Social Media Movement Changing the Image of Puerto Rico in Crisis

Local Ecotourism Instagrammers reclaim #CrisisIsland and portrait The Real Puerto Rico

The desire to change the narrative that dominates Puerto Rico's international image as a country in crisis motivated a group of ecotourism instagrammers to join social media consulting firm, Synapse Social, to create a grassroots movement to change the conversation about the island.

Dubbed #CrisisIsland, the initiative aims to flood social networks with images and videos to show the world the natural beauty, gastronomy, hospitality and traditions of the island beyond the economic and social problems that have dominated the conversation recently.

The instagrammers participating in the initiative are @SimoneBirch, @backpackingpr, @green_neck, @haroldcamilo, @sakography, @krekro, @placespr, @bebichurch, @reyluis and @mymils. Collectively, they boast more than 200,000 followers on this platform of 300 million monthly active users globally.

"They say that he who seeks finds. We went out looking for good pictures and found awe-inspiring natural beauty that we fell in love with. There is so much ecological potential to value, care for and highlight, that whoever has not found it is because they haven't looked hard enough," said Daniel Montalvo, known as @green_neck on Instagram. Daniel and the rest of the group of ecotourism instagrammers are influencers in this platform and share daily images of the island with their more than 200,000 local and international followers.

"The power of social networks and their influencers is undeniable and this group, that shares a vision to showcase Puerto Rico internationally for its natural wealth, has decided to use that power to seize the crisis and use it to improve the image of the country, which has so much to offer the world," said Carmen Portela, founder of Social Synapse and the strategist behind #CrisisIsland. Currently the hashtag #CrisisIsland has generated over 5.48 million impressions on Instagram, & Twitter.

The main purpose of the initiative is to promote tourism as an engine for economic recovery by showing the world all that differentiates Puerto Rico from other tourist destinations through User Generated Content (UGC). #CrisisIsland allows users to highlight the attributes, the Puerto Rican people and the natural beauty that the island has to offer.

"Despite the crisis, there is so much that Puerto Rico has offer. It is up to everyone to promote Puerto Rico as a tourist destination both locally and internationally. The time to visit Puerto Rico is now," concluded Portela.

For more information about this grassroots movement and how to join contact realpuertorico(at)gmail(dot)com, The Real Puerto Rico on Facebook, @realpuertorico on Twitter, @therealpuertorico on Instagram and realpuertorico on Snapchat.

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