Over the past decade, and especially since the 2017 hurricane season, Puerto Rico’s population has experience a significant decreased as their inhabitants move to Mainland US for better job 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.
Who are we helping?
PopTiendas Small Business Initiative Project (Island-wide)
PopTiendas are custom-built, self-sufficient pop-up stores made from revamped shipping containers.
Priority will be given to entrepreneurs who lost their businesses as a result of Hurricane Maria.
PopTiendas both present an eco-friendly infrastructure and a first boost to get back on business those enterprises whose actives lost where too large to recover without massive and impairing self-investment.
Hispanic Federation plans to grant approximately 40 PopTiendas.
Incubadora Microempresas Bieke, Inc. (Vieques)
Detached from mainland Puerto Rico and challenged with very limited ferry service, the small island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra remain priorities for Hispanic Federation support.
Bieke has allocated Hispanic Federation funding to support microenterprises and spur economic recovery.
These efforts have catalyzed the reopening of several businesses and creation of jobs, including a resilient wireless communications tower system that can be collapsed and then re-expanded to protect against a storm or hurricane. By the end of the grant project, Bieke expects to have reopened or established over a dozen local businesses.
Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio - PECES (Humacao)
Long dedicated to supporting local vendors, PECES is revitalizing the local economy by identifying the needs of small business and providing them with technical assistance, legal services, equipment, and other needed resources.
PECES will also hire local contractors to rebuild homes and provide basic construction training to youth.
Ten small businesses will reopen and ten homes rebuilt through this initiative, with a special focus on increasing resilience in the face of the next storm.
Instituto de Ciencias para la Conservación de Puerto Rico – InCiCo (Island-wide)
InCiCo will use Hispanic Federation funds to coordinate the deployment of community kitchens and support people who prepare food from their homes to earn income.
InCiCo is also training community members in the construction of mosquito nets through its “Las Tres Mosquiteras” initiative, with nets prioritized for individuals who have health issues or other vulnerabilities.
The long-term goal for these projects is to transition them into local cooperative models.
Connecting Paths (Morovis and Adjuntas)
Connecting Paths aims to enhance the economic self-sufficiency of mountain communities through providing 45 women and men with training in sewing, horticultural work, and business skills.
With support from Hispanic Federation, Connecting Paths is implementing a multi-phased project that will provide community assessments and teach resilience, empowerment, and economic development skills.
Connecting Paths also integrates workshops on personal resiliency and finance to further the empowerment of rural inhabitants.
Grupo Guayacan (Island-wide)
Grupo Guayacán is a private-sector driven nonprofit organization that has developed an unique model that couples private equity investment with a series of programs aimed at developing, strengthening, and advancing Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
With funding from Hispanic Federation, Grupo Guayacán will provide selected businesses a combination of executive education, mentorship, and coaching training.
Ten businesses will also receive small grants for property repairs, new equipment, marketing or sales efforts, or other general support.
Asociación Recreativa y Educativa Comunal del Barrio Mariana (ARECMA) (Humacao)
ARECMA is a community-based NGO whose mission is fostering Humacao’s integral development and the active participation of its residents in socio-cultural and sustainable activities.
With the support of Hispanic Federation, ARECMA will build a 2,000-person natural amphitheater that will serve as an economic driver for the community.
This amphitheater will create a gathering space for arts and culture that will also benefit vendors and small businesses, as well as provide local residents with skills-building opportunities in sound recording, mixing and engineering, event production, scenery building, and lighting design.
Centros Sor Isolina Ferrer (CSIF)
(San Juan and Ponce)
For decades, Centros Sor Isolina Ferre (CSIF) has focused on providing integrated social services that support community-building and empowerment.
A second grant awarded to CSIF is helping develop a fashion-centric “economic solidarity center” that will employ and train 30 seamstresses and do so in partnership with fashion designer collective Retazo.
Participants will also receive self-help and financial literacy workshops.
Boys and Girls Club (Loiza)
Understanding that many young people in Puerto Rico are feeling uncertain about their future on the island, Hispanic Federation supports the Project Makers Experience, an effort of the Boys and Girls Club in Loiza to create a long-term disaster recovery and sustainability venture that will promote youth entrepreneurship and aim to break the cycle of poverty.