Nominated by National Geographic in August of 2017, as “one of the top 30 beaches in the world,” Punta Borinquen is composed of 642 acres that include six distinct ecological zones, three distinct historical and archeological periods, and is home to endangered and endemic species both on the land and in the maritime zone/water.
This area is the lifeblood of our community, an engine to power our local economy via recreational and ecological tourism.
Once part of the former Ramey air force base (1938-1972), Punta Borinquen was a pristine and functional recreational area, akin to a national park. After the base closure, the area was returned to the people of Puerto Rico as public lands under the administrative authority of the Puerto Rican government. This was done so via the quitclaim deed issued by the Department of the Interior on Sept. 27, 1979. This document delineates the stipulations for the area. The grant deed explicitly protects most of the natural areas (~642 acres) and designates them for public and recreational use. These lands are primarily under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
In the past, Punta Borinquen became abandoned and was overrun with criminals. Our goal was to follow the mandates already specified in the deed and return the area back to its former glory for the benefit and use of the general public! Over eight years of community work has created a place that is accessible, safe and beautiful. We set up a baseline for what is possible and what we can accomplish, yet there is a whole lot more to do.
If you are interested in our work or the area, you may contact us to answer any questions that you may have. We can also arrange a call or a personalized walking tour of Punta Borinquen, explaining the projects that have been carried out and the source of funding for each one, and the vision of our work.
Buildings & recreational facilities
Reclamation, maintenance, and building of recreational public structures. Prime example of this would be our “community whale watching tower”. Our goal is to create a healthy and secure experience for visitors so they can enjoy themselves.
Roads & beach access
Basic FREE access is crucial for the public to be able to enjoy the area. We ensure accessibility and better safety for our visitors. This includes pedestrian bridges and beach access points.
Trails & walkways
We build and restore trails, paths, and maintain proper signage and mapping of the area. Providing formal maps and trails allows visitors to enjoy the area, discover and engage more, all while reducing the impact of visitors on the ecology of the area.
Our community of volunteers do an amazing job at ensuring that when you visit you find a beautiful place to love! With the collaboration of TradeWinds Mechanical, we are having the trash removed bi-weekly from the primarily visited recreational areas of Punta Borinquen and Surfer’s Beach.
Recreational area upkeep
On a bi-montly basis, we mow and trim the recreational areas and public places. This includes parks, the perimeter of historical landmarks & buildings, the margins of the roads, and the picnic & seating areas. We have also installed, based on the original design, over 17 different picnic areas & benches.
Punta Borinquen has a lot of history from the pre-Columbian and Spanish eras all the way to its role as an Air Force base during WW2. Some of the areas we are maintaining are the Spanish Lighthouse “Ruinas” and the former Naval Facilities. We also have installed informative signage.
Some Recent Highlights
On May 17, 2021, our nonprofit rehabilitated the Punta Borinquen beach access road and parking lot. Unfortunately, the public access road had been abandoned and not maintained for over 40 years. We completely restored the main road & community parking for public access. This project included 178.80 metric tons of asphalt and cost the nonprofit $18,867.36.
On June 12 -July 31, 2021, we installed a ‘perimeter safeguard’. In an effort to combat erosion, protect nature, the maritime zone, and promote security, we installed a perimeter wood & rock fence to safeguard 121 newly planted coconut palm trees. This included over 1,300 linear feet of protected space. The expense of this improvement totaled $8,589.67.
On July 24, 2021, we celebrated Rescate’s eight-year anniversary!!! In an effort to combat criminality and reclaim our public spaces, we recently held our anniversary event at the Ruins. We repainted the Puerto Rican flag, planted 44 trees and removed 17 bags of trash. Prior to our involvement, these areas were labeled a “prostitution zone” and were laden with vandalization and criminality. Now they are safe, clean, and open to the public.
On August 9th, 2021, we commemorated the one-year anniversary of the sanctioning of resolution 709. (rc 709 is a law unanimously passed by the House of Representatives and Senate of Puerto Rico, which gave our nonprofit the legal authority to be the sole administrators of the 642 acre parcel.) We continue to collaborate with our local government and representative Wilson Roman, to engage in community capacity building.