LAJAS, Puerto Rico — There may be an outdated superstition in Puerto Rico that once the avocado timber are particularly stuffed with fruit, there is a storm coming.
This summer time, the avocado timber were bursting with fruit, so hypothesis were flying for weeks. A typhoon was once at the manner.
Storm Fiona – which slammed the island closing weekend — led to catastrophic flooding and landslides in lots of communities, and no less than two deaths. Its 85-mph winds blew roofs off their properties. And it claimed every other casualty. On a lot of the island, Fiona blew the entire avocados off in their timber.
Now, within the days for the reason that typhoon, other people were scrambling to devour all of them – and simply as importantly – to offer them away, sooner than they rot.
“We need to take excellent care of them,” mentioned Jonathan Velez Rosado.
Within the capital, San Juan, he was once serving to run a donation power gathering water, meals and toiletries for affected communities. His volunteers have been providing individuals who introduced donations a token gratitude: two avocados apiece, pulled out of a sack full of them.
Throughout Puerto Rico, avocados have change into a forex of neighborhood this week. Other folks were opening their entrance doorways to seek out baggage stuffed with them, left there via neighbors. Buckets full of the fruit were left alongside the edges of the winding mountain roads left partly impassible via landslides.
Puerto Ricans were consuming avocado for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With rice and beans, gazpacho, and on toast.
“At paintings lately my colleagues gave me 3 baggage!” mentioned Pedro Lugo, who lives within the the city of Lajas, at the island’s southwest coast. “I mentioned, ‘What am I going to do with all of those? I will’t devour guacamole on a regular basis!’ “
He began giving them away, together with to an NPR reporter.
When Fiona’s winds picked up, Lugo started to fret about his neighbor’s avocado tree. He went into the toilet and watched for hours via a small window.
“It began dancing backward and forward,” he mentioned.
By the point the winds had handed, just a unmarried avocado had survived.
“In a few weeks, that avocado goes to price greater than $100, as a result of it is the just one left,” he mentioned, giggling.
His neighbor, Willy Torres Martinez, felt his center sink when he seemed out and noticed greater than 100 avocados littering his again backyard. However he quickly began packing them into plastic baggage and handing over them to his neighbors.
“I love to proportion,” he mentioned. “As a result of whilst you proportion, it comes again to you twofold.”
The avocados have change into the hyperlink for connecting along with his neighbors within the days for the reason that typhoon. After a tragedy, he mentioned, that is an important factor.
Ezequiel Rodriguez Andino contributed reporting.