The recent disasters striking Puerto Rico—where so many still remain homeless and/or without power—has given rise to several volunteer groups working in different sectors on the island to help families put a roof over their heads or a meals on their tables. According to the bits of news I have been able to get, local bakeries around the island seemed to be some of the first to respond, when they could get their ovens going, providing bread and cooking meals for hundreds; local chefs also got together to provide meals for many stricken families. There have also been different initiatives from the diaspora; many groups that have organized and gone to do whatever they can to help.
One initiative that received coverage was Washington D.C. celebrity chef José Andrés, who arrived in Puerto Rico five days after Hurricane Maria to organize teams to cook and provide more than 3 million warm meals to victims. [More on this later, but you may see reports on Chef José Andrés via WTOP, NPR, the NYT, and CBS-60 Minutes.] It is time to highlight the valiant and selfless efforts that have gone on since September 2017 and may not have been prominent in the news. [Feel free to send us more information via firstname.lastname@example.org. Shout out to Ariana González-Stokas, Marimater O’Neill, Priya Parrotta-Natarajan, Pastor Luis R. Pérez, Tania Rosario, and other friends. . .]
Today, I found this message (invitation below) on Facebook by TECHO – Voluntarios Puerto Rico [ROOF – Volunteers Puerto Rico] and Francisco Susmel. This group of volunteers has been getting together on weekends and whenever they can to build homes for those who are still homeless, living with other family members or in shelters around the island, where hundreds remain, four months after the hurricanes. Susmel writes:
“As many of you will know, TECHO inaugurated the first 4 homes in Puerto Rico. We want to thank all of you for making this possible.
Now, we know that there are many families still needing a home to live. Everyone is invited to participate in the forthcoming construction days, which will take place on the weekend of January 26 to 28. If you cannot be present during the weekend, there is the alternative of helping on January 29 or 30 to help complete the modules.
Here the link where you can register: https://goo.gl/forms/T3MZXPBVwp5IRg0I2
Share the post with your friends so that we have as many hands as for the next construction project.”