Apply to Join

Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery

by Filantropía Puerto Rico
Play Video
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery
Puerto Rico emergency relief / long-term recovery

The FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund is a fund that supports local grassroots organizations that are assisting communities affected by the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria. This report describes the work that is being done by one of the organizations supported through the Fund.

 

BETA-LOCAL

Even before hurricanes Irma and Maria passed over the island, the independent art and culture scene of Puerto Rico was in a state of chronic crisis. Austerity measures have long limited the state's economic support of the arts. Alternate sources of funds generally establish that projects must have an educational focus or generate economic activity, not those that simply have an aesthetic or artistic purpose. On the other hand, the need to work in advertising and other industries hinders the ability of local artists to focus their energy and resources on their own projects.

To counteract this scenario, the non-profit organization Beta-Local has been a resource for cultural agents since 2009, providing grants, programs and workshops, coordinating events, and lending their space to generate projects, ideas and connections between local producers.

After Maria, the situation was exacerbated, especially when the new reality of the island forced many people to emigrate. The co-directors of Beta-Local, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Pablo Guardiola and Michael Linares immediately sought emergency funds in order to help cultural agents and artists continue to work, rebuild their lives, and stay in Puerto Rico.

"As a result of the hurricane, we were able to start an emergency fund for cultural workers who, in a certain way, was tied to the work we had been doing since the organization's inception and it expanded and amplified that work," says Gallisá Muriente.

Funds raised through the Puerto Rico Funder's Network (FORWARD PUERTO RICO Fund) and United States-based foundations, such as the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Hispanic Federation, allowed Beta-Local to provide grants that were distributed from November 2017 to January 2018. Participants could apply for “El Resuelve,” a $500 mini-grant that was awarded weekly by the directors of Beta-Local, or “El Serrucho,” a grant of up to $10,000, emitted by a selection committee every three weeks. They distributed around 95 scholarships for a total of just over $350,000, according to Gallisá Muriente.

The grants were not limited to specific projects. In the case of Juanto Arroyo, a musician and sound engineer, his recording studio and rehearsal space were unusable for two months. "I had no way to make money, I was just sitting and waiting for power to come back. That's when I had the idea of creating a portable studio that did not need electricity," says Arroyo. 

He obtained a grant to buy recording equipment and a computer that he can carry in a backpack, equipment that allows him to continue working with just a battery. 

Another example of Beta Local’s support is the case of Mickey Negrón, an actor and performance artist. "I live in La Perla and the sea came in. I am on a second floor and the window broke. I lost my wardrobe, my bed, my television, books. I was able to save some paintings. I was totally uncertain of what was going to happen," narrates Negrón. 

With the Beta-Local fund, Negrón was able to replace much of what he lost, pay rent, and even began to work on a project that he had been contemplating for several years. 

"This is the first time that I feel supported in my country and at the time I most needed it, not only as an artist but as a citizen," he says.

Beta-Local has received new funds since the grant window closed, which they will put towards high-scoring applications for "El Serrucho" that were not selected in the first round.

"What has been allocated in grants up to this point is more than double what our annual budget was last year. It implies a significant expansion of the scale of work we have been able to do. We were able to respond very quickly because we had been advocating for years for this type of support (for the artists)," says Gallisá Muriente.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Art workshops were provided to various communities
Art workshops were provided to various communities

The FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund is a fund that supports local grassroots organizations that are assisting communities affected by the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria. This report describes the work that is being done by one of the organizations supported through the Fund.

 

MUSEO DE ARTE DE PONCE

One week after Hurricane Maria, the Ponce Museum of Art (MAP by its Spanish initials) opened its doors to the public, offering free admission, as well as guided tours, art workshops, and storytelling for children. It became a space for recharging and relief in the midst of the crisis that followed the storm. Of the almost 3,600 people who visited the MAP that month, about a third didn't participate in any activities. They simply sat down to contemplate the art or walked through the halls of the museum.

"They just wanted to be in a place that felt normal, to feel inspired and get the strength to go on," says Sofía Cánepa, Chief of Information and Community Outreach for MAP.

Access to the museum had a positive effect on the residents of Ponce. The community initiatives that have followed emphasized the importance of art as a means to face and process difficult moments and the value of making art accessible to all people, regardless of their background.

After the hurricane, the MAP established an alliance with the Ricky Martin Foundation and the Department of Recreation and Sports to bring recreational and family programming to different municipalities of Puerto Rico. As part of this project, the museum offered art workshops in the public squares of towns such as Florida and Loíza. Support from the FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund enabled the MAP to conduct art workshops, which include materials and teachers, to communities in Ponce and the surrounding towns. All of these activities provided a space for children and families to express creatively the diversity of emotions associated with Puerto Rico's current situation.

"It made us feel much closer to the people. It gives greater meaning to our work.  We are doing something tangible for communities that were already totally disadvantaged before the hurricane,” affirms Cánepa.

