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.
La Maraña is a grassroots, women-led organization that formed in response to the destruction brought by Hurricane Maria. Through its participatory design methods, it promotes the inclusion and empowerment of local Puerto Rican voices in the design and recovery process. For the last two and a half years, the organization has been deeply connected with three communities in Humacao, Carolina, and Comerío. Putting community members’ voices in the lead, La Maraña collaboratively designs community-driven master plans and implements a commonly elected social impact project in each respective community. Our team was able to see firsthand the important work completed by the San Antón and Saint Just community in Carolina to transform an abandoned school into a community hub that offers alternative schooling, small-business development, and sustainable agriculture. You can learn more about the organization’s keen focus on incorporating community feedback through this recent video profile.
La Fondita de Jesús has served vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness across the greater San Juan area since the 1980s. With GlobalGiving support, the organization was able to fully install solar power systems on the majority of its buildings in San Juan. Each of these buildings serves a core need for the organization’s constituents, from long-term housing to basic services like reliable meals and showers. Our team had the opportunity to see each of these power systems in place and being put to immediate use. This is a key step for La Fondita de Jesús towards resiliency, especially when you consider the nearly year-long power outage across Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Taller Salud is a community-based feminist organization dedicated to improving women’s access to health care, reducing violence within the community, and encouraging economic growth through education and activism. For the last 40 years, the organization has been directly serving communities in Loíza. Since Hurricane Maria, Taller Salud has been successfully advancing a Just Recovery Campaign related to affordable housing and gender and racial justice—issues that are at the core of an equitable recovery on the island. We had the opportunity to sit down with the organization’s leadership for an open discussion about the trajectory of Puerto Rico’s recovery process and to identify future opportunities for partnership.
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 youfor 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.
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