“Puerto Rico is under water, and I can’t believe it!”
My neighbor, a native of Puerto Rico, expressed in sadness her families living conditions as they rebuild their lives. Following her conversation I received a telephone call from a friend telling me he had scheduled a fall trip break for him and his daughter to the island of Puerto Rico; his plans, of course, changed due to the tragic wreckage of Hurricane Maria. It’s been two weeks since the destruction of a place I respect and call paradise.
This past summer I took a five-day journey through Puerto Rico; experiencing the amazing culture. Conversing with real families on the island, exploring the neighborhoods and appreciating the beauty of mother nature. Not only did I travel the cities on the island, but I had the chance to soul search myself. Visting the land opened my eyes to the reality of life and guided me to an understanding of how the simplicity of life can produce you the peace you need to be happy. The calmness of the spiritual island allows you to be still so you can reflect on your circumstances, manifest your dreams and unwind your soul.
I carry a distinctive and special place in my heart for Puerto Rico and their people; I met multiple families and gained new friends, so to hear such heartbreaking news brought me to tears. Many people on the island are unable to access water, power or medicine. The roadways have been wiped away and barred. I can’t picture that this is life right now in Puerto Rico; I will continue to raise awareness and cherish the smiles of the amazing individuals that made an impact in my life.
It seems that Americans have no clue that Puerto Rico is a part of America and to date, releases are uncovering the nightmare on the Island. (CNN Report) Only a quarter of its 80,000 residents have running water. About half of gas stations in town are open, with long queues stretching blocks. Most supermarkets are open but rationing food.
LET’S HELP OUT PUERTO RICO!
How can you help?
UNICEF USA is mobilizing to get immediate, critical support — Emergency Relief Kits — to the children of Puerto Rico.
The American Red Cross launched a multi-island relief effort with government officials and disaster partners to help people impacted by Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They have employees and volunteers on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands since before Hurricane Irma made landfall. They will resume service delivery as soon as it is safe to do so.
United for Puerto Rico is an initiative brought forth by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María. 100% of the proceeds will go to helping the victims affected by these natural disasters in Puerto Rico.
Hispanic Federation and Coalition of Community Organizations and Elected Officials Launch “Unidos”: A Hurricane Relief Fund for Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico Hispanic Federation. Federation also commits to support people in the Dominican Republic affected by Hurricane Maria
GoFundMe has also created a hub that includes all campaigns for Hurricane Maria. You can also find campaigns for individual families seeking help for loved ones.
Supplies The government of Puerto Rico has also launched a guide that details how individuals or companies can donate emergency and construction supplies. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) is coordinating many of these donations here.
Facebook has a safety check page for victims and their families to check in with each other, as does Google Docs’ person finder.
You can get the word out by the click of this link! How can Puerto Rico and the Caribbean with the loss of power? It’s up to us!
Written & Photos by Jessica Taylor