Written by By Staff Writer
Maverick Viñales, more commonly known as Magnet, is a ski and snowboard photographer who regularly sends his images around the world and is currently lensing for online magazine, Views. In honor of Ski Season, his sister, who oversees Olympic tourism for Puerto Rico, has written a personal essay on Magnet’s approach to photojournalism.
Puerto Rico is calling upon its individual markets and outlying rural municipalities to ensure we make a good first impression as it hosts three Winter Olympic Games in the coming years.
All eyes will be on Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico needs to put its best foot forward. We are not a resort destination; we are a destination that ski.
Despite what you may think, Puerto Rico is still relatively unknown and the word is not likely to spread unless we do our part to promote it. Ski in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is the fifth largest island in the world, it is a first cousin to Mexico and the third largest island to the south of America.
Of Puerto Rico’s 73,000 square miles, 72,000 acres are dedicated to healthy recreation. Puerto Rico has a strong history of conservation. Ski in Puerto Rico.
Ski in Puerto Rico
One of the first resorts was Champlain in the 1990s. Today, there are more than 40 ski resorts all located on approximately 75,000 square miles.
I moved to Puerto Rico 20 years ago, and I know one thing: Ski in Puerto Rico. I had only skied a few times before arriving to Puerto Rico but I soon realized that, like me, most of Puerto Rico’s population doesn’t ski. But what would I know? After years of working in the ski industry, I went skiing for the first time.
In the airport, an attendant took me to my car. He said, “Where should we go?”
He was immediately confronted by a road sign warning, “Do not go over the ridge. Do not go over the ridge.” My fear and uncertainty raced through my body.
A road sign telling people not to go over the ridge. Photo courtesy Maverick Viñales
I tried desperately to avoid the road sign, but as I got closer to the ridge I saw what I always wanted to see: Ski in Puerto Rico!
Before we had a spot in La Encantada Ski Lodge, it was only a four-mile hike from the airport. My reaction was exactly what I had feared: “I wish I knew how to ski in Puerto Rico!” My boy wondered if I should go look at his course when he could.
Today, “play” rules, and I wait in the lobby of my favorite hotel in La Encantada while he goes on the trails with his skis.
This Saturday, I went skiing. Now I have more to learn. But, like me, many are still wondering, “How can I ski in Puerto Rico?”