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Re: Mamacita's Experience
Author: Pietra (---.who.int)
Date:   06-14-04 10:02

First of all, to the few people who suggest that it's the locals putting praises on this site because no one from the US could possibly say anything good about mamacitas-- It is ridiculous for you to think that just because you happened to have one or two bad experiences in Culebra, that no one in the history of Mamacitas has had a good one. Secondly, it is complete ignorance to think that true locals waste their time stocking tourist forums with positive comments to get rude people like you to come and invade their island. If you had opened your eyes to pay attention to anyone but yourself during your stay in Culebra, you would have noted that the majority of the true locals (not transplanted American ex-pats living off of trust funds or owning the tourist joints) probably don't have a PC and are probably not posting things on the internet.

Culebra is a beautiful island and a tourist destination. But please when you visit, remember that it does not exist solely for the pleasure of tourists. As someone pointed out way above, the majority of local people do not depend on the tourism industry for employment (in a narrow sense-- I acknowledge that in the broad sense, everyone on Culebra does). Most of the owners of businesses targeting tourists, and many of the employees, are American or Puerto Rican (from the Big island) ex-pats. Culebrans are working for the municipality, for the factory, or in local businesses like grocery stores and the hardware stores. This is a town where people, normal, ordinary people like you and me live, work, raise their families. This is not an all-inclusive compund of a resort like Palmas del Mar or the hotels at Dorado. Even the people you see working in tourism-- Ruben, Wiki, Digna's daughter who often makes & serves the sandwiches on Saturdays, have other jobs during the weekday and do the tourism stuff on the side. I am not a local, and I do not live in Culebra, but I have spent quite some time there and have gotten to know many of the people there very intimately, as friends, by respecting them as people.

And as for restaurants and businesses closing early. The volume of tourism in culebra at certain times of the year (Feb & March, November) and at certain times of day (late lunch, 2pm to 5 pm, when most people are at the beaches and not making the trek back into town just to eat) are too low for it to be economically viable for restaurants to stay open when the tables are empty and there is likely to be at most one more table during that service. I am sure that this is what happened to the person who complained that the kitchen was closed at 14h35. It is unfortunate, but needs to be expected in a place as small as Culebra. In those cases, you just have to go to the Superette Mayra/Casa de Cheli and buy yourself some bread, cookies, ham, & cheese and have a picnic somewhere. If you are not a flexible traveler and are expecting 3 star meals with exceptional service, Culebra is not for you.

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