The Challenge

Though Hurricane Maria was the deadliest to make landfall in Puerto Rico, it won’t be the last to make its presence felt in the island. To be better prepared for future hurricane seasons, comprehensive and updates emergency plans need to be in place to avoid future massive devastations. 

How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
Hispanic Federation has helped to ensure families across the island had immediate access to water, food, and emergency supplies. Additionally, Hispanic Federation has supplied emergency grants to organizations and individuals facing severe challenges that could be substantially ameliorated with quick-cash infusions assistance and grants to build the capacity of organizations to respond to future disasters. 

Who are we helping?

Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust (Vieques)

  • The Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust works to foster, protect and conserve the environmental, archeological and cultural resources of Vieques through different educational initiatives. 

  • Funds will be used to purchase satellite communications equipment and technology to develop an emergency coordination center. 

  • Groups across the island will be trained in emergency preparedness and be offered support with organizational capacity building.

Operation Agua (Island-wide)

  • Operation Agua’s is a partnership whose initial goal is to purchase and distribute 100,000 individual water filtration systems for households and classrooms, and 50 large-capacity clean-water devices to a network of nonprofit organizations, union offices, schools and other community-based groups to provide stable and reliable sources of safe water.

  • Through this Island-wide partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, Operation Blessing, and AFSCME, Hispanic Federation contributed to the purchase and distribution of over 65,000 individual and institutional filter systems with the help of local organizations and volunteer brigades. 

  • These filters provided clean and safe water to thousands of families and schools on the island.

World Central Kitchen/Chef José Andrés (Island-wide) 

  • Chef José Andrés and the World Central Kitchen team arrived to Puerto Rico in September 2017, just a few days after Hurricane Maria wiped out the entire power grid and decimated agriculture and infrastructure. 

  • After cooking a few thousand meals from José Enrique’s restaurant in Santurce, World Central Kitchen began receiving calls for aid from all over Puerto Rico.

  • Hispanic Federation contributed emergency funding to World Central Kitchen for their effort to provide hot meals and sandwiches to communities across the island, which ultimately resulted in 3.6 million meals distributed. 

Emergency Supplies (Island Wide) 

  • Hispanic Federation purchased and shipped more than 100,000 solar lamps, 7,000 mosquito nets, and 3,000 tarps which were distributed to communities in need by local brigades coordinated through our network of community-based organizations and other partners. Additionally, we received, shipped, and facilitated distribution of thousands of pounds of donated goods from across the United States. 


Food and Water (Island Wide) 

  • In the 3 months immediately following the hurricane, HF purchased over 6 million pounds of water and healthy food options direct from local island distributors and delivered to all 78 municipalities.

Emergency Family Funds (Multiple Municipalities) 

  • Hispanic Federation facilitated the distribution of 535 cash cards to families in financial crisis, as identified by our network of community-based organizations.