Portalito Hub

What is a Portalito Hub?

Portalito Hub Front

Portalito HUBs are a collaborative result of a convergence of two important developments:

  • The launch of a new 15 year Land & Resource Management Plan by El Yunque National Forest that put greater focus on connecting to local communities; with a vision to integrate ecological, social, and economic sustainability.
  • The arrival of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 which caused significant damage to all of the roads, trails, and facilities of El Yunque, requiring a long-term emergency response, closure of much of the forest and an overall adjustment to post-hurricane realities.

Portalito HUBs will serve as a bridge between the USDA Forest Service, underserved areas, and community partners and seeks to foster interconnectivity between all of these actors.  Portalito HUBs s are focused on education, economic growth, shared stewardship, and volunteer growth in the Community Interface Resource Management Area (CIRMA), which consists of the eight municipalities that have a portion of El Yunque within their boundaries.

Services offered may vary over time and will vary by location – it is a fluid and flexible concept that seeks to be responsive to specific community needs.  It may be:

  • Physical or Virtual; Permanent or Temporary
  • It may be operated by the Forest Service or a Partner; or be a chapter in a school or neighborhood.
  • Fluid and flowing, Adaptive, Innovative, Energized, Symbiotic, Nimble – grow and change as needs demand
  • New way to communicate – Interconnectivity – Hubs supporting each other

Our Mission:

Portalito HUBs will operate as an effective center of community activity and communication between El Yunque National Forest and its sister communities in and around the forest by facilitating opportunities for collaboration, education, and entrepreneurship related to forest resources to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability.  We seek to engage diverse people who otherwise wouldn’t come together & inspire them to make connections - with each other, with their neighbors, in their communities, & with their ecosystems and the forest.

Program Components:

Community

Employment

Education

Tourism/Recreation

Community Meetings Community Outreach Volunteer Opportunities

Entrepreneur Incubation and Assistance Career Development Meeting and Work Space

Environmental Education Provide Student Resources Mentoring Workshops

Interpretive Information Status Updates on El Yunque

Collaborative Adaptive Management

Ecological, Social and Economic Sustainability

Environmental Literacy and Education

Access, Tourism and Recreation

Portalito HUB: Palmer – NOW OPEN!

Location: #54 Calle Principal, Palmer, Puerto Rico 787-809-0534 (portalitohub@gmail.com)

Portalito HUB: Palmer is the first and flagship location of El Yunque National Forest’s Portalito Hub community partnership concept and will also house a temporary Visitor’s Centers for El Yunque National Forest.  You will also find:

  • El Yunque Visitor Information & Status Updates
  • Information on El Yunque Partnerships & Programs
  • Educational and Informative Information on the Forest and Ecosystem
  • Educational Interpretative Museum Store
  • Seminars, Workshops & Events and more!

Directions to Palmer:

We are located in the little town of Palmer, directly in front of El Yunque, our National Rain Forest. Palmer/El Yunque is approximately a 30 minute drive from the metropolitan San Juan area or a 20 minute drive from Fajardo.

From San Juan:

Travel on Route 26, the highway leading from San Juan/Luis Munoz International Airport.  Follow approximately 5-7 minutes & you will see signs for Route 66 Carolina/Rio Grande/Fajardo.  Continue on Route 66 (you will encounter a $1.50 pay toll).

Continue on Route 66 approximately 10 minutes and take to its end (Rio Grande/Fajardo) being careful NOT to exit in Carolina.  Travel Northeast (to the right) onto Highway 3.  Continue on Highway 3 for approximately 10 minutes.  You will see signs for “El Yunque National Rain Forest”.  Continue to the traffic light for intersection 968 (El Yunque to your right).  There will be a GAS STATION on the corner to the right as well.  This starts the little town of Palmer.  Continue into Palmer on street ‘Calle Principal’ approximately 1-block.  You will find Portalito HUB: Palmer on the right.  There are flags and a brightly painted tropical mural & a large mosaic Coqui Frog.  A wood ramp & lots of signs on our building announce us!

From Fajardo:

Travel on Highway 3 going Northwest past the town of Luquillo, heading towards El Yunque.  Soon, you will see the KIOSKO'S (a string of 60 restaurants & bars lining the beach just off the highway).  From the Kioskos, we are just 4 traffic lights away.  At intersection of Highway 968 (El Yunque to your left), make a left at this light, travel past the GAS STATION.  This starts the little town of Palmer.  Continue into Palmer on street Ávenida Principal’ approximately 1-block.  You will find Portalito HUB: Palmer on the right.  There are flags and a brightly painted tropical mural & a large mosaic Coqui Frog.  A wood ramp & lots of signs on our building announce us!

Portalito HUB: El Verde – In Process

Location: Carr. 186  km. 21.9,   El Verde, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico  Get Directions

El Portalito HUB: El Verde is the second location of El Yunque National Forest’s Portalito Hub community partnership concept and will focus on children and the educational experience.  You will also find:

  • El Yunque Visitor Information & Status Updates
  • Information on El Yunque Partnerships & Programs
  • Educational and Informative Information on the Forest and Ecosystem
  • Educational Interpretative Museum Store
  • Seminars, Workshops & Events ….. and more!

Portalito HUB: Naguabo– To Be Announced!

 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/elyunque/home/?cid=fseprd574860&width=full