Barbara and her family lost their home and business, Abe's Snorkeling & Biobay Tours, in Vieques, Puerto Rico in the devastating hurricane Maria. Abe's was a respected ecotourism business on the island for almost twenty years, employing numerous Viequenses who have now also lost their livelihood. Helping this family will ultimately help many others as it is expected to be a year before their island home will be restored and their business can function again. Hopefully, with help, Abe's can be up and running in under a year.
Category 5 hurricane Maria came suddenly and was devastating to their small island. Their wood house and office in Monte Carmelo were demolished overnight (see image). Abe stayed in Vieques to prepare their home and business for the storm, and Barbara and their five year old daughter, Anani, evacuated temporarily to her family's home in Wisconsin. They are still waiting to be reunited with Abe and have only spoken twice during 30 second satellite phone calls since the hurricane. Vieques is an island of 9000 residents near the main island of Puerto Rico so disaster relief efforts have been even more challenging than on the main island.
This lovely family of three appreciates everyone who has taken the time to read their story during this time of great uncertainty. They hope to return to their home and business as soon as it is safe enough to do so and all of their efforts will go into helping bring back the island that is so dear to them. In the unlikely event that circumstances in Vieques remain too difficult for Abe and Barbara to stay and operate their business, this fund will be used to begin a new life.
Barbara, Abe and Anani are wonderful friends and kindred spirits. I met Barbara during our violin teaching days at the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore MD around 15 years ago. Currently living in PA, I have kept in touch with Barbara and with the hope of visiting her, booked a family trip to Vieques this December. Although this trip is most likely not feasible, once the island recovers we will plan another visit. For now we want to help in any way we can. Barbara is the primary beneficiary for this GOFUNDME account and your generous donations will go directly to her.
- Ileanette Reyes
- Tina Kambouris
- Barbara Martin
- Richie Kessler