It’s been eight months since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, hit Puerto Rico so hard that everything from agricultural infrastructure to clean-water systems were nearly destroyed and the island’s economy came to a standstill.
Aside from donating or volunteering, there’s another way you can actually help the island and its residents: come down for a visit. The economy badly needs the influx of cash. If you happen to stay at an Airbnb while you’re there, bonus points if you sign up for an Airbnb Experience instead of joining a mainstream tour operator. The popular vacation rental site has announced that it will donate 100 percent of their share of proceeds earned through the tours to local nonprofits working to get the island back on its feet.
The Puerto Rico Airbnb Experiences, which pair guests with a local resident to experience anything from art to food to culture, will take you as deep as you want to go. You can venture far away from San Juan, the capital, and check out the far reaches of the island, or stick in town for a food tour or night out. There are nearly 50 different options to choose from, each of which lends a boost to a local resident with a backdoor influx of cash coming in from Airbnb.
Airbnb has been hard at work in Puerto Rico since the storm, housing relief workers and residents alongside tourists. As noted by Conde Nast Traveler, Airbnb’s vacation rentals have hosted over 112,000 guests since the hurricane and earned hosts more than $17 million, partially due to the fact that a number of hotels were damaged by the storm.
Not able to make it down? You can still make a donation. Here is a list of organizations on the ground helping the island recover from the devastation.
H/T: Condé Nast Traveler