Alberto Santiago, Culebra project manager.
We have enjoyed every planning trip and community gathering held on the small municipal island of Culebra. As the Hurricane season has just begun, this project becomes more relevant to Culebra’s economic eco-system and for the well-being of all Culebrenses. Over 63 sites will be solarized providing this island community an energy resiliency that could be replicated in other Caribbean Islands and it is also an example of community participation in their resiliency process.
Many meetings have taken place, many of them hosted in community-based organizations. One of these organizations is Mujeres de Islas (Women of the Islands), which focuses on creating spaces for women, children, and overall residents to work on their self-development and community sustainable initiatives. The co-founder of this organization recently expressed the frustration of the islanders while sharing the experience of being more than a year without energy after Hurricane María. “This is going to be extremely important; our survival will depend on this project. We won’t have to rely on an underwater cable coming from the big island and connecting to the other municipal Island – Vieques – before connecting with Culebra.”, she said.
Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico is well on its way with the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau-NEPR to certify that these installations will become a reliable source of energy in Culebra. However, there are some areas that continue to need the support of donors from around the world to support the strengthening of physical infrastructures that will hold the energy infrastructures.
If you’ve visited Culebra, you know the special place it is and the warmth of its people. If not, this is your opportunity to connect with a resilient and beautiful place in the Caribbean. We encourage you to become part of this process and we thank you for your gift through GlobalGiving.
*FCPR presented this project as a proposal to EDA in late 2018. During the summer of 2019, a $4 million grant was approved and allowed us to define a specific quantitative goal.