Agriculture

The Challenge:
Before Hurricane María, Puerto Rico was importing 80% of its foods. With Puerto Rico’s agricultural industry destroyed, this already high number is at risk of sharply increasing. Hispanic Federation (HF) is providing critical resources to local farmers and fishermen as they rebuild a stronger agriculture and fishing sector and improve food security on the island with training and capacity building, stipends, innovative technology, seeds, and more.

How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
We’re assisting smallholder farmers, sustainable fisheries, and reseeding damaged crops to help restore the island’s agricultural sector, all in an effort to support the workers, families and communities that crucially depend on it.   


Renewable Energy 

The Challenge:
Hurricane María produced the longest blackout in U.S. history and left much of Puerto Rico without energy for almost a year. Today, the aging power grid remains in precarious conditions resulting in intermittent power loss across the island. The island needs to upgrade its energy grid, move towards renewable green energy, and be prepared for another emergency that might threaten the existing power and communications sources.

How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
We’re supporting, through partnerships, the creation of reliable and durable green power sources for home and institutional use, including critical facilities, community centers and homes in isolated areas that can serve as disaster relief hubs when future disasters hit.


Environment 

The Challenge:
The 2017 hurricane season obliterated crops and part of the island’s flora. Work is needed to both recover the eco-system and the industries around Puerto Rico’s natural environment.

How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
We are working with local partners to protect and strengthen Puerto Rico’s natural environment, supporting green infrastructure initiatives and promoting long-term environmental sustainability.


Housing & Community Development

The Challenge:
The 2017 hurricane season left unprecedented damage to the island’s already precarious housing infrastructure. An inequitable and insufficient response from FEMA has left many people without a safe and dignified home while others remain destroyed if María had passed yesterday. 18 months after the hurricane over 30,000 homes still had FEMA blue tarp roofs. Billions in federal FEMA and CDBG-DR dollars are allocated to Puerto Rico but 18 months after the hurricane very little had been paid out, meanwhile concerns regarding the local governments plans for use of the funds continue to rise in vulnerable communities seemingly at-risk of displacement.

How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
Hispanic Federation (HF) is supporting the development of resilient transitional and permanent housing in historically marginalized communities by working with local, trusted organizations that are coordinating on-the-ground housing and community development efforts. HF is also funding and facilitating a civil society coalition to collectively safeguard the right to safe and dignified housing and public participation in the recovery process and to amplify the voice of communities.


Small Business & Workforce Development

The Challenge: 
Over the past decade, and especially since the 2017 hurricane season, Puerto Rico’s population has experienced a significant decrease as their inhabitants move to mainland U.S. for better opportunities.    

 How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
We are channeling our efforts with both private and public sectors to create jobs, rebuild the economy, and promote sustainable business growth throughout the island.


Education

The Challenge: 
Like most services in the island, education took a hit during the 2017 hurricane season. School buildings and other infrastructure were damaged, and reopening was slow and challenging, learning materials were lost, and personnel and students left the island.

 How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
Hispanic Federation (HF) is helping organizations that are focused on strengthening the island’s educational infrastructure through innovation and “basic needs” provision.


Arts & Culture

The Challenge:
Puerto Rico’s cultural and artistic scene is know around the world for its contributions to music, theater, cinema, plastic arts, urban arts, among others. Keeping cultural institutions alive and running is a key area to the island’s recovery process, as it serves both as an outlet and as testament to the journey towards Puerto Rico’s revival. 

How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
Preserving, celebrating, and advancing the art and culture of communities is crucial to the collective and personal identity, health, and development of people. Hispanic Federation prioritized supporting art and artists in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria as a key element of short and long-term recovery.


Health

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 devastation. 

How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
As early as winter 2017, Hispanic Federation and its partners made the rehabilitation and repair of the island’s health infrastructure a top priority. We have continued to expand the ways we can strengthen physical and mental health resources, infrastructure, and access for communities across Puerto Rico.


Emergency Assistance & Preparedness

The Challenge:
Though María was the deadliest hurricane 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 updated emergency plans need to be in place.

 How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
Hispanic Federation (HF) has helped to ensure families across the island had immediate access to water, food, and emergency supplies. Additionally, HF 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.


Big Ideas Challenge - Innovation For Social Impact

How is Hispanic Federation Helping?
To encourage innovative and visionary post-Hurricane María recovery work, Hispanic Federation (HF) has committed with our partner, Fundación Banco Popular, to fund collaborative, multi-sector teams led by Puerto Rican nonprofit organizations. The teams will compete for a total of $1,125,000 in funding.

 Who are we helping?
Three finalists were announced in October 2018 and each received $150,000 to pilot their idea over six months, at which point they will be re-evaluated for final prizes. The first-place team can win up to $600,000, second-place up to $450,000, and third-place up to $350,000.

These finalists will also receive customized mentoring and support for two years from local and global experts as they implement their ideas. An additional honorable mention prize of $100,000 was granted to one team for potential impact, and five remaining semifinalists each received $25,000 in seed money.