Ironically, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the lyrics to Hurricane without imagining the similarities with the first hours of silence and darkness that took over Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit.
It’s been over fifteen months since Hurricane Maria hit Dominica and Puerto Rico. Like many other cities hurt by hurricanes these past two years, Puerto Rico is on track to get back to what it once was. After the devastating aftermath and ongoing complications of months of darkness and scarce resources, the island wants you to know it’s alive; there’s music in the streets and Boricuas are ready to sing and dance like before.
In an effort to keep Puerto Rico on people’s radar, there are great initiatives that you and I can contribute to, see, and even listen to. Here are some of our favorites:
- Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton musical is in Puerto Rico! Proceeds from ticket sales will launch the Flamboyan Arts Fund to support arts, the community and most importantly, the souls of Puerto Rico.
- Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show comes to Puerto Rico
- Chef Jose Andres’ program provides meals to the island
- Bad Bunny dedicates performances, Jose Feliciano and Ozuna sing for Puerto Rico
- Julian Castro’s first campaign stop was Puerto Rico
- American Express committed $250,000 to the Hispanic Federation to support small businesses in the island
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) January 16, 2019
Ok, Puerto Rico is ready to bounce back. What is the island’s recovery status then?
Puerto Rico and neighbor islands were affected in ways some of us can’t even imagine. Although the Trump administration has claimed Puerto Rico to be an “unsung success”, the reality is there is much more to be done.
According to NBC News, “The government [of Puerto Rico] said losses for the private sector alone totaled $30 billion, with manufacturing reporting the highest loss of income and agriculture among the highest damage to infrastructure and equipment.”
Residents are still trying to get back on their feet. Some lost their jobs to the hurricane and others due to health complications from the lack of available medical care. The Guardian shares some of their stories.
Fishing towns such as Punta Santiago, are still living with harsh conditions. Residents are mostly living through private donations, living in churches while waiting for more FEMA funds to help the area. “Anyone who believes that the federal government has done a great job in Puerto Rico, I invite them to visit Punta Santiago,” Alexandra Arroyo from Proyecto P.E.C.E.S. told USA Today.
What can we do to help?
Visit Puerto Rico! As chef Jose Andres says, “[Puerto Rico] is BACK!”
Consume local, support local businesses
Donate: @HispanicFed (#takeaction4pr), @Foundation_PR , and Proyecto PECES, Inc.
Spread the word, stay informed