Members of the Puerto Rico Small Inn Owners and Tourism Association have opened their properties to receive students from schools that have been affected by earthquakes in the southern area of the island.
Jesús Ramos, president of the association and owner of the Parador Villas Sotomayor in Adjuntas, said the organization representing small inns, or “paradores,” in the region support the Senate’s Joint Resolution No. 469 to allow the use of some hotels as temporary classrooms.
“We have verified all our facilities and are ready to support this initiative to begin to give our children peace of mind,” he said.
“We have the experience to handle groups and events, and we can adjust to the needs of our customers,” said Ramos.
“We’ve already gotten in touch with the relevant agencies, and we are prepared to support our people again,” he said, noting that ballroom areas and some hotel rooms can be used as temporary classrooms.
The hotels and “paradores” are inspected by the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., and the Health and Fire Department. They have emergency protocols and have power generators, water cisterns for several days, hot water, alternative communications and internet systems and tested security procedures,” he said.
“We understand the seriousness of the current situation and we feel very badly about the damages inflicted to some of our schools. We recognize the importance of our children returning to school normalcy as soon as possible,” said Ramos.
The Association has eight-member small inns: Parador Guánica 1929 in Guánica; Parador Villas Sotomayor in Adjuntas; Boquemar and Combate Beach Resort in Cabo Rojo; Parador El Faro in Aguadilla, Parador El Buen Café in Hatillo; MaunaCaribe in Maunabo and Palmas de Lucía in Yabucoa.
“The ‘paradores’ are definitely prepared to serve our regular customers and we can support the Education Department in this major deed, while our schools are properly inspected,” said Tomás Ramírez, vice president of the association and co-owner of the Combate Beach Resort in Cabo Rojo.