LAJAS, Puerto Rico — There is an outdated superstition in Puerto Rico that once the avocado bushes are particularly filled with fruit, there is a typhoon coming.
This summer season, the avocado bushes have been bursting with fruit, so hypothesis have been flying for weeks. A typhoon was once at the method.
Storm Fiona – which slammed the island final weekend — brought about catastrophic flooding and landslides in lots of communities, and a minimum of two deaths. Its 85-mph winds blew roofs off their properties. And it claimed any other casualty. On a lot of the island, Fiona blew the entire avocados off in their bushes.
Now, within the days because the typhoon, folks were scrambling to devour all of them – and simply as importantly – to provide them away, prior to 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 force 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 stuffed with them.
Throughout Puerto Rico, avocados have turn out to be a forex of neighborhood this week. Other people were opening their entrance doorways to search out baggage filled with them, left there by means of neighbors. Buckets stuffed with the fruit were left alongside the perimeters of the winding mountain roads left in part impassible by means of 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 thru 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, guffawing.
His neighbor, Willy Torres Martinez, felt his center sink when he regarded out and noticed greater than 100 avocados littering his again backyard. However he quickly began packing them into plastic baggage and turning in them to his neighbors.
“I love to percentage,” he mentioned. “As a result of whilst you percentage, it comes again to you twofold.”
The avocados have turn out to be the hyperlink for connecting together with his neighbors within the days because the typhoon. After a tragedy, he mentioned, that is an important factor.
Ezequiel Rodriguez Andino contributed reporting.