More than a dozen hotels in Puerto Rico are bracing for a shortage of mattresses for the months to come.
Many of the island’s hotels are already under the thumb of the government, which has been struggling to pay for the mattresses, which are crucial for staying safe in the island, especially in a hurricane-prone region.
Puerto Rico is one of the world’s poorest countries, and the government has spent more than $30 billion to fix many of the problems with its infrastructure and medical systems, but the shortages have been getting worse.
“We are looking at a shortage,” said Maria Torres, the governor of Puerto Rico, in an interview with CBS News on Tuesday.
“I can’t imagine a better situation for us.”
The government says the shortage is because of a lack of spare parts and a shortage in beds.
The Associated Press reported last week that the government was short $1.6 billion in mattresses and other supplies to help keep hotels safe.
But the AP found that more than half of hotels on the island have already declared the shortage, which is expected to grow.
Some hotels say they don’t have enough mattresses.
“It’s the government’s problem,” said Antonio Lopez, a hotel manager in Puerto Veracruz, which lies along the coast.
“They can’t make the beds.”
“It’s like you’ve got a thousand different problems in one house,” he added.
In San Juan, a town in the Caribbean, people are staying at a hotel with only mattresses on the ground floor.
Maria Flores, a resident, said the shortage has forced some residents to live in bunk beds and she has been forced to use her room as a toilet.
The government has not provided any beds, she said.
“You can’t sleep in a bed.
That’s the reality.
There’s no room for anybody,” Flores said.
“There are people who are in a lot of pain.”
In San Miguel, a tourist destination in the southern island, the government is offering $1,000 for anyone who can supply them with mattress.
“We need the bed and we need the mattress,” said Juan Carlos, a restaurant owner.
“The mattresses are good for us.
We have mattresses at home, so we’re just using them.”
Flores said that for many Puerto Ricans, the mattressing is a lifeline.
“We’re not afraid to say goodbye to the mattress.
It’s a life saver.
It helps us in our daily life,” Flores added.
The Associated Press’ Mario Edwards contributed to this report.