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Get Inside South Florida: Puerto Rico Foundation

The non profit organization, Foundation for Puerto Rico has some impressive programs that help small businesses and tourism after Hurricane Maria.

"Foundation for Puerto Rico is a non-profit organization that has been working in Puerto Rico since 2011, but after Hurricane Maria we've been working more on projects of disaster recovery and relief," said Annie Mayol, COO of Foundation for Puerto Rico.

Their COO Annie Mayol says the foundation promotes opportunities for social and economic development in Puerto Rico.

"One of the reasons I'm here in Florida is because I was invited by Expedia to participate in the Caribbean Tourism Summit where leaders from the Caribbean are coming together to talk about how to create the infrastructure and the branding so people come to the Caribbean. The new tourists today are looking for experiences. It's about understanding the culture and living with the locals and in Puerto Rico our goal is for people to not just visit San Juan, but that they go to all of  our towns for the experience," said Mayol.

Mayol says another goal is to help businesses in puerto rico claim their online identity and get discovered by the big players like trip adviser and others.

"We support a program called the small business cash grant so the idea is for those businesses to stay open and for new ones to grow. So we are working on the incubation of new businesses, especially in our rural towns that were most impacted," said Mayol.

In 2017, the deadly category five Hurricane Maria devastated the Dominica, the U.S Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It’s regarded as the worst natural disaster on record to affect those islands and is also the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since 2004.

Total losses from the hurricane are estimated at more than 91 billion dollars, mostly in Puerto Rico, ranking it as the third-costliest tropical cyclone on record.

"As a mother of two children, as a Puerto Rican and somebody who lives in the island, 3.3 million U.S citizens in the island need the support from everybody and I think the most valuable thing is the culture and the amazing assets the island has," said Mayol.

If you want to make a difference and donate or for more information head to foundationforpuertorico.org.

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