Families huddle in the dark. Hundreds of people sleep outside or in cars, fearing their own homes will collapse in on them. Parents pack backpacks and lug gallons of water, ready to grab their children at a moment’s notice. And unlike Hurricane Maria that ripped across Puerto Rico two years ago, there’s no clear end in sight.
Puerto Rico is facing a new disaster. Over the last two weeks, a series of major earthquakes and aftershocks have devastated the south of the island. As of now there is at least one fatality, and the damage to homes and communities is extensive. Hundreds of thousands of people remain without clean drinking water. The people of Puerto Rico need our support.
Our grantees in Puerto Rico are on the ground, leading a people’s recovery. La Colectiva Feminista en Construcción, los Comedores Sociales, los Centros de Apoyo Mutuo Jibaros, and la Jornada Se Acabaron las Promesas have all visited the disaster area, providing food and water to the displaced. Organización Boricua members are opening their farms to people living in the disaster zone. Community leaders are organizing hundreds of self-managed camps of the affected.
But just like Hurricane Maria or Haiti’s earthquake 10 years ago, a very unnatural, entirely political disaster walks beside this natural one. Even in light of Hurricane Maria, the local government had little to no action plans in place for emergency response. We need to ensure this recovery is led by the grassroots, so that this human-made disaster never happens again.
Our movement grantees on the island are asking for an initial $30,000 to support immediate relief and long-term just recovery work. Your donation today will go to fund needs like:
- Water, food, cots, medications, portable showers and bathrooms, and solar-powered lights for self-managed community relief.
- Legal support for impacted homes — conducting assessments and preventing forced displacement of residents who lack land titles or deeds.
- Political organizing, to end the fiscal control board’s austerity plan and to oppose any attempt of the elite to profit from this disaster.
- Building a self-managed long-term response and social emergency plan.
- Community healing and mental health, including through culture and art.
The facts on the ground demand immediate solidarity with the Puerto Rican people, led by the grassroots, and support for long-term organizing to demand a just recovery. We will keep you updated on further actions you can take to support the affected communities. Please consider donating today.