Bacardi and Mercy Corps Work Together to Aid Hurricane Recovery in Puerto Rico

Apr 16, 2019 11:15 AM ET

More than a year after Hurricanes Maria and Irma hit the Caribbean, recovery efforts continue. As home to Casa BACARDÍ Visitor Center and the world’s largest premium rum distillery in the world, the recovery of Puerto Rico remains a priority for Bacardi. In 2018, the company provided a USD $1 million grant to Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian organization, to drive longer term rebuilding and recovery, providing support to small business owners and tourism recovery in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Martin.

Among the programs is coral reef restoration in Tamarindo Bay, Culebra, an area known for its beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Unfortunately, the storms destroyed portions of the reef and dragged trash into the once pristine waters. The grant by Bacardi enabled Mercy Corps to partner with Sociedad Ambiente Marino (SAM) to host a clean-up event with 33 volunteers who covered 1.3 miles of coast. Volunteers collected trash above and below water. Seasoned divers collected, stabilized and successfully replanted coral fragments throughout the reef, which served as a critical tourist draw in Culebra. In addition to the direct benefits to dive tour operators around Tamarindo Bay, an increase in tourism will bring economic benefits to other hospitality businesses on the island, including restaurants, hotels, gift shops and others.

“We are grateful to the ongoing partnership with Bacardi which is helping to support tourism, natural area rehabilitation and the resilience of small businesses across Puerto Rico,” says Britt Rosenberg, Mercy Corps Director of Corporate Partnerships. “Most often we find that support comes immediately after a natural disaster and we are so grateful that, through our partnership with Bacardi, we can continue on the longer-term recovery that the island still needs.”

This is just one of the many programs funded by Bacardi and in partnership with Mercy Corps that showcase how businesses and natural areas in Puerto Rico are ready to welcome tourists. Read more about our partnership:

Bacardi Corporation was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1936, and is part of family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. The current facility in Puerto Rico was built in 1958 on 127 acres in the town of Cataño. The rum production facility is the largest premium rum distillery in the world, and one of the more than 20 Bacardi manufacturing facilities globally. Since 1961, Bacardi has operated the state-of-the-art Casa BACARDÍ Visitor Center, the second most-visited venue in metro San Juan, drawing nearly 200,000 visitors a year to learn about the 157-year-old history of the company, the Bacardí family, as well as its unique rum production. Book your visit at