Hispanic Federation Launches $2.5 Million Amanece/Road to Recovery Fund to Power Long Term Puerto Rico Recovery Efforts


Grants will support dozens of grassroots organizations across Puerto Rico to develop long-term recovery projects that create a resilient infrastructure on the island for years to come

SAN JUAN, PR. November 7, 2017 – Award-winning actor, composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, in conjunction with the Hispanic Federation, today announced that the organization is taking applications for a $2.5 million fund to seed innovative nonprofit projects that aim to build a stronger and more resilient Puerto Rico from island-based groups.  The first seven grant recipients include: Beta Local, Centro de Microempresas y Tecnologías Agrícolas de Yauco (CMTAS), Centros Sor Isolina Ferre (CSIF), The ENLACE Caño Martin Peña Project, Para la Naturaleza, Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio, Inc. (PECES), and Protectores de Cuencas Inc.

The fund, called “Amanece / Road to Recovery,” is focused on building island infrastructure which is durable, sustainable and self-sufficient.  The project’s mission is to fund innovative projects with a long-term vision for the recovery and rebuilding of the island and its communities, emphasizing local input and coordination. Nonprofit projects can focus on strengthening “hard” infrastructure (housing, energy, communications), as well as supporting and strengthening community empowerment.

“The road to recovery in Puerto Rico is not a simple one nor is it one that relies solely on aide from the American government on the mainland,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda.  “Today, I, in proud partnership with the Hispanic Federation, call on Puerto Rico’s existing nonprofit community to submit grant applications and ideas to rebuilt and revitalize our island. Together, we will cultivate, fund and execute practical and actionable solutions to kick-start and continue the island’s road to recovery for years to come.”

José Calderón, President of Hispanic Federation, said: “Our mandate is to support actions that can help Puerto Rico rise up better, stronger and more self-sufficient. We believe that in order for that to happen, local nonprofits and the communities that they serve, must be empowered to play a defining role in re-envisioning a new Puerto Rico. That’s what the Amanece Fund is focused on doing: ensuring that the island’s community-based organizations can help lead the way in the recovery and rebuilding of Puerto Rico and its communities.”

In a press conference held in San Juan, PR, Hispanic Federation and Miranda announced the first seven Amanece grantees, all which are planning cutting-edge projects encompassing microenterprise, housing, arts and culture, and conservation efforts, among others. In addition to announcing the first grantees, they made a call for Puerto Rico’s nonprofit organizations to submit applications to become the next to receive funding.

Hispanic Federation estimates that a minimum of 25 grants – ranging from $50,000 - $100,000 – will be awarded for recovery and rebuilding efforts. If needed, up to 25 percent of any one grant can be allocated for continued emergency relief efforts, focusing on food, water shelter, or on temporarily increasing capacity to serve an expanded client population. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as long as funding lasts. 

Examples of the types of grants, which might be considered, include:

  • HOUSING: Creating resilient transitional and permanent homes in local communities and with local input and coordination

  • AGRICULTURE: Development of community farms; reseeding of deforested areas; creation of sustainable fisheries

  • JOBS AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Catalyzing the long-term retraining of unemployed individuals as case managers, or as an agricultural or environmental-focused workforce

  • ENERGY AND COMMUNICATIONS: Creation of more advanced and resilient electrical and communication infrastructures

  • ENVIRONMENT: Creating innovative systems and initiatives for erosion repair and control, cleanup and management of waterways, and water filtration systems that enhance self-sufficiency

  • LONG-TERM RECOVERY: Creation of a Long Term Recovery Committee with nonprofit stakeholders, which will be tasked with the creation of communication & education platform, and a long term preparedness plan addressing infrastructure resiliency

  • IMMEDIATE NEEDS: As part of a long-term recovery proposal, emergency relief needs which might be considered include water, food, clothes, generators, medical supplies, satellite phones, tarps, mosquito nets, or human resource needs

Luis A. Miranda, Jr., founding president of Hispanic Federation, father of Lin-Manuel Miranda and managing partner of MirRam Group, said: “From the very beginning the Hispanic Federation was created to strengthen the non-profit sector. The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has triggered a massive movement of nonprofit organizations and community leaders in Puerto Rico, courageously leading the rebuilding efforts in their own communities. As we have done for almost three decades in the United States, now Hispanic Federation will work hard with the Puerto Rico’s non-profit sector.”


