In the past three years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has allocated more than 360 million dollars in federal funds for the repair of iconic structures of historical value in Puerto Rico.
During this time , FEMA has allocated funds to municipalities, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and the Office of Historic Conservation to attend to the repairs of public buildings and parks, which include hospitals, government offices, educational centers and sports complexes, as well as various points of interest throughout the Island.
This effort includes funds for the Guajataca Tunnel, in Isabela, one of the projects with the greatest economic impact in the area, as it attracts some seven thousand visitors a year. Given the complexity of the project's repairs, FEMA allocated $ 47,000 to carry out engineering and architecture studies to permanently repair the tunnel.
Built in 1904, it connects the towns of Isabela and Quebradillas, and is a remnant from the sugarcane era in Puerto Rico, when there was a railroad system that ran through the island.
Similarly, a grant of around $ 22,000 was approved for Fortín Conde de Mirasol, in Vieques. The funds will be used to repair and replace the contents of the structure, which includes a collection of works of art on paper that contains serigraphs, maps and posters of activities and festivals held in the Fortin.
The repair of one is also planned. cartwheel from the beginning of the last century that was used to move cane and a wooden sculpture, as well as the replacement of some 15 showcases.
“This first part of the two phases of aid that are expected for Fortín Conde from
Mirasol paves the way for the recovery and improvements we need. We will give continuity to all management and assistance in this process to rescue this historical and cultural heritage of Vieques and Puerto Rico, "said the executive director of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, Carlos Ruiz Cortés.
Meanwhile, in the municipality of Rincón they were assigned funds for the Punta Higuero Lighthouse.
Approximately 20 thousand dollars are destined to carry out the engineering and architecture studies necessary to repair the place. Once the technical evaluations are completed, the replacement of the wooden deck, the lights, the ceiling tiles and other repairs are contemplated.
Since 1993, the Lighthouse includes a passive park with a maritime museum, cafeteria, huts and viewpoint for whale watching and Desecheo Island. At present it is in charge of the municipal administration and every year it receives the visit of thousands of tourists.