Mayor of Isabela, Puerto Rico brings message of gratitude to Tampa

By Dalia Dangerfield, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, March 08, 2018, 5:00 PM EST

The Tampa community received a huge 'thank you' from residents of Puerto Rico Thursday via one of the island's mayors, Isabela Mayor Carlos Delgado Altieri.

  • Altieri met with Tampa Mayor Buckhorn
  • Altieri: "We're here to say 'thanks.'"
  • Visit aimed at kick-starting tourism

Delgado Altieri came to the Bay area to show his appreciation to the area's residents for all their assistance since Hurricane Maria. Bay area volunteers have shipped tons of supplies to the region.

“This help for our people is very significant,” said Altieri. “Because we have people suffer [sic]. It’s a complicated situation.”

Although donations have slowed down, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn agreed help is still needed.

“The Puerto Rican community and the country of Puerto Rico deserves our best effort to help them get back on their feet and restore them to where they were before,” Buckhorn said. “We don’t have a choice and we cannot forget that.”

Since Hurricane Maria, Altieri said that most of the electricity has been restored in his city of Isabela. However, 1,800 homes in the municipality were destroyed, and in an economy driven by tourism, Isabela’s scenic beaches sit empty.

Altieri said he hopes his visit to the Bay area helps to re-energize the island's tourism industry. He wants to form relationships with Tampa tourism leaders to get people from the Bay area to visit his city.