Travel Writer, Essayist & Memoirist

Selected Work

Warrior Foods

Jorge Cora and Ana Elisa Pérez Quintero know the sound of a bomb. They were washing vegetables on their nine-acre farm, Finca Conciencia, in 2019, when the earth released a deep scream. The ground shook. This is the U.S Navy’s method for cleaning its nuclear litter on the east coast of Vieques Island, a municipality of Puerto Rico also known for its turquoise beaches, wild horses, and bioluminescent bay. The unexploded ordnances, bunkers, and mortar shells are the aftereffects of using two-thir

Poetry | Outside, Isla Libertá, And Smell Of Colony

We cry with our roofs below our feet Inside we hide until it’s over Outside under the moon so we can read Inside we bleed from the Arawak wound Outside the ones who left never to return Inside the fear of the unknown Outside the tyrants arrive like in 1898 Inside they eat the organs we puked from shock Outside we are everyone’s utopia but our own Shut my eyes to see you lively and light You knew it was all yours again The fort, the flag, the song, the bird Opened my eyes to s

The Storm is Taking It All

In The New York Times' Tiny Love Story. "The winds of Hurricane Maria were barreling down our street in the mountain town of Cayey, Puerto Rico. The windows in my parents’ bedroom began to shake. My mother left the room quickly, but my father froze. “I can’t move,” he said. “The storm is taking it all.” My two siblings and I entered. We told him he needed to get out. “I can’t,” he said with a blank stare. We hugged him hard while the windows rattled, threatening to break loose. “Te tenemos, papi,” we said. (“We got you, Dad.”) He looked up at us and started walking."

Hijos de Borinquen

"From the dark and rusty colonial door of my apartment, I can see San Justo Street, empty and lifeless in the pre-dawn, but for a single car that appears and hops over the uneven, 500-year- old cobblestoned lane. The buildings are discolored and peeling, and abandoned storefronts float in the early morning fog of Old San Juan. A putrid smell burns inside the nostrils. When did it all go so wrong? The sun warms the earth and the fog evaporates. Blank-faced humans on foot and inside cars start to populate the street. I head out, counting the new “For Sale” signs as I slouch to the soon-to-be-bankrupt supermarket."

Hotel La Plantación | Melissa Alvarado Sierra

I had been mostly working the graveyard shift at the front desk of the hotel in San Juan for about three months, more or less. It was 2004, summer, and I was twenty-one. I needed the money to finish my hospitality degree and the experience to find a better job later. With nothing to do during one parching overnight shift but check-in a few odd folks who arrived late, I wandered about the hotel, over to the parking lot, the restaurant, the bar, looking for Cristina, the clean freak—a buddy of min

La Isla Nena

The amapolas fell whenever a strong breeze shook the trees, the scarlet blossoms dropping unhurried like feathers and dotting the vast green floor. My wooden house was nearby; I could see the shanty zinc roof and the white and pink facade through the trees. I lived in Barrio Pilon, a small neighborhood tucked away in the mountains of Vieques, also known as La Isla Nena, an island off the east coast of Puerto Rico. Life was painless and undemanding in what many would call the definition of paradi

A local's view of a hopeful San Juan

My paradise has been transformed, forever marked with the visible and invisible scars left by ferocious winds and all-encompassing waters. But now there’s a new and subtle vibration felt in the city – a new San Juan is emerging in all its raw and vulnerable beauty for the world to see. I walk down the streets here and I can’t help but feel immense appreciation for having an opportunity to rethink, to rebuild and to rebound.

San Juan's best cocktail bars

In the balmy Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, the creative class has merged the art of island living with the art of crafting a cocktail. The result? A wave of striking flavors that delight both connoisseurs and amateurs. And that’s just what’s on the menu – where you drink matters just as much. From the well-worn and crusty to the meticulously decorated, these bars are little masterpieces serving up some seriously inventive booze.