The Aftermath: Post Hurricane Maria – Puerto Rico – (Part 3 of 5)

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It’s been about a year and half since Hurricane Maria went through the Caribbean.  In this first segment, I have reached out to a few of our ABC members based in Puerto Rico to see how Hurricane Maria affected their business, and what their progress has been.  I asked them a few questions, and after I received their responses I decided to feature their stories separately.  While finalizing the content, I saw that Jimmy Fallon was recording a show in Puerto Rico.  I have shared it below, in case you missed it.  It was awesome, but most importantly it will prepare you to understand what our ABC members went through and how they survived.

VIDEOJimmy Fallon Meets Puerto Rico 

Part 3 of 5:  Meet Evelyn Camacho,RWP,   Festum Event Planners Vega Alta, Puerto Rico

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Evelyn Camacho Diaz, RWP, Wedding & Event Planner, Festum Event Planners

Email: festumeventplanners@gmail.com    Phone: 787-461-9032

 

1. How long have you been in business? (Evelyn Camacho) I started my business in 2008.

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2. How did your business suffer due to Hurricane Maria?   (Evelyn Camacho) After Hurricane Maria, we were able to coordinate a Destination Wedding on November 22nd, but every other wedding and Christmas parties that were scheduled for the rest of the year were canceled.

3. What is your progress post Hurricane Maria, and at what point did your business start picking up again?   (Evelyn Camacho) Post Hurricane Maria I still had my corporate events, but the wedding did not start until January 2018. able to start planning weddings in January 2018. It wasn’t until March 2018 that the business actually starting picking up. September and October are still our low season, but November and December 2018 were amazing months for our Industry.

4. How did the Puerto Rico wedding industry cope with Hurricane Maria?  (Evelyn Camacho) Some wedding planners moved to the states, others lived from their savings, and others like me, for example, worked with Corporate Clients.

5. Do you have something in place if this were to happen again? (Evelyn Camacho) I have put together a plan that I can put in place if another hurricane is announced.

6. Did you have business insurance before the Hurricane, and if not do you have it now? (Evelyn Camacho) Yes, I had insurance before Hurricane Maria.

7. Did you have to adjust your rates or offer an incentive post hurricane season in order to attract clients? (Evelyn Camacho) In August 2017 I participated in a bridal expo and offered the couples a great incentive to hiring us.  Post Hurricane Maria I decided to extend the offer through June 30, 2018 in order to attract couples to the island.  As of July 1, 2018, my rates were back to normal, and in 2019 I am able to increase my rates.

8. What are some lessons learned post Hurricane Maria? (Evelyn Camacho) It is important for all venues offer “cisterns” and “power plants/generators”.  I now recommend to all of my clients to not consider September as an option for a wedding.  Finally communication is key during Hurricane season in order to keep our clients informed and calm.

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 Photographer:  Camille Fontánez Photography

Venue: Hacienda Siesta Alegre, Río Grande, PR.

 

 

 

 

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