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Puerto Rico On The Brink Of Running Out Of Money08:07
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Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. (ricardo_mangual/Flickr)
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. (ricardo_mangual/Flickr)
This article is more than 5 years old.
Ricky Cruz is a 33-year-old organic farmer who grows arugula, lettuce, eggplant, green and red peppers and cilantro for some of San Juan’s top restaurants. (Marisa Peñaloza/NPR)
Ricky Cruz is a 33-year-old organic farmer who grows arugula, lettuce, eggplant, green and red peppers and cilantro for some of San Juan’s top restaurants. (Marisa Peñaloza/NPR)

Puerto Rico evokes images of beautiful beaches, palm trees and perfect weather. But economically, the island is struggling. It's in its eighth year of recession, the unemployment rate is 12 percent and tens of thousands of people have left the island in recent years in search of better opportunities.

Puerto Rico is now $73 billion in debt and no longer able to meet its payments, and the government is facing the very real possibility that it will run out of money by July.

Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson talks to NPR's Greg Allen and Marisa Peñaloza, who have just returned from Puerto Rico, about the economic challenges the island is facing, and how the government and residents are dealing with them.

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This segment aired on May 5, 2015.

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