Enacting projects that can spur recovery and transformation

Several chapters of the student nonprofit organization Enactus focused their social entrepreneurial initiatives on providing solutions to the countless difficulties faced by groups and communities in the wake of the disaster. A little over a dozen university student chapters from 10 colleges, including five campuses of the University of Puerto Rico, studied the needs of

Shoring up small businesses

Small businesses were hard hit by Hurricanes Irma and María in September of 2017 and by the many months of no electric power service that followed. A share of businesses was never able to overcome the many obstacles faced after the catastrophe. Yet, a majority were able to survive with the help of the Small

Doubling the capacity to feed a country in an emergency

Hunger is real in Puerto Rico, particularly after Hurricane María.With numerous roads blocked, no electricity, very little water, limited access to ports and devastated crops, many people found themselves lacking food, and most basic necessities. Easy access to supplies was very difficult. And for the needy and the sick it was nearly impossible. That is

Using play therapy to heal children

Living through one of the worst hurricanes in recent memory added another layer of trauma to the more than 2,500 children and youth living in shelters in Puerto Rico. These children have been removed from their homes and their families due to number of factors, among them violence, abuse and negligence. “Their sense of security

SIM enhances patient outreach after Hurricane María

Patients of the network of nonprofit community health clinics of Salud Integral de la Montaña (SIM) fail to keep 41% of their medical appointments because they lack transportation. This is one of the social determinants of health in this central mountainous part of Puerto Rico, where poverty prevails and there is no working transportation system.

Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative in Punta Santiago

A year ago, desperate citizens in Punta Santiago with no food or water and cut-off from the rest of Puerto Rico by the lack of telecommunications and gas wrote a plea for help on the pavement: SOS, Necesitamos agua -alimentos. Today instead of a cry for help there is Bienvenidos scrolled on the same pavement

Homes for vulnerable communities

On the first anniversary of Hurricane María, hundreds and hundreds of homes in Puerto Rico still have blue tarps. Most of these homes are found the poorest communities of Puerto Rico and many have been denied time and time again federal aid to rebuild their homes or have received amounts that in no way can

Accelerating growth amid disaster recovery

What do you do when you are global accelerator program in Puerto Rico with two years of highly promising results and you are hit by a devastating hurricane that leaves most of the island with no power for months? Do you cancel the program for you 4th generation of companies?  Or do you continue? Not

Caring for diabetes patients over months with no power

Diabetes is a serious condition in Puerto Rico and after Hurricane María concern for those living with the condition peaked. In addition to widespread devastation, Hurricane María left communities with no power for months on end after it pummeled the island on September 20th of 2017. Lack of power endangered insulin dependent diabetes patients who

Clean water key to health in hundreds of communities

Leptospirosis was one of the causes of death after Hurricane María.  The disease, which is transmitted by the bacteria Leptospira found in the urine of infected animals, rats, dogs, cows, pigs and other wild animals, can live in water and soil for weeks or months, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.