Eligible organizations must be nonprofit organizations with a functioning board of directors; headquarters based in the territory of Puerto Rico, Culebra or Vieques; a demonstrated track record in the communities served, and back-to-back audited financial forms for the two most recent fiscal years. Hispanic Federation will fund organizations in all areas of Puerto Rico, focusing especially on remote, impoverished and hard-hit communities and regions.

For more information about this grant opportunity please contact Fernando Aguilar at faguilar@hispanicfederation.org.

 Amanece Fund Community-Based Nonprofit Awardees

Beta-Local - Beta Local is an artist-run 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2009, dedicated to supporting and promoting critical thought and aesthetic practices in Puerto Rico through programs that foster knowledge exchange and trans-disciplinary collaboration. These programs include a research and production program for artists, an international residency program, and an experimental pedagogical platform through which anyone can initiate a workshop, conference, encounter study group or other knowledge exchange.

Beta-Local plans to re-grant Hispanic Federation funds to individual artists, cultural agents, and independent spaces. With conditions to continue operating local arts initiatives more precarious than ever, Beta-Local is committed to redoubling efforts to support Puerto Rico’s cultural class. Artists, work spaces and cultural agents will be able to apply for $500 to $15,000 in grant funding, with the money used for a wide variety of needs, including loss of income, damage to infrastructure, rent of shared work spaces and workshops, and the continuation of projects existing pre-Hurricane Maria.

CMTAS - The mission of the Centro de Microempresas y Tecnologías Agrícolas de Yauco (CMTAS) is to create and maintain agricultural microbusinesses in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. It does so by offering education and training in sustainable agriculture using a microenterprise approach. The goal of CMTAS is to contribute to the economic development and social strengthening of local communities. CMTAS’ vision is to create a replicable community development model by being a change agent which not only facilitates adoption of renewable energy and food security systems, but helps individuals develop self-esteem within the context of the family structure.

CMTAS will repair and establish several steel structures for the cultivation of vegetables and raising of poultry for egg and meat production. Vegetable cultivation includes the raising of aromatic plants and medicinal plants. Poultry breeding includes the construction of sheds for raising free range chicken that can provide healthy fresh eggs and meat for sale in communities, such as whole broiled chickens. CMTAS will also launch community agricultural microenterprises for their economic empowerment. In addition, they will build a well of water between 200 and 250 feet of depth in the facilities of the School of CMTAS, with the purpose of providing filtered and chlorinated pure water that is free of pathogens. This will provide a source of safe and healthy water to nearby rural populations that will serve for cooking food and water intakes for hydration.

Centros Sor Isolina Ferre (CSIF) – Centros Sor Isolina Ferré is a non-profit organization based in La Playa, Ponce that promotes full development of the human being with justice, dignity, respect, and love. The institution uses effective models of advocacy, education, training, technology, and self-management to positively impact the lives of over 37,000 people. It offers solutions to Puerto Rico’s major social problems through community empowerment and development initiatives, including preventive and corrective programs.

CSIF proposes a partnership with Hispanic Federation to rebuild houses which partially or completely lost their roofing. With a $100,000 grant from Hispanic Federation, CSIF will use their initial assessment to identify at least eight (8) houses that need to repair or rebuild damaged or lost roofs, giving families an opportunity to stay in their homes and live in the communities where they belong.

