Urgent Support for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico needs your support today.  Many people in the United States are asking me how they can support my fellow Puerto Ricans on the island (also fellow US citizens) which was devastated by hurricane Maria last week.  I am including here several ways you can support.  I don’t like asking for donations, but there is no other way right now.  Puerto Rico needs your support.  I ask for your support.

As I collect information from local Puerto Ricans on the island as well as members of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States, I realize that the lack of communication on the ground makes information sources less reliable.  For that reason, I have selected the following as trusted ways you can join in the relief efforts.

Donate to the following frontline community based organizations and/or campaigns:

Bring emergency and construction supplies to the following initiatives in the DC/Maryland/Virginia:

  • Office of Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) located at 1100 17th St, NW, Washington, DC.  Phone is 202-800-3133 (or 3134).
  • Emergency supplies include, but are not limited to water, baby wipes, diapers, baby formula, batteries, battery fans, dry foods, towels, canned milk, cots, mosquito repellent, canned and dry pet food, baby/adult pain relief medicine, stomach/diarrhea relief medicine, etc.
  • Construction supplies include, but are not limited to extension cords, trash bags, shovels, wheelbarrows, crowbars, hammers, utility knives, work gloves, wood panels, electric generators, electric cables, tarps, ropes, chainsaws, safety glasses, etc.

Bring emergency supplies to the following initiatives across the US:

  • 18 firehouses and EMS stations across New York City boroughs will receive critically-needed items for Hurricane Maria relief.
  • Basic supplies are being collected in various US locations, including Orlando, Miami, Dallas, Boston, Houston, Tampa, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Connecticut, and Ohio.  Do a Facebook search near you since many are posted as Events.

Send your boxes of emergency supplies!  The following post offices in Puerto Rico are providing limited service (Source: US Postal Service, 9/27/2017).  Mail service will be limited in each office, according to their capacity.  Mail offices will be open between 9am and 3pm for retail, PO Box mail and package pickup services.  If you know someone whose post office locations is in any of the following locations, offer them to send them support now.  Remember people will probably have to make long lines to get your package so make it worth their time.

  • Aguirre, 00704.
  • Arecibo, 00612.
  • Bayamón, 00959.
  • Camuy, 00627.
  • Carolina, 00983.
  • Carolina Pueblo, 00985.
  • Cataño, 00962.
  • Cayey, 00736.
  • Ciales, 00985.
  • Cupey, 00926.
  • Guaynabo, 00969.
  • Hato Rey, 00917.
  • Lares, 00985.
  • Loíza Street, 00911.
  • Marina, 00985.
  • Mayagüez, 00985.
  • Minillas Center, 00940.
  • Naguabo, 00718.
  • Old San Juan, 00901.
  • Ponce, 00985.
  • Rincón, 00985.
  • San Juan Main Window, 00936.
  • San Sebastián, 00685.
  • Santurce, 00907.
  • Toa Baja, 00949.
  • Utuado, 00641.
  • Vega Alta, 00692.
  • Vega Baja, 00693.
  • 65th Infantry, 00924.

Sign this petition to tell your Congress representatives to release the aid to communities in Puerto Rico NOW and to support the recovery!!!

Sign this petition to tell the Department of Homeland Security and Donald Trump to waive the Jones Act (for all cargo at ports in Puerto Rico) for 12 months to give the island the relief it needs to recover and rebuild its infrastructure and economy.  The US controls the air and sea borders of Puerto Rico.  Open them NOW!  If Cuba, Dominican Republic and Venezuela want to help us, let them come.  Everyone – put pressure.  This is what solidarity looks like!  Call, tweet, organize, go to your elected officials’ offices.  Senator John McCain not only supported the 12 month waiver, he is now asking along with Republican Senator Mike Lee to permanent remove Puerto Rico.

Everyone can sign up to be a Volunteer by contacting the PRFAA Office via email at maria2@prfaa.pr.gov. You may also call them for additional information on how to assist or with questions at 202-800-3134 (or 3133).

If you are a Spanish-speaking federal employee find out if you can volunteer your time and effort to the SCF (Surge Capacity Force) @Center for Domestic Preparedness.  The most important part is getting your supervisors’ approval.  Visit https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/sites/default/files/Surge_Capacity_Force.html for more information about how to help Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Share this post with your friends and family and encourage them to donate or volunteer.

Hugs and emojis are good, but asking someone from Puerto Rico how they are, about how is their family, and offer support is a much better alternative. 

The situation is dire.  Listen to San Juan’s Mayor explain the reality in the island’s capital.  It is probably worst outside of San Juan.  Here is a selection of photos showing the magnitude of the disaster from The Atlantic and BuzzFeedNews.


NOAA satellite night images of