Connecting people with the Healing Forest
Updated July 11, 2018.
El Yunque re-opened again to the public of February, 2018.  We started as volunteers at the Forest on October 11, 2017, working at the
Dispatch Office for two months, we witnessed how the Forest started healing.  We invite you to read this short story.
Two meetings were held in Río Grande looking for volunteers, specially those living close to the Forest.
Check-points was established at the northern corridor (Road 191) and later at the east entrance (Road 988).
Forest Service employees, volunteers, and Incident Command, gathered to celebrate Forest Service Supervisor´s birthday.
Each morning the crews and their leaders met at Catalina Headquarters to pick-up snacks, water, and lunch.
Crew leaders met every morning to discuss the plans for the day.
Ten hours of hard work for the different crews working at the water intakes and roads.
Safety was first.  Every day, at 11:00 AM, local weather forecast was transmitted by Dispatch volunteers.
At the end of the day, crew leaders, Incident Command employees, and Law Enforcement completed their reports before going back to the
last meeting of the day.  Hard work, everybody was focused to help the Forest in the healing process.
Volunteers working at the Headquarters were part of a BIG family.  No water, no air conditioner, but a lot of friends working together.
Bees decided to live in one of the buildings at the Headquarters.  The best spot for cell phones reception was at Catalina.  Dispatch
Supervisors changed every 14 to 21 days; we had our own Walter Skinner and San Claus.
Benjie at his outdoor office; his crew was in charge of cleaning the nesting site of the Puerto Rican Amazon.  Fox Track, Adam, and Jerry
assumed different positions as part of the Incident Command plan.
In two months we had three Incident Commanders.  Ray, the last one, took care of us in every aspect of our lives, even using alternate
medicine (oils) for everyone.  We thank Ray for visiting us at the hospital.
Paramedics, rescue teams, and several ambulances, were always around until the last crew members returned safe to their homes.
Over 100 volunteers, one single BIG family.
Thanksgiving and
Christmas was part of
our celebrations.
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Engineers celebrating at the Christmas gathering, even that the jeep was
geographically lost at the Forest.  
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The first two months ended in December 15, 2017.  Chris was in
charge of Demob of the Dispatch area.  
Certified Interpretive Tour Guide Service for the EcoSensitive Traveler
From 7 AM to 4:30 AM Benjie
and his crew were working on
behalf of our Amazon.
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The "cotorreros" (those in charge of the Puerto Rican Amazon) Maricelys (FWS); Baby and
Benjie (FS), and Oscar (retired from FWS).  Plus, Fanfan, the water intake guru.
· n a t u r e  ·  a d v e n t u r e  ·  c u l t u r a l  ·  e d u c a t i o n a l ·  t o u r s ·
All entrances to El Yunque were closed.  For safety reasons, no one was allowed as crews started cleaning the debris.
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Many scientists work for Forest Service.  
Christmas Bird Count coordinator, Joe Wunderle.
Celebrating 25 years in business!
...we will never forget Forest Service Institute of Tropical
Forestry staff Joel (left) and Myriam (right) who helped
us during the first two months after the hurricanes.
· Birding Trips since 1992 ·
Of the wild population at El
Yunque, only three Puerto Rican
Amazons survived immediately
after the hurricanes.

Update as of July 14, 2018; only
two have survived in the wild.
El Yunque National Forest after hurricanes Irma and María
...our story
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Updated July 25, 2018.
Only 19 Sharp-shinned Hawks survived after hurricane María.  HELP is needed!  If you want to donate, please visit The Peregrine Fund
emergency donation page at this
For tours to El Yunque,
please use this
El Yunque National Forest (July, 2018)