Enlace / G-8  - The ENLACE Caño Martin Peña Project (ENLACE Project) is an innovative environmental justice and social transformation initiative that pursues a livable, inclusive and resilient city through the ecosystem restoration of an estuarine channel in the heart of San Juan.  The main purpose of G8 is to secure the permanence of the communities that surround the channel, in light of the proposed Development Plan for the entire district of Caño Martin Peña. 

Techos para el Caño (Roofs for the Caño) is a housing initiative aimed towards transitioning from the wide-spread use of tarps as temporary roofs to more permanent housing solutions. It will focus on families living in homes which were rendered partially or completely uninhabitable. The new roofs will be made with traditional materials, such as wood and zinc, with the appropriate design, installation, and anchoring so that they can better resist future storms. The overarching goal is to ensure that residents can regain a sense of normalcy and resume their lives as quickly as possible.

Para la Naturaleza - Para la Naturaleza brings together people who seek a sustainable future for Puerto Rico. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, its goal is to ensure that 33 percent of natural areas in Puerto Rico are protected by the year 2033. Para la Naturaleza does so by providing transformative nature experiences that inspires individuals to take concrete action to protect more than 50 ecological areas throughout Puerto Rico. In response to Hurricane Maria, Para La Naturaleza has created the Community for Nature Fund, which directly assists affected communities, as well as promotes agro-ecology, reforestation, and restoration of natural habitats.

With the support of the Hispanic Federation, Para la Naturaleza will outfit two community centers with water filtration systems, solar panels and storage batteries, creating sustainable models for future replication throughout the island. The group will also provide local farmers with subgrants to help pay for costs (including equipment and supplies) associated with implementing agro-ecological practices. Finally, Para La Naturaleza will complete a tree nursery needs assessment to assess the program’s capacity to ability to increase production of tree stock to be replanted throughout the island.

PECES - Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio, or PECES, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes the social, economic and educational development of marginalized communities. Based in Punta Santiago, Humacao, over the years PECES have extended its services to the eastern region of Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1985, PECES’ mission has been to encourage the development of leaders which are capable of catalyzing the development of their own communities, with an emphasis on young people. As a measure of its accomplishment, PECES and its staff were awarded the Tina Hills Prize, the highest award to nonprofit organizations given in Puerto Rico.

PECES will launch key sustainability projects, including energy production through solar panels or other renewable sources, promotion of alternative drinking water systems, and a housing rehabilitation initiative. These projects emphasize sustainable and self-sufficient community development in order to lessen government dependence. PECES will also catalyze community-based microenterprises by offering technical assistance support, and guidance with financing or consulting services, thus helping to boast the local economy.

Protectores de Cuencas –  Protectores de Cuencas, Inc. is a science and community based nonprofit organization that aims to restore and protect watersheds across the archipelago of Puerto Rico.  They maintain a growing and collaborative interagency support network which includes Puerto Rico’s state and municipal government entities, as well as federal agencies. Protectores has extensive experience implementing conservation practices on agricultural and non-agricultural natural resources, as well as experience in implementing interagency agreements which prioritize interagency collaboration and foster community involvement.

Protectores de Cuencas will restore urban and community forests by implementing a reforestation plan which will plant 10,000 native trees within seven Puerto Rican municipalities over a one-year period. The organization will identify communities with the greatest reforestation needs, focusing on urban and community areas. Targeted areas include urban forests, public parks, and town squares in the southwest region, central mountain region (cordillera central), and the island municipality of Culebra.

About the Hispanic Federation

Hispanic Federation is the premier Latino nonprofit membership and grants making organization staffed by and based in diasporic Puerto Rican and Latino communities in the U.S. Founded in 1990, HF provides grants and assistance to more than 100 Latino community-based member agencies serving millions of individuals. Using a social justice lens, HF advocates and provides services in the following areas: economic empowerment, civic engagement, immigration, nonprofit capacity-building, education, health and environment. HF has offices in Florida, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. Its headquarters is in New York City. Learn more about the Hispanic Federation and its Puerto Rico relief efforts here.

For more information about the Hispanic Federation, visit HF’s website, www.hispanicfederation.org.