In the wake of the incredible devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, misconceptions about the state of the Caribbean abound. While some islands have suffered incredible loss and destruction, others have emerged unscathed and are still open for business.
We’ve outlined below which of the islands were most affected by the hurricanes (and how you can help), as well as those that are ready to welcome visitors. Now more than ever, the Caribbean will be relying on tourism to sustain its economy, which makes this winter season the ideal time to visit.
In Need of Support, And Supplies
Puerto Rico – With 95% of the U.S. Territory still without electricity, and 53% of the population without access to drinking water, Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico in a humanitarian crisis. To help, visit United for Puerto Rico.
Barbuda – Barbuda received one of the deadliest blows dealt by Hurricane Irma; the storm destroyed more than 95% of all infrastructure on the island. The damage is so extensive that for the first time in over 300 years, the island of Barbuda is uninhabitable and deserted. The road to recovery for Barbuda will be long, and its residents will need support for their rebuilding efforts. Donations can be made through Barbuda’s sister island’s Jumby Bay Fund and the Antigua Barbuda Red Cross.
U.S. Virgin Islands – Hurricanes Irma and Maria decimated the islands’ power grid, leaving many residents without shelter, electricity, and any means of communication. You can help provide much-needed assistance through the USVI Recovery.
British Virgin Islands – Hurricane Irma collapsed infrastructure, disrupting electricity and communications lines, and displacing over 20% of its population. The British Virgin Islands have set up a YouCaring page where donations can be made. All funds go directly to Unite BVI Foundation, which is working with local organizations to identify the ongoing needs of affected individuals, families, and communities impacted by this disaster. Contribute here.
Dominica – When Hurricane Maria made landfall in Dominica, it destroyed more than 90% of the island’s infrastructure, and an estimated 95% of the roofs were torn off buildings in some parts of the island. Donations can be made here.
St. Barth – Located directly in the path of Hurricane Irma, the French territory experienced extensive flooding and suffered great losses. The residents of the island are in dire need of funds and supplies for their rebuilding efforts, and donations can be made here.
St. Martin/Sint Maarten – The damage caused by Hurricane Irma is said to extend to 95% of the island, which suffered powerful floods and winds that ripped roofs from buildings. While rebuilding efforts are well under way, residents of the island still need support. You can help by making a donation.
Cuba – While airports and cruise ports have reopened, Cuba was severely impacted by Hurricane Irma, from infrastructure damage and power outages to water shortages across the majority of the island. Donations can be made through GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Irma Relief Fund.
Open for Business and Ready for Visitors
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- Turks & Caicos
- The Bahamas
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
While the journey to recovery will be long, we know the Caribbean will be back stronger than ever, and we look forward to our next visit!
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