Four years ago, Hurricane Maria made landfall in southeastern Puerto Rico as a devastating Category 4 hurricane before cutting across the entire island. It killed at least 3,000 people, destroyed and damaged hundreds of thousands of homes, and left communities across the island without power for nearly a year. It also caused immense damage to other islands in the Caribbean like Dominica and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
But even years later, the storm is not a distant memory for those who lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods—its impacts continue to shape daily life. It’s important to remember that Hurricane Maria and its destruction did not happen in isolation. It came swiftly on the heels of the powerful Hurricane Irma. And in Puerto Rico, the storm’s impacts compounded a dire economic crisis and injustices rooted in colonial legacies and the island’s political status as an unincorporated U.S. territory. Now, the pandemic and recent earthquakes pose even more challenges to the ongoing recovery.
Since the 2017 launch of our Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund, you and more than 50,000 people and companies joined in solidarity to collectively raise $12.4 million to support immediate relief and long-term recovery and resilience in the Caribbean.
The GlobalGiving team is incredibly proud of what we, in close partnership with community leaders and local, trusted nonprofit partners in the Caribbean, have accomplished since 2017. As we now close our fund, I’d like to share 10 highlights that are a direct result of your generosity:
Though we are closing this fund, these trusted nonprofit partners in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean remain hard at work. They need your support to continue the long journey to full recovery, especially given the compounding effects of the pandemic. We encourage you to explore our partners’ profiles linked above and, if you are able, consider making a donation to fuel their critical work.
From everyone at GlobalGiving, thank you for joining us to fuel community-led disaster recovery in the Caribbean.
With immense gratitude,
Chase + the GlobalGiving Team
P.S. We invite you to learn even more here about the amazing GlobalGiving nonprofit partners driving hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in a special report in our Learn Library.
The devastation of Hurricane Maria revealed the longstanding and historical traumas faced by many Puerto Rican communities. Now the pandemic and its complex web of impacts have further built upon and exacerbated these traumas. A critical question has emerged: What does a just recovery mean for Puerto Rico?
Your donation to the Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund has ensured that our incredible nonprofit partners across Puerto Rico are able to help answer this question through their critical work in service of communities across the island every single day.
Here’s a brief look at how your donation has helped one of our key partners, Mentes Puertorriqueñas en Acción (MPA), contribute its own unique answer to this important question.
For the past 10 years, MPA has been at the forefront of inspiring the next generation of citizen leaders to transform Puerto Rico. The MPA team works directly with college students and young professionals to provide them with the skills and connections they need to advance social causes that build a fair, just, and participatory society.
MPA’s flagship program is called the Program for the Empowerment and Retention of Agents of Change (PARACa). Through PARACa, their team provides intensive training every year to a cohort of about 20 youth leaders and places these new leaders in internships with community-based organizations driving social change across Puerto Rico.
After Hurricane Maria, MPA adapted the program to have the youth leaders focus on relief and recovery efforts. This contributed to the long-term resilience of impacted communities and tackled systemic issues that amplified the outsized impacts of the hurricane.
The pandemic caused MPA to make significant changes to the structure of the program, but the organization maintained its core promise of preparing more than 20 young Puerto Rican leaders (even though Zoom!) to excel in the social impact sector. Thanks to your support, GlobalGiving was able to invest in the success of MPA’s 2020 PARACa program and, by extension, in the next generation of citizen leaders in Puerto Rico. Your donation helped shape the answer of what a just recovery looks like in practice: providing the opportunity for Puerto Rican youth to chart a course for their own self-defined, locally-relevant recovery.
Imagining and achieving a just recovery for Puerto Rico will continue to require many unique approaches, voices, and perspectives. Thank you for joining with GlobalGiving and MPA to continue pushing towards that just recovery.
As we’ve done over the last three years, GlobalGiving will continue to keep you updated in the months ahead about how your generosity and support have powered community-led disaster recovery in Puerto Rico.
Be safe and well.
Chase + the GlobalGiving Team
It’s hard to believe that three years have already passed since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, the trauma and damage inflicted by the storm remain present to this day.
We must remember that Hurricane Maria was the deadliest disaster in the United States in 100 years. It tragically left at least 3,000 people dead and the entire island without full power for nearly an entire year. The storm’s impacts not only built upon years of economic and political marginalization of the Puerto Rican people, but it also weakened local communities’ ability to respond to other massive crises thrown their way this year—like the earthquakes that struck the island earlier this year and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The reality is that the nonprofit sector in Puerto Rico and its leaders like Ana Yris Guzmán have been, and continue to be, at the forefront of recovery efforts on the island. Both federal and local government agencies have sadly failed to deliver on promised disaster aid.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm and the years that followed, you chose to join with more than 50,000 others to support GlobalGiving’s Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund. As a result of your donation, our trusted nonprofit partners based in Puerto Rico have been able to rely on GlobalGiving’s long-term support to further their critical work. Here is a snapshot of how your donation continues to help communities across Puerto Rico on their journey to recovery:
Thank you for your generosity and support of community-led disaster recovery. Please expect another update from GlobalGiving early next year about how your donation makes a difference in the lives of so many.
Chase + the GlobalGiving Team
In the face of so many overwhelming challenges—from COVID-19 to recent earthquakes—communities across Puerto Rico continue to show extraordinary courage and determination. Now, on top of these challenges, the impacts of Hurricane Isaias as it passed Puerto Rico in recent days serve as a stark reminder of the precarious position of the island as we continue into this year’s hurricane season. Each additional disaster event further complicates the already daunting journey to recovery that communities continue to face long after Hurricane Maria struck nearly three years ago.
Thanks to your support of our Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund, GlobalGiving has recently activated additional emergency donations in support of our trusted nonprofit partners on the frontlines. Now more than ever, our partners are providing critical services to community members most in need, combating misinformation, and standing in solidarity with those who have lost their homes, livelihoods, and/or family members during this devastating time.
Here is a brief snapshot of how your generosity is making a difference right now in communities across Puerto Rico during this time of crisis:
Thank you for choosing to support community-led disaster recovery efforts. We will have more updates to share about the impacts of your generosity in the coming months.
Please stay safe and well.
Chase + the GlobalGiving team
GlobalGiving is working around the clock during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to best serve all of our nonprofit partners across 170 countries. We have launched a Coronavirus Relief Fund, piloted a Hardship Microgrant Initiative, and doubled down on trusting our partners to know what is best for their communities during this emergency.
The COVID-19 crisis is not only upending our own lives and the lives of our loved ones, but it is also disproportionately hurting the most vulnerable among us and in communities around the world. This reality is especially true for communities that have already been severely affected by recent disasters, like Hurricane Maria, and now find themselves on an even more complex and daunting journey to recovery.
We stand in solidarity with all of our nonprofit partners in Puerto Rico that are now grappling with the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on top of the traumas of Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquakes that struck the island in January. Before the massive spread of the coronavirus, myself and other members of GlobalGiving’s Disaster Recovery Network team were fortunate to visit many of our partners on the island in February. I want to take a moment to briefly share some of the incredible work that you and more than 50,000 others have supported through your donation to the Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund.
We will be back in your inbox in the coming months with more stories of hope and recovery in the midst of so many challenges. From our nonprofit partners and everyone at GlobalGiving, thank you for your incredible generosity. Your choice to support community-led recovery efforts in the Caribbean makes all the difference during this difficult time.
Please stay safe and well—and let’s all look out for each other and our communities.
Chase + the GlobalGiving team
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When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.
We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.
They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.
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