Saribelle Muñoz Bonilla was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Prior to several personal hardships, Bonilla was working in Marketing and Public Relations. While an unexpected departure from her career was a difficult time for Bonilla, this setback allowed her to explore her love of art and focus on her greatest passion; designs inspired by, dedicated to and created for her island.
Following this series of events, she was inspired to open her own company, Oceanu del Caribe, in which she designs pillows, mugs, and other home accessories. Her creativity is derived from the breathtaking nature which surrounds her and the strength and tenacity of her fellow Puerto Ricans. Through her designs, Saribelle’s goal is to assist other Puerto Rican natives in maintaining and strengthening their ties to their beloved island, which she fondly refers to as the hidden paradise of the Caribbean. “I think people from around the world should have the opportunity to visit the island, know our culture, and see everything that we have to offer,” says Bonilla. From its storied, rich culture to its vibrant colors and natural rhythm, she feels that everyone deserves to bond through the beauty of Puerto Rico.
A true outdoor enthusiast, Saribelle continues to discover more and more of what she loves about her homeland. Swimming with sea turtles, hiking El Yunque National Rainforest, and cycling across the island are all pastimes she adores, especially because they strengthen her connection to the land. These passions are embodied by the carry-on bag Bonilla designed for the Hilton Carry-On Puerto Rico Sweepstakes. “I wanted it to reflect all the things that I love [about] the Island, but there are so many things here that it was impossible to have them all,” says Saribelle, “so I tried to select the [things I liked to do most] and that definitely would be walking through the streets of old San Juan taking pictures of the cobblestones, doing some hiking in El Yunque Rain Forest where you may see the flora and the flowers I have in the bag.”
Bonilla’s artistic style is meticulously clean and organized, and her hand-painted carry-on bag for the Hilton Carry On Puerto Rico Sweepstakes is a perfect representation of this. Incorporating vibrant colors and intense energy, she aims to encapsulate her feelings and views of Puerto Rico. She captures the charismatic buildings that line the streets of the Old San Juan, bursting with color and almost appearing to dance. Just beside them lie charming cobblestone streets which lead to the deep blue hues of the Caribbean Sea, rich with exotic fish and wildlife. Through her portrayal, she aims to showcase the natural life that is fortunate to call Puerto Rico home as well. Much like the island, Bonilla explained, “They’re all connected, everything connects. The flora, the water, the hiking, the streets, everything just blends in together. And I wanted to bring all that color into the bag.” Saribelle’s stunning bag illustrates the magical feeling in the air of Old San Juan, the natural magnificence of El Yunque, and the clarity of the blue waters separating the island from the world. Being a part of the Hilton Carry-On Puerto Rico Sweepstakes was a vehicle for Bonilla to spread the love she has for her homeland to the world. “I am honored that people around the world would be able to see the island the way I see it through my artwork,” says Saribelle.
Bonilla’s relationship with Hilton dates back many years. As a matter of fact, she fondly recalls many previous stays at local Hilton Hotels. “When someone mentions Hilton, Hilton definitely is an icon. Hilton is Hilton. Definitely a classy tropical hotel. Always an awesome place to visit and to stay. I’ve visited the hotel many times,” Saribelle recalls of her experiences at Ponce Hilton. Get a chance to win Saribelle’s carry-on and a free trip to Puerto Rico when you participate in the Hilton Carry On Puerto Rico Sweepstakes.