For the past twenty-five years, ISKCON Youth Ministry’s Manorama Das and his wife Jaya Sri Radhe Dasi have taken youth on tours across the US, Canada and Mexico, where they spread Krishna consciousness and get inspired themselves in the process. Since 2015, they’ve branched out to tour the Caribbean every two years.
When the category 4 Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20th, 2017, the U.S. territory’s only ISKCON temple, in Gurabo, was almost completely destroyed. For nearly a year after, devotees did not have electricity or running water, and groceries and gas were hard to come by.
Three months after the category 4 Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico on September 20th, the U.S. territory’s infrastructure is still far from recovered. The country's only ISKCON temple had its roof, veranda and porch ripped off in the storm. Devotees are still struggling to clean up and rebuild.
On a balmy day in the bustling tourist city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, traffic came to almost a standstill as “Harmony of the Seas”, the largest cruise ship in the world, pulled into the harbor. Locals and visitors alike flocked to the port district to observe the impressive dimensions of the ship. Hundreds of cruisers stepped off the ship to explore the Boricua shore. Unbeknownst to the gathering crowds, they were about to witness a joyous procession of singing and dancing starring their lordships, Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra.
The eco farm is run by Bhakti yogis. Director Vaishnava Das studied natural building at the California Institute of Earth architecture, while his wife, coordinator Draupadi Dasi, worked as an ecological anthropologist. “I’m very interested in Srila Prabhupada’s vision of long-term sustainability – working with the land, and growing food,” says retreat co-organizer Hita Karina, a second-generation devotee and yoga teacher from Alachua, Florida. “And Vaishnava and Draupadi are not only living that life, but teaching it too.”