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VegFest Puerto Rico 2018 - What It Means to Me

VegFest Puerto Rico 2018 - What It Means to Me

On April 14th, I’m taking part in the first-ever VegFest Puerto Rico and I couldn't be more excited! VegFest is a movement taking place in many cities around the world, and I’m proud to support this one in Rincon, Puerto Rico. It’s going to be a lively, fun day out for everyone - both vegans and non-vegans - to learn about plant-based eating, local community endeavors, health, and veganism. Rincon is a little surfing town on the island and VegFest will be setting up shop at El Faro, the lighthouse. We're planning a festive, vibrant outdoor atmosphere that’s great for families and everyone else. We’ll be promoting awareness, of course, but in a fun way!

 I've been a part of many vegan events over the years, but this one holds a special place in my heart. I love my island home and who I am as a Puerto Rican. I feel such good energy when I’m there - from the lush natural landscapes to the animals and the people. This is all part of who I am. I want to do right by my home and make this festival an event to remember. And I want it to be a gathering that benefits the local community and brings people together. VegFest Puerto Rico will be filled with local food, vibrant music, and handmade, cruelty-free products. Artisans, food vendors, chefs, and farmers will all be in attendance to set up stalls, sell their products, and let guests sample their foods. My own father is actually going to be a vendor at the festival - he'll be selling his beautiful handmade wood carvings and artwork!

Best of all, VegFest is free for all guests and vendors! We want to embrace everybody and hope everyone will come out and have a great time. I want Puerto Rico to be a part of the worldwide vegan movement. While we may be a small island, our hearts and faith are strong. Island living very much lends itself to a plant-based, healthy lifestyle. Since Hurricane Maria, many people in Puerto Rico are still facing financial difficulties. However, agriculture is strong and people are becoming more aware that they must take care of their bodies. Many good doctors have left the island, so being healthy and cognizant of one’s eating habits is more important than ever for Puerto Ricans. In a way, recent changes have transformed the island and it feels amazing to be part of a community that cares about agriculture and wellness. Local vendors will be on hand to sell their products, gain exposure, and improve their businesses. Experts and doctors will be sharing information to benefit attendees, and hopefully everyone will come out with an open mind!

It means so much to me to be participating in an event that’s close to my heart and home. Not only will my parents be there, but many of my other family members and friends are coming too. (Only about 25% of my family lives outside Puerto Rico.) I love that they’ll be able to participate and get involved! There will be other special guests and important community members attending as well. From speakers leading talks about veganism to cooking demonstrations by chefs and movie screenings, there will be so much going on! One of the vendors in attendance is Sana Farms, and their representative, Sonia Carlo, will be speaking about how the hurricane changed her life. It’s a wonderfully moving story of losing everything and working to build her life back up again.

 Royal Isabela will have golf packages available for the following day. There will be two stands promoting dental health, including a vegan toothpaste based in Rincon. Three doctors will give speeches about healthy living and plant-based diets, including Dr. Antonio Soler and Doctors Asa and Joanna Frey from Back to the Garden. Another great organization, Chilis on Wheels, will also be participating in VegFest. They're a national nonprofit that provides warm, vegan meals to those in need.

Veganism is becoming such a strong movement around the world and this means so much to be able to bring VegFest to my home. It’s going to be a fun, supportive, open atmosphere, so if you’re in the area, please come out and join us! Entry is totally free. This is all about the community, bringing people together, and bettering ourselves and Puerto Rico. If you think you can make it, RSVP here! Or let us know you're coming on Facebook!