Hurricane María was an unfortunate natural event that brought to light the immense inequity gaps that exist in the most vulnerable communities on the island and the exposure of the Caribbean in the face of such phenomena. As a community foundation, we knew from the very first moment, that we were going to assume two key roles: 1) support communities’ first responders –the community-based organizations that were on the frontline providing immediate relief and, as time proved, are undertaking an important role in building a resilient infrastructure in their communities; and 2) become a reliable source for donors interested in supporting our island.
To facilitate our roles, the Puerto Rico Community Foundation re-activated the Puerto Rico Community Recovery Fund –used in the past to support in the aftermath of Hurricane Georges and to support the Latino community in New York after 9/11. We are very grateful for the support received from our peer organizations on the mainland, the community foundations; and the private foundations, corporations, families and individuals who held us very close to their hearts during this difficult situation.
Thanks to all of you, one year after Hurricane María, we are proud to say that the Puerto Rico Community Recovery Fund has received over $12.5 million. We thank our dedicated staff, who amid their personal circumstances were ready to work from the very first day. We also want to thank and recognize the role of our Board of Directors, that allowed us to keep our work going steady and in a fast pace, and whose engagement is still palpable in every community visit. This “Transparency Report: One Year After Hurricane María,” honors all our supporters and the resilient communities in Puerto Rico.
Nelson I. Colón Tarrats, EdD & Antonio Escudero-Viera, Esq.