This is a disaster legal aid initiative with a legal empowerment perspective. We provide legal education and support to families and communities recently affected by Fiona. This program trains pro bono housing and just recovery advocates who accompany communities and also leads advocacy words to ensure equitable recovery. Since 2017, Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico has led disaster legal aid and advocacy efforts regarding recovery in Puerto Rico.
Amidst five years of hurricanes, earthquakes, the pandemic and multiple economic disasters, Puerto Rico endures a lack of access to justice and inequitable development crisis without precedent. Promoting legal awareness and empowerment regarding just recovery and access to assistance is a stepping stone to ensure that survivors and communities will not be displaced by catastrophes or by the institutional neglect of their needs. This program provides accompaniment to empower and recover.
This program will provide legal accompaniment to communities and families affected by recent disasters. We have a long experience providing capacity training for pro bono attorneys, providing free legal education to community partners, celebrating legal brigades, accompanying people to apply and receive disaster assistance, and advocating for the just recovery of the impoverished. This legal empowerment program will give support while defending the right to the housing of communities.
The experience of 2017 major hurricanes taught us that while first response is critical, hands and voices to amplify demands for assistance to repair houses, get temporary shelter assistance and have a just recovery. Disaster legal response is instrumental to safeguard the long term and equitable recovery of these communities, denouncing and acting against actions that discriminate or hinder access and by promoting the empowerment and permanence of social tissues.