January 13, 2018-Loíza Aldea
On our first full day in Puerto Rico, after making a few small repairs on the home where we were staying in Toa Alta, we decided to head back past San Juan and through Loíza, on our way to Carolina and El Yunque. As we drove through Loíza, we decided to stop at the house of the Hermanos Ayala, a family working to preserve culture, music and traditions in their community. Their artisan shop had been destroyed in the storm (and is currently almost finished being rebuilt!); and the house had a blue tarp for a roof, like so many others throughout the island. We made a quick phone call to our friend Marco Ayala Lind, and he arrived at the house within five minutes, ready to talk and share his experiences during and after the storm. It was a quick meeting, but it ended with us learning that Marco did have a garden and could use some of the seed we had brought with us to share. We were happy to learn that we had something else in common with Marco, besides our love for music, dance and cultural traditions of Puerto Rico.