Most Puerto Ricans have gone without power for more than a month. Some lucky ones have kept the lights on with expensive—and noisy—diesel generators. The rest are making do without the usual comforts of air conditioning, ice, and washing machines.
But where many see a cumbersome chore, others see opportunity.
Entrepreneurs across the island are Entrepreneurs across the island are bringing back the washboard. In pharmacies and supermarkets, and in car trunks along the sides of roads, you can see them peddling their old-school wares. Some are fabricated in wood, others in composite materials. One version in the town of Guayama, which remains completely off the grid, appealed to patriotic fervor awakened by hurricane Maria. It was emblazoned with the post-Maria slogan “Puerto Rico Se Levanta,” or Puerto Rico Rises. . .