ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2017...
...everything changed for Puerto Rico. A hurricane of unprecedented strength destroyed much of the island, leaving the great majority of Puerto Ricans without power, water, communications and access to food. In response to the immense devastation created by Hurricane Maria, the Hispanic Federation (HF) convened government, community and philanthropic institutions and leaders to create the UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program.
The goal of our UNIDOS Program is clear: to serve the immediate and long-term needs of families and communities in Puerto Rico. To do so, the Federation has taken unprecedented action, helping to coordinate hundreds of donation drives in the U.S. mainland, distributing millions of pounds of food, water and essentials to those most affected by the storm, delivering emergency relief aid to the 78 hard-hit municipalities, and seeding 23 million dollars to support emergency relief and recovery projects throughout Puerto Rico. So much of this work has been made possible because people from across our nation and the world have stood shoulder to shoulder with us. In fact, we have received contributions from more than 190,000 people from all 50 states, every US territory, and from 63 countries around the globe.
Puerto Rico Updates
On Christmas 2009, my grandmother gifted me a handwritten letter that began with the words, "I write to you from Puerto Rico, beloved land where I was born, and by legacy yours as well." After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico – and after several weeks of trying desperately to reach family and friends scattered across the island – I pulled out her letter and reflected on the responsibility of this legacy. I knew then that I needed to relocate permanently to Puerto Rico and dedicate myself to help our people on the island heal and recover. Fortunately, my journey is not one I shared alone.