Building Back 4 Years After Hurricane Maria: From Mailboxes To Mental Health Care

Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, but local leaders committed to restoring their communities. These numbers trace their impact from the time Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico to the four year-mark in the long journey to recovery.



The date that Hurricane Maria made landfall as a massive Category 4 hurricane in southeastern Puerto Rico before cutting its way across the entire island. Ultimately, the storm killed nearly 3,000 people in Puerto Rico alone and led to an island-wide blackout that lasted almost a year for many communities. Hurricane Maria also devastated other Caribbean islands, like Dominica, where 85% of all homes were severely damaged or destroyed. On the day the storm made landfall in Puerto Rico, GlobalGiving launched its Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund.


The total amount of US dollars raised by the GlobalGiving community to support Hurricane Maria relief and recovery since 2017. Nearly 51,000 people gave to the fund and powered this long-term response.


The number of GlobalGiving grants made through the Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund to 65 vetted nonprofit partners serving communities in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean.


The total cost in US dollars for our partner Sol es VIDA to buy and install permanent mailboxes for the community members of Villas de Sol in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. As a community that has been historically targeted and neglected by the local government, many Villas del Sol community members did not have postal addresses that could be used to apply for federal and local aid after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. With these new mailboxes, community members had one less obstacle to overcome in their long-term recovery.


The number of solar power systems our partner APNI, Inc. (Support to Parents of Children with Disabilities) distributed and installed on the homes of families across Puerto Rico whose children are bedridden and dependent on critical medical equipment that needs reliable electricity at all times.


The number of children and adults in Puerto Rico who received psychological or psychoeducational support and services from Centro de Fortalecimiento Familiar de Puerto Rico, Inc. ESCAPE between January 2020 and June 2021. People need these services more than ever, especially given the layered impacts of the 2020 earthquakes in southeastern Puerto Rico and the ever-changing trauma and anxiety caused by multiple waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The year our partner Juntes Somos Más Fuertes (JSMF) became a registered nonprofit based in the rural community of Sector el Hoyo in Río Chiquito near Ponce, Puerto Rico. As a community-led design collective, the organization worked hand in hand with its local community and used GlobalGiving funding to refurbish and restore an important common recreation area. The local basketball court there was one of the public spaces severely damaged by the hurricane.


The amount of matching money in US Dollars that Waves Ahead Corp received from a funder thanks to a GlobalGiving grant from our Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund. With the GlobalGiving grant and the matching funds, the organization rebuilt 22 homes in four municipalities in Puerto Rico. With a focus on serving elderly LGBT+ community members in the areas where it works, Waves Ahead continues to play a critical role in meeting the basic needs that remain unmet even four years after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.


The number of doses of Naloxone, a prescription medicine that helps revert a narcotic overdose and save lives, that our partner Intercambios Puerto Rico distributed in the first three months of 2020. As a local organization that rejects the stigma against drug users in vulnerable positions in society, like those experiencing homelessness, Intercambios Puerto Rico has faced a huge demand for its life-saving services since Hurricane Maria. The organization continues to serve more than 800 clients across seven municipalities in eastern Puerto Rico.


The number of updates the GlobalGiving team wrote and sent to every person who donated to the Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund. These reports described how all donated funds were used to support locally led disaster relief and recovery across the Caribbean.


The number of years that GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response Team issued grants to support local, vetted organizations based in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean. As we mark four years after Hurricane Maria hit, GlobalGiving is now closing the Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund. But our commitment to community-led, long-term disaster recovery continues.

Learn more about GlobalGiving’s ongoing community-led disaster response work across the world.


Featured Photo: Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico by La Maraña

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