SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — At night, in the metropolitan area near the San Jan airport, it's clear to see a tale of two Puerto Ricos.
- Some San Juan businesses have shuttered in wake of Maria
- Restaurants around international airport report brisk business
- Social media users adopted hashtag #puertoricoselevanta
Six months after Hurricane Maria, many in the U.S. territory are still trying to find work. Businesses have left, and tourism has taken a hit.
"Small business owners probably left, because it happens to people who used to work in Isla Verde, like, 'Oh I am looking for a job because my boss closed, he went to the United States,'" said Saline Figueroa, a bartender and manager at 1950 restaurant in Isla Verde.
A quick tour of the neighborhood reveals a lot of residential buildings and businesses, some still boarded up.
But a short distance away, in the neighborhood of El Condado, it's a different story.
Restaurants such as Ropa Vieja and locally-owned 1950 restuarant are packed.
"Business has been really good," Figueroa said. "After the hurricane, we opened right away, like two days ... and everybody that is living in Condado was eating here."
And more tourists are slowly starting to come back, like Dwala Sutton, visiting from Raleigh, N.C.
"You know, they're rebuilding, and at the same time, the service at the hotel is seamless," Sutton said. "You wouldn't know. So the tourism I think is definitely coming back, and it's been a pleasure to be here. I've been very relaxed," she said.
"There has been a hashtag, #puertoricoselevanta," Figueroa said. "Puerto Rico has been doing that, standing up after the hurricane."
Residents want the world to know that the island is open for business.