The Junte Boricua project is on a mission to bring home 50,000 Puerto Ricans residing in the United States in 2024, and the effort is gaining momentum. Leaders from public, private, and non-profit sectors came together this Tuesday to unite efforts and show their support for the project.
The initiative aims to attract thousands of Puerto Ricans to visit the island between May 1 and August 31, 2024. The goal is to celebrate Puerto Rican identity, culture, and history. More than 470 volunteers have already been recruited from cities across the United States, responding to the call made by diaspora leaders who are acting as ambassadors for the event.
Joana Santiago Vázquez, executive director of Junte Boricua, explained that the main objective is to bring in 50,000 additional Puerto Ricans, with the intention of generating an economic impact of around $75 million among small and medium-sized merchants on the island. Increased tourism from the diaspora will also help improve customer service on the island.
The project has received widespread coverage, contributing to the growing interest in the initiative. In fact, additional cities, including Atlanta and Los Angeles, have expressed a desire to join the Junte. Santiago Vázquez revealed that the goal is to have 500 ambassadors, with more than 470 already on board.
In order to attract more participants, an intense campaign is necessary, particularly targeting Puerto Ricans in the United States who have not visited the island in years or have never visited at all. The project is also seeking sponsorship from corporations and non-profit institutions to help cover the costs and promote the initiative.
The impact of Junte Boricua not only extends to the economic realm but also the connections it will create with non-profit organizations. Puerto Ricans living abroad have expressed their interest in contributing to various causes on the island, and certain institutions have already joined the project to facilitate these efforts.
Felipe Pérez Grajales, president of El Mesón Sandwiches, described the Junte Boricua as “the largest project of this decade,” emphasizing the unifying and “Puerto Rican” nature of the initiative. The Center for a New Economy will also be participating in the project by conducting an economic analysis of its impact.
The Junte Boricua campaign will officially kick off on December 8, and will tour various states and Puerto Rico. The message “Puerto Rico is calling you” will serve as the initial call to action, inviting people to connect with their roots and experience the beauty of Puerto Rican heritage and culture.