Thirteenth Decade 2013 – 2018

Puerto Rico

  • Stagnant economy with historic unemployment and an enormous fiscal disaster that fell upon the Island. It was urgent to work immediately with an unheard-of budget deficit, together with a Sales and Use Tax, called IVU locally.
  • Puerto Rico had not been able to collect sufficient income to cover its operational expenses and its financial obligations, which dated back to the 1980s. In other words, it had been operating in a notorious insolvency.
  • In 2012, Puerto Rico was warned by Standard & Poor’s about the possibility of degrading the bonds of the government with a negative perspective. It held that the budget deficit for 2013 was significantly higher that the government projected and that it would be very difficult that the island could attain a structural balance within the next two years.
  • As a result: a very high proportion crisis: bonds degraded to “junk”, and the imposition of a Fiscal Control Board under the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight & Management, and Economic Stability Act (Promesa), within a total stagnation environment.
  • In 2017, Puerto Rico faced the onslaught of Maria, the most impactful hurricane in more than 80 years. Its effects were catastrophic: 100% of the island in total darkness, 60% without water... it destroyed everything, and over 3 thousand died from its effects.
  • As of 2023, the Fiscal Control Board continues.
  • Even with the million-dollars funds to lift the country after María, no great progress has been made, mainly with electrical power.
  • The coronavirus 2019 (COVID) began to manifest itself in Asia and Europe, and at the beginning of 2020 the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. It made the world stop. All governments paid special attention to control the health crisis, but by 2022, more than 6.3 million people had died.
  • In the United States and therefore in Puerto Rico, it was attacked on all fronts: vaccines, mandatory health guidelines, educational programs, monetary incentives... but it has been a hard blow that has changed the world in many aspects; still dealing with this.
  • Three governors, strikes and protests everywhere, forced resignations of political figures... earthquakes, collapse of the Arecibo Observatory, after almost 60 years of contributions to the study of space... have also been part of our lives in these ten years.
  • The decade closes with the commemoration of the 500 years of San Juan, the capital city.
Puerto Rico map


  • Urban music is increasing ever more and entering new genres. Recognized artists from other genres share stages and productions with the exponents of this music that it appears to have broken barriers.
Musical notes

Christmas tree

  • Elegant and glamorous trees. Use of spikes, and metal colors are incorporated into the ornaments.

The future awaits…

“I firmly believe in the potential and ability of my fellow citizens; there are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic in the efforts Puerto Rico is making; it is fair to recognize that we, Puerto Ricans, have put into practice our individual abilities and qualities that enable us to attain the highest achievements; and regarding personal initiative, character, assertiveness and effort, the sons of this country have projected convincing proof at all times.”

Rafael Carrión Pacheco