La Perla may seem like any otherPuertoRicanneighborhoodravaged by HurricaneMaria — except for one thing: The video for Luis Fonsi’s smash hit song “Despacito” was shot here.
In only 11 months, it has been viewed over 4 billiontimes, making it the most popularmusicvideo of all time.
La Perla, the slightly seedy barrio rightbelow old SanJuan, suddenly became a star. But when Maria made landfall, fame offered no shelter.
Lamastus runs a youthboxingprogram in La Perla.,“There’s nobody you can tell to get out of here — they have survived all of the hurricanessince they’ve been alive,” Lamastus said. “How do you tell them to leavetheirhouse?”
The stormblasted Luis Santiago’s house into a jumble of sticks and stones.
“This is the side of the house,” he said.,
“We don’t have any water,” Gabriel Lamastus said. “We don’t have any power.”,Two monthsafterHurricaneMaria, SanJuan’s La Perla neighborhood, made famous in the viralmusicvideo for “Despacito,” is stillwithoutwater and power., Despacito, PuertoRico, HurricaneMaria
,He was born in Brooklyn, but La Perla has been home for 30 years.
He says “of course” he wants to rebuild — “right by the ocean, this is the spot I like.”
But re-building in La Perla may be tougher than elsewhere. Many in the government view the neighborhood as a crime-filed slum, too close to toptourist attractions. And developers have long eyed the seaside location as a potential resort.,So Lamastus says the residents don’t expect to get much help.
“The community is on their own,” Lamastus said. “I’m not on my own, we are on our own. We sticktogether, but it’s rough. Its not easy.”
In Spanish, despacitomeans “slowly.” In the song, it’s about love, but in La Perla, it’s about healing.