The MAP also resumed two projects that began before the hurricane. One includes bringing minimal security inmates under the custody of the Department of Correction to the museum for an art workshop. Another project with the Albergue Cristo Pobre de Ponce, takes art workshops to the homeless.

"(This work) has been tremendously significant and has made us rethink our importance. Hurricane Maria has led to a profound and enriching change for all of us who work here, posing new challenges, new ways to do our work.  It has given new relevance to cultural organizations and what they are doing to reach those people they haven't reached before," explains Cánepa.

In addition to these initiatives, the MAP also served as a testing site for the Department of Education and as a space for a training seminar on emergency management offered by the FEMA Heritage Emergency National Task Force and The Smithsonian Institution. Also, the MAP Annual Gala, held in December 2017, was dedicated to the reconstruction of Puerto Rico and part of the funds were donated to the organizations Caras con Causa and Hogar San Miguel.

Art workshops were provided to various communities
Art workshops were provided to various communities
Art workshops were provided to various communities
Art workshops were provided to various communities
Art workshops were provided to various communities
Art workshops were provided to various communities

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
14 children, none older than 7 felt Maria's winds.
14 children, none older than 7 felt Maria's winds.

The FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund is a fund that supports local grassroots organizations that are assisting communities affected by the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria. This report describes the work that is being done by one of the organizations supported through the Fund.

 

Even before Hurricane Maria, many of the children at Hogar Cuna San Cristobal had already lived through traumatic events. Many were taken from their families, often on multiple occasions, because of abuse or neglect, and placed in foster care by the Department of Family of Puerto Rico. For them Hogar Cuna is their fourth or fifth stop in the system, and hopefully their last.

 Fourteen children, none older than 7 years old, felt and heard as Hurricane Maria's Category 4 winds ravaged the island, housed in the safety of Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal, an orphanage tucked away in the mountainous region of Caguas. Staff members explained to the children that after the storm, things weren't going to be the same as before.

 "The day after Hurricane Maria passed, the children observed how the storm destroyed the trees around their school, their gardens, how the roof of one of the rooms had collapsed. But it was the adults who felt truly afraid and worried as they surveyed the damage. There was no power and no water. Their food stores would eventually run out and the electronic card system they used to buy groceries wasn't working.

 Ivonne Vélez, executive director of Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal explained,"The kids that are removed (from their homes) by the Department of Family arrive with an adoption plan. So the child that comes to us must've lived through a very difficult situation for adoption to be considered as an alternative," explained Vélez.

 Along with taking care of their basic necessities, Hogar Cuna also educates the children and offers them treatment plans for various health and mental health conditions. All of those programs were affected by the hurricane, as well as all the fundraisers the organization relies on to continue operating since they don't receive government funding. Emergency funds kept the organization operating.

 Little by little the center's operations have gone back to normal, with the notable exception of the adoption program. Seventeen adoption applications were withdrawn after the storm and so far they've only received two new applications. After the hurricane, two babies were surrendered and another mother is in communication with the center to give over her baby once its born.

 As Velez observed, “it's for these children that Hogar Cuna San Cristobal continues to keep going. To give them the opportunity to eventually find a safe and loving home.”

Many have lived very difficult situations.
Many have lived very difficult situations.
The center's operations have gone back to normal.
The center's operations have gone back to normal.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Personnel worked to safeguard the collection.
Personnel worked to safeguard the collection.

The FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund is a fund that supports local grassroots organizations that are assisting communities affected by the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria. This report describes the work that is being done by one of the organizations supported through the Fund.

 

During the 51 days following Hurricane Maria, the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico (MAPR), located in Santurce, remained closed to the public. Meanwhile, on the inside the museum's personnel worked tirelessly to safeguard the permanent collection. A generator kept the humidity levels and temperature of the museum stable protecting the artworks, some of which date back to the seventeenth century.

Days turned to weeks and the lack of electric power on the island became an ongoing issue. Interim director Marta Mabel Pérez was concerned that other museums and cultural institutions didn't have access to the necessary environmental controls to preserve their collections. The work of important Puerto Rican artists including José Campeche, Rafael Trufiño, Carlos Osorio, Joaquín Reyes and Arnaldo Roches Rabell were at risk. In the MAPR they had the space available to house these pieces so they quickly reached out to the several institutions.

"After the hurricane passed, we were the museum that coordinated the initiative to safeguard Puerto Rico's cultural heritage, specifically that of the visual arts which tells the story of Puerto Rican art," Perez said.

They received over 200 artworks and cultural assets from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus; Sagrado Corazón University; Santa Catalina Palace (La Fortaleza); Museum Casa Roig, Humacao; Caguas Museum of Art; and the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation, turning the MAPR into a national vault. Sol Rivera, MAPR's conservationist, and the registrar Sandra Cintrón, who developed the emergency plan for the institution, organized the museum's team to receive, register, and store the pieces.

