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Where to Go and How to Help

Here is how to plan your Caribbean trip post hurricane.

Barbuda

The tiny island of

Barbuda

sustained the worst damages from Hurricane Irma. 1,800 residents of Barbuda that were evacuated to

Antigua

and of that number, very few have returned home. Schools in Barbuda remain closed and there is still a dire need for housing facilities, restoration of electricity, and proper water services on the island. The

Barbuda Belle Hotel

is expected to resume operations in Fall 2018, while the

Coco Point Lodge

is closed for all of 2018.

Puerto Rico

Electricity is still a major concern for

Puerto Rico

and major humanitarian organizations have been assisting to completely restore electricity, telecommunication services, and water systems on the island. All roads have now been cleared of debris and businesses along with hospitals have resumed operations. All airports on the island along with the cruise port in

San Juan

are up and running.

Anguilla

Electricity has been completely restored to

Anguilla

and flight services are improving as relief efforts continue. Seaborne Airlines operates five days a week and there are daily departures from many other airlines. Many of the major hotels such as the

Four Seasons Resort

,

The Reef by Cuisinart

,

Quintessence Hotel

and

Zemi Beach House

are now open. Businesses, restaurants and major attractions have all opened their doors and anticipated island events like the Anguilla Literary Festival, in May, will go ahead as planned.

St. Marteen

Airport services on the Dutch side of the island at

St. Marteen

’s Princess Juliana Airport are still limited as reconstruction takes place. Carriers, however, have increased flights from some major cities in the US as well as Canada and Europe. Electricity has been resorted to a majority of the island along with water and phone/internet services. Many restaurants, resorts and points-of-interest on the island are operational (some, partially). The

Alegria Hotel

,

Ocean Club

,

Royal Islander Resort

,

Flamingo Resort

and

Royal Palm Resort

all remain closed. The

Summit Resort Hotel

will not reopen.

St. Martin

In French

St. Martin

, the tourism industry has taken a major hit. Although the L’Espérance Airport is fully operational and public utility services have been restored, the accommodation capacity is not nearly what it was before the hurricane season. Less than half of the island’s hotels are currently open, but Vice-President Valarie Damaseau says that the number is expected to increase by the end of 2018. In the meantime,

100% Villas

has dozens of luxurious private homes for rent. Many of the island’s beaches, restaurants, businesses and tourist attractions have been restored.

British Virgin Islands

Cleanup continues in

The British Virgin Islands

, but the good news is that all the roads have been cleared. The Terrance B. Lettsome Airport is now fully operational; ferry services and yacht charters are also available. Many of the resorts in the BVI are now open or scheduled to open in Summer or Fall 2018. If you planned on visiting any museums in Tortola, you should probably reconsider or call ahead as four of them are currently closed. All other attractions, however, are open for business. The British Virgin Islands has organized local

BVI Relief Volunteer Teams

to offer help to citizens.

US Virgin Islands

St. Croix,

St. John

, and St. Thomas are all still in the process of rebuilding and repairing hurricane damages. Flights have increased to all three islands and cruise ports are now open in

St. Croix

and

St. Thomas

. Approximately half of the hotels in the

US Virgin Islands

are fully operational while the others are still undergoing repairs or housing international relief workers. Currently, the

Sirenusa Residences

in Cruz Bay offer the best accommodation options in St. John. Half of the luxurious villas have been repaired and are available as short-term vacation rentals. Many of the restaurants in St. Croix have been reopened, but in St. John and St. Thomas, the eatery options are fewer in number. The majority of business, boutiques, and many of the major attractions are also open for business.

Florida Keys

Many parts of

Florida Keys

were ravaged by Hurricane Irma last fall. The good news is that the main airports, Florida Keys Marathon and Key West International Airports are, once again, fully operational.Key West and Key Largo sustained minimal damages and as a result, a majority of hotels and businesses are open in those areas. The

Bahia Honda State Park

has been open, but the beach has been closed off due to damages. If you really want to soak up some sun, visit the Calusa Beach nearby, which is open for visitors. The 10 major state parks in the Florida Keys are also open for day use, while Loggerhead and

Sandspur

beaches are closed until further notice.

Key West Bayside Inn & Suites

and

Little Palm Island Resort

are currently closed.

Dominica

Dominica

suffered extensive damages to the island and is still conducting restoration and relief operations. The Douglas Charles Airport is open and there are Fast Ferry services operating from some Caribbean islands. The cruise ports are also fully operational.Many of the hotels on the island began reopening on January 1 (some only partially).

Secret Bay

is expected to resume operations in November 2018, while

Rosalie Bay

is closed indefinitely. A majority of all tourist attractions are open for visitors.

Volunteering

Antigua and Barbuda

,

Dominica

,

Anguilla

and the

British Virgin Islands

are all a part of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Red Cross volunteers provide aid, shelter, food, and water for those affected.

EAG Antigua

also relies heavily on volunteer support in order to carry out its environmental projects.The

HandsOn Connect (HOC)

website offers an extensive list of volunteering opportunities in Puerto Rico.

HOPE Worldwide

also organizes volunteers and cleanup efforts, accepts donations and supplies to send to citizens in Puerto Rico.

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