates since it was something I can just hold with a napkin. The beach was beautiful, calm and I got to see even the sargassum we learned about the day before. It was a fun day with a great dinner in San Juan after!
Yesterday we had the pleasure of visiting the University of Puerto Rico. The campus was beautiful and everyone seemed so happy and nice! We also got to meet some students and hear about their exciting research. One student talked to us about the sargassum that they are tying to plant around the shorelines of the island. Their collected research looked good and it sounded like their plan was getting ready to be put into action. However they need to work out the legal parts of the plan and insure that the sea turtle eggs that grow on the sargassum wont be harmed. We then moved our discussion to a lab to see other students research. In the lab there was a women who gave us a quick explanation on their research and mission. They use a reactor to produce biofuel that can potentially be used as a form of energy. This idea sounds awesome and will help diminish Puerto Rico’s carbon footprint. She did say that as of now the biofuel will only be about 2% of the overall energy useage but hopefully this will change! Overall I was very impressed ( and had fun as you can see below) with the work these students have done and what they plan to accomplish. Props to them and their passion to help the island they love.