The FORWARD Fund, in conjunction with other emergency funds, allowed the Department of Education and the Exhibitions and Collections Department of the MAPR to continue working during the emergency period.

Starting in October, the MAPR joined forces with the staff of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, co-sponsored by FEMA, to offer workshops and orientations on managing art collections and to channel emergency resources to more than 60 cultural professionals and over 30 cultural institutions, including the General Archive of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Athenaeum, the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, several libraries of the University of Puerto Rico, among others. In addition, the Smithsonian Institution sent six resources to Puerto Rico to train 25 museum directors on how to prepare an emergency plan, using the MAPR as its headquarters.

"Our goal is that by May these professionals who took the workshops will have become coaches and they will then in turn train more professionals. We're creating a network so that the leaders of these cultural institutions are trained in emergency preparedness for the next hurricane season," says Pérez.

In early November, the MAPR reopened for the public and received over 1,500 visitors that first weekend. By that time they were able to return the sheltered artworks to their original institutes.

After Hurricane Maria, the cultural sector closed ranks in order to protect the cultural and artistic legacy of the island. As a part of these efforts, they created the Coalition for the Heritage of Puerto Rico, composed of the Art Museum of Puerto Rico, the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation and the Foundation for Architecture. The Coalition will assist the community of institutions or individuals that house art collections, as well as those buildings that are in the Registry of Historic Buildings of Puerto Rico, making educational tools and resources accessible for the conservation and preservation of Puerto Rican culture. Also, the Coalition will develop a system for effective communication between institutions and will serve as a link between other agencies.

"It's an enormous job that needs to be done but we're all together and we're communicating. We've already learned the lesson of what can happen if we don't prepare," Pérez acknowledged.

MAPR joined forces with the staff of the HEN.
MAPR joined forces with the staff of the HEN.
A network of leaders has been trained in emergency
A network of leaders has been trained in emergency

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
ConnectRelief collaborates with over a dozen NPO's
ConnectRelief collaborates with over a dozen NPO's

The FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund is a fund that supports local grassroots organizations that are assisting communities affected by the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria. This report describes the work that is being done by one of the organizations supported through the Fund.

During the crisis that followed hurricanes Irma and Maria, one of the biggest challenges was effective communication, particularly between people with the resources and ability to help and communities in urgent need of supplies and assistance. Responding to this situation, the non-profit organization Caras con Causa, led by executive director Michael Fernández, recruited programmers from the technology company Propel BI to create ConnectRelief, a digital platform for collecting data after natural disasters.

Initially ConnectRelief was meant to assist the Virgin Islands with their recovery efforts after Irma. However, the arrival of Hurricane Maria a week later modified those plans and the platform was launched in Puerto Rico much sooner than anticipated.

In the six months since the storm, volunteers have collected and published data on the ConnectRelief application and website listing materials, supplies and services that are needed, divided by municipalities, communities, shelters, retirement homes, among other categories. This allows the available help to be directed to those who need it the most. By collecting all that information in one place, they also seek to avoid duplicating efforts in some communities, leaving other areas that have received less publicity unattended.

ConnectRelief collaborates with over a dozen non-profit organizations, community groups and other entities that use the platform to maximize recovery efforts, keep their information up to date, coordinate brigades and projects and recruit volunteers.

The person in charge of the ConnectRelief project, María Eugenia Soto, points to the University Sagrado Corazon (USC) in Santurce as an example of how the platform is being used as a tool to organize relief efforts. A group of students, professors, and volunteers used the application to create a census of the needs of the communities surrounding the university, particularly Villa Palmeras where they collected data from 280 families from October to December.

"With the census, we indentified needs house by house. We knew the needs of each street, of the sector, of the community, of the municipality. This strategy allowed for a better distribution of supplies, and the publication of data on the ConnectRelief page allowed people outside of Puerto Rico to know what type of supplies were needed and where to send them," says Carmen Chazulle Rivera, director of the USC Community Liaison Center.

"It’s not just about collecting data to identify affected areas, but to actually figure out how to efficiently distribute supplies in the face of scarcity," she adds.

Within the next hurricane season only months away, ConnectRelief's programmers are making improvements to the application to make it more agile and easier to use. ConnectRelief is also increasing their utility by creating preparation protocols, a training plan for individuals and groups, and protocols for emergency management and reconstruction and recovery. All of these efforts are aimed at creating a public, comprehensive and transparent data base available to the government, the private sector and the nonprofit sector when facing future disaster situations.

The platform is being used to organize efforts.
The platform is being used to organize efforts.
With the census they know the people's needs.
With the census they know the people's needs.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Filantropía Puerto Rico

Location: San Juan - Puerto Rico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Janice Petrovich
San Juan, Puerto Rico
$302,798 raised of $350,000 goal
 
2,367 donations
$47,202 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.