Jul 29, 2021

"I love the possibilities that exist": A PRoTechos Team Member Shares her Story

Hi Friends, 

In our last update I shared with you a bit about our then up and coming apprentice, Denise. The team at PRoTechos has always had high hopes for Denise, and she has exceeded all of our expectations! 

Denise has graduated from carpentry apprentice to a regular member of the PRoTechos team, working alongside our foreman as an assistant carpenter, and leading and mentoring our new apprentices. Denise is the type of person that would add value to any team.  She brings enthusiasm, joy, precision and compassion to her work. Through every challenge the team faces, she helps to lift our spirits and find solutions. Denise is passionate about many things but what truly motivates her is working in solidarity and mutual respect. 

Denise lives in Luquillo and is very active in her community. The impact of her PRoTechos training and experience on her life and community is a success story on its own. Denise is a member of the Alacena Feminista group in Luquillo. When she isn’t working on roofs, connecting with the communities that PRoTechos is working in, or working on our training facility you can find her in Luquillo, taladro in hand working alongside her sisters at Alacena to build systems of aid and support for their community. 

I took a minute to talk with Denise about her experience at PRoTechos and her hopes for the future, and I would like to share that with you now. 

LB: What is your dream for PRoTechos?

Denise: I am always dreaming and since I started working at PRoTechos I have been given the opportunity to realize my dreams, to reach for them and continue to achieve my goals. Currently my dream within the organization is to connect, learn, and above all build strong roofs in all of the communities throughout the archiepelago* that need this vital and important aid.

LB: What do you love about your job?

Denise: Within my work I love the people who are part of the team, because together we have a powerful energy to build the roofs in the communities. Working on these roofs is challenging but like everything in life, when you have a positive, respectful, empathetic, supportive and energetic atmosphere, everything is possible and fun. I also love the opportunity to create ties within each community. I love constantly learning new skills and becoming a better carpenter. I have even had the opportunity to learn to work with drywall, electrical and more as  we are in the process of building the PRoTechos training center. And above all I love the possibilities that exist and that my team creates, the opportunities to constantly grow and push myself to create new things. 

LB: What does building roofs mean to you?

Denise: Building roofs for me means solidarity. It is the physical action of giving my mutual support in the communities of Puerto Rico. 

Denise is supporting the training of two new apprentices here at PRoTechos now and we are confident that her impact will continue to grow not only at PRoTechos and on the roofs of communities throughout Puerto Rico but as well as in her community. 

I look forward to sharing more about our team with you in the future, thanks for your support.

LB 

LB Cook, Director of Operations

PRoTechos

www.protechos.org

Apr 1, 2021

Juan's recovery, a Story with Solidarity.

Juan
Juan

It is the spring of 2021 and nearly four years since Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island - yet thousands of residents in Puerto Rico are still living without the security of a strong roof.  At PRoTechos we continue to further our efforts of rebuilding roofs and training apprentices in order to address this issue. Through our partnership with the municipality PRoTechos continues to focus our efforts on households in Cataño, where we identified several vulnerable families who urgently need our help. Thanks to the support we are receiving from donors via GlobalGiving, we are able to meet these urgent needs. Here is the story of one family in Cataño who now has a new roof and our newest apprentice, Denise, who had a hand in making it happen.

Juan, age 61, shares his family home with his wife in Neighborhood Juana Matos.Their home sustained a great deal of damage after Hurricane Maria but that is not the only way this family suffered. Juan experienced a cerebrovascular accident soon following Hurricane Maria which has made a lasting impact on his life. Juan has worked diligently to regain his strength and the ability to speak. Little by little, Juan worked to patch and make small repairs to their roof, but the extent of the damage was so great that it required much more substantial reconstruction. A community leader shared Juan’s case with PRoTechos, and we were able to spring into action and make the repairs necessary to ensure that Juan and his wife have a strong roof for the future.

Through our work at Juan’s house, we were also able to further our mission by training our new apprentice, Denise, age 23 from Rio Piedras. Denise studied Culture and Tourism at the University of Puerto Rico. Denise was eager to join the team at PRoTechos to make an impact on her community and learn valuable skills. Denise is very attentive to detail and brings much compassion to her work. She and Juan quickly developed a friendship while working at his home and Denise would often take the lead on communicating with him throughout each step of work on his roof. These relationships of mutual support are such an important part of the work we do at PRoTechos. Denise definitely has a bright future at PRoTechos and beyond.

More than three years after Irma and Maria struck the archipelago, it is through your support that PRoTechos is capable of providing the types of support and opportunities discussed above. PRoTechos continues to provide free roofing services and technical training with the hopes of building a more resilient Puerto Rico. Thank you for helping us to support the most vulnerable households in Puerto Rico while building capacity in underserved areas where it is most needed.

Denise
Denise
Juan's Roof - BEFORE
Juan's Roof - BEFORE
Juan's Roof - AFTER
Juan's Roof - AFTER

Links:

Dec 4, 2020

Three success stories, a stronger community

Maria Teresa's roof
Maria Teresa's roof

Three years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, there are still thousands of residences in Puerto Rico lacking a secure roof. PRoTechos continues to rebuild roofs and train apprentices to address this issue. For the past few months, PRoTechos has been focused on serving households in the municipality of Cataño, where we identified several vulnerable families who urgently needed our help. Here is the story of 3 families in Cataño who have new roof thanks to the support we are receiving through GlobalGiving.

Maria Teresa, age 76, has lived alone for the past 15 years. After the hurricanes destroyed part of her roof, due to her limited income she was unable to save enough money to hire professional carpenters who could fix her roof. Three years after the hurricanes, a community leader shared her case with PRoTechos, and in four days we had repaired her roof. After the work was finished, she wanted to share her experience with more people in need, and she led us to other families in her community who needed our help.

Two blocks east of Maria Teresa’s house, we met Ramon, age 66, who was living in Puente Blanco Community with his wife, daughter, and 3-year-old grandson. After the hurricane, they were able to rebuild parts of the roof, but the roof always leaked.  After three years of dealing with frequent leaking through the old roof, the family was delighted to receive a visit from the PRoTechos team. We built a new, strong roof for Ramon’s family, and they can now enjoy a safe, dry home where they can finally sleep without worrying about getting wet in the middle of the night.

In the neighboring community of Juana Matos, we met Juan, age 72, who has lived all of his life in the same house. He was used to dealing with damages to his house after major hurricanes due to the elevated position of the house. Throughout his life, he was able to fix the roof mainly by himself; however, due to progressively worsening health issues, he is no longer able to do so. Thanks to the guidance of Juana Matos’ community leader, PRoTechos was able to connect with Juan, and we rebuilt his roof in 3 days.

More than three years after Irma and Maria struck the archipelago, PROTECHOS continues to provide free roofing services to the thousands of people in need. Simultaneously, thanks to the support of donors like you, we continue to train apprentices in these communities to build resiliently. Thank you for helping us to support the most vulnerable households in Puerto Rico while building capacity in underserved areas where it is most needed

Juan's interview session
Juan's interview session
 
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