The Natural High Cafe in Rincon, Puerto Rico is a tiny place painted a whole spectrum of vibrant colors—-pink, lime, and teal. Bunches of green bananas hang in the window behind the service counter, future smoothie fodder for the surfer crowd that comes through the door. I’m enjoying the caffeinating effects of strong coffee and a fairly strong wifi hotspot, checking in as a week’s vacation winds down. It’s back to San Juan early tomorrow to catch an afternoon flight back to Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

We’ve spent the week haphazardly exploring the island with no particular plan, in no particular order. A bunch of impressions and memories are hanging in my thoughts, also in no particular order. While I wait for these green impressions to ripen, here’s a glimpse into local school news. From yesterday’s edition of The San Juan Star, left behind on my table by its previous reader:

Copper theft believed to be behind 10 school break-ins in western region

Education officals from the Office for the Improvement of Public Schools said Wednesday
some 10 schools have been the target of vandalism and copper theft is believed to be the cause of the break-ins.

Engineer Elvin Camacho, who is in charge of the western region Education offices, which covers 180 schools, described the increase in vandalism as "alarming."

The western educational region covers 180 schools in Moca, San Sebastian, Mayaguez, and Aguadilla.

"In all cases there has been copper theft, the same way it has occurred in [Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority] facilities, in [Puerto Rico Telephone] facilities, and lighting systems under the Highway Authority," he said." According to Camacho, the recent acts of vandalism have caused $5,000 in damages and forced him to assign work brigades to repair the schools, adding that in addition to taking the copper, destroying door locks and writing graffiti on the walls, vandals have also burned a small book warehouse and caused other damages.

More soon.

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