On August 2nd I woke up to the sounds of locals walking the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico. On this particular day, my sister and I were visiting El Yunque National Rainforest in Sierra de Luquillo. This is the only rainforest in the United States so naturally, I felt inclined to see it! My sister and I got ready, drove to a nearby Walmart to stock up on bug spray and snacks, and hit the road. The drive from Walmart to the rainforest was about an hour (including the confusion of understanding PR’s GPS) and once we got there, disappointment quickly settled in. After a car ride full of dousing ourselves in insect repellent and filling our bodies with papaya, we were informed almost immediately by locals that many parts of the rainforest were closed off and deemed unsafe because of the damage the natural landscape had endured during Hurricane Maria. We followed a few of the park rangers on a path up the steep mountains of the area and were able to see very few of the wonders that the rainforest embodied. However, on the way back down, I snapped a quick few pictures of the trees that surrounded the scene. The lushness of the greenery that surrounded me at that moment truly left me starstruck and wanting to come back again.
Photo Credit: Layla McGee