Today, we had the opportunity to share with philanthropic institutions and governmental agencies the progress of our work and experience in the recovery process after hurricanes Irma and María. During Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands Virtual Philanthropic Roundtable, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) called to talk about the recovery process updates, supported by CDBG-DR funds through nonprofit organizations in the islands. The president of Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico, Dr. Nelson I. Colón Tarrats, focused on results and equitable examples of our work in housing, economic activity, and solar communities.

The gathering was also an opportunity to listen and learn of the work of other foundations working on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands: Hispanic Federation (Charlotte Gossett Navarro, Puerto Rico Chief Director), Hispanics in Philanthropy (Ana Marie Argilagos, President), St. Croix Foundation for Community Development (Deanna J. James, President), Community Foundations of the Virgin Islands (Dee Baecher-Brown, President), and St. John Community Foundation (Ian Samuel, Board Member). Also, the Puerto Rico Housing Department shared its updates related to the CDBG-DR funds.

All the participants also shared the challenges, opportunities, and next steps. Finally, Adrianne Todman, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, highlighted the nonprofit sector’s significant work in response to the crisis as hurricanes, earthquakes, and pandemics. We thank the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for this opportunity to get together and recap the work we and other foundations are doing as part of the recovery process.