Volunteers digging for water irrigation
Waves Ahead's Reconstruye Q program has impacted more than 3,047 individuals in the last year 2020 by providing food boxes, water filters, and/or food vouchers. We began by providing food boxes during the earthquakes of early 2020 and continue providing such during COVID epidemic. We focus in the south-western part of the island but have been able to provide the aide to metro San Juan area, as well. A total of 38 municipalities have been impacted by our food sustainability initiative.
In addition, 23 individuals have begun their participation in our food growing program, Jibaro/a Urbano/a; these individuals have received all the equipment necessary to grow their own vegetables at home. These kits includes from dirt to seeds, and from vitamins to gardening tools.
During one of our trips to the southwest, during the earthquakes of 2020, we met Laura. A 78-year-old lesbian living alone in a small home in the town of Guayanilla. She was staying in her front lawn, afraid of reentering her home. We provided her first-aide assistance and developed a portable shower, kitchen, and "bedroom" in her backyard. We brought an engineer, who conducted a study of her home. After some minor construction adjustments, her home was deemed safe. In few other trips, we assisted her in designing and planting her garden. After working with her for few months, she has developed a small farm that generates vegetables, some fruits, and even has some chickens. She trades with neighbors and has developed a small "cooperative" in the community. She continues receiving mental health supports from us to work through her anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
There is still so much to do; there is still so much need in the country. We conitnue rebuilding and strengthening members of the LGBT+ older community by providing them mental health supports alongside meeting their needs.