After the success of our recent Rainsong auction to provide relief for Hurricane Harvey, we wanted to keep the momentum going to help out with Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico. So we then auctioned off two of our own guitars for the cause, a 2012 Grand Auditorium from Leo Posch and a 2009 Tui from New Zealand builder Laurie Williams. Through those auctions we were able to raise over $1,750 to donate to the United For Puerto Rico fund spearheaded by Puerto Rico’s first lady, Beatriz Rosselló. Again, thank you to everyone who participated in these auctions, and to everyone who simply donated straight to the fund. We couldn’t have done it without you!
We’re going to auction off a third guitar for UFPR. This time we’ve upped the ante with a different breed of guitar altogether: our 1989 “White Rose” from Linda Manzer! Here’s Paul: “Part of the magic of amazing instruments are the stories that they bring with them. Once Linda filled us in on the White Rose, I knew we’d stumbled onto a truly one-off instrument. I love how the rosewood oils have come through in the streaking on the sides.”
Check out the White Rose here: https://www.dreamguitars.com/shop/manzer-white-rose.html
As before, a portion of the proceeds will go the the United For Puerto Rico fund spearheaded by Puerto Rico’s first lady. Also as before, please email your bids to email@example.com, and we will keep you informed as to the current bid during the auction. This auction is begins today at 5pm EST, October 30. It is scheduled to close on 12pm EST, November 5th. Bidding will start at $5,995. Thank you all in advance for participating!
Here’s a link to UFPR where you can see how they distribute all the donations they’re receiving: http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/.
We managed to get a hold of one of our friends and illustration maestros Fian Arroyo (http://fian.com/) who has family in Puerto Rico to give us a picture of the state of the island. Here’s Fian:
Hurricane Maria has left the beautiful island of Puerto Rico with a devastating blow that has will effect the island for many years to come. I personally have family throughout the island, especially in San Juan and Ponce. In San Juan for the first couple weeks, besides not having any running water or electricity, there were few stores, running on generators, open to buy food and the few that were open barely had anything on the shelves. They had to go searching for places to buy gas and water, which would sometimes take a whole day to do, and when they did find it, they had to wait for hours in long lines. At one point, my father had to wait in a line to buy diesel fuel for their generator for 7 hours….in the hot sun. Now they have running water, but still no power so living with a generator that is only running at certain times, to conserve diesel, in the hot tropical climate it feels like a never-ending bad camping trip. The only way for my family in San Juan to take showers before the water came back on was to go to my sister’s condo, where the generator and water ran for only one hour from 5-6pm, and take showers there real fast and get back before the curfew which was at 7pm.
Now the lines are not nearly as long for gas and some stores and restaurants are open for limited hours due to running on generators with only the essentials and only limited menus. Banks still have extremely long lines due to the fact that they only give out a limited amount of cash and are open for a few hours because they too are running on generators. The long lines are also due to everything on the island can only be bought with cash. There are no ATMs to get cash and no credit card purchases.
Communication was a nightmare and is still very shaky. The only way I could communicate with my family was with the iPhone app Whatsapp to make calls and text. That is only possible due to them having a generator and luckily having WiFi when the generator was running, and it was only occasionally that we could get through. I was lucky: my siblings here in the states could almost never get through and depended on me to give them updates. It took over a week before family members on different parts of the island could get a text or call through to let each other know they were okay. I have two cousins who used a neighbors satellite phone to let us all know they were okay.
Maneuvering through the city is a nightmare due to all the fallen trees, power lines, and debris everywhere, and driving at night has to be done slowly and carefully because it is pitch black due to being no street lights or lit buildings anywhere. Things are cleaned up a lot more now but there is still no electricity and it’s dark at night without lights.
We sent 12 packages of supplies out to my family in San Juan as soon as the USPS opened for delivery, which was about a week and a half after the storm hit. It took over two weeks to get all 12 boxes to them using USPS 3-day Priority mail. I was so happy they actually received ALL of them.
There is so much more I could write about my family’s hardships right now on the island. But to put it in perspective, they are so fortunate compared to the many many others throughout Puerto Rico who lost their homes and everything they owned and still have no power and running water where they are staying.
This is going to be a long, rough road for Puerto Rico, and it will take many years before it can even come close to what is was financially and aesthetically before Maria came to town. The scars will be felt much longer than that.
It’s heartbreaking to hear of the devastation, but at least we can do our part to help the people of Puerto Rico get back on their feet. Please, if you don’t want to bid on the White Rose, feel free to donate directly to Unidos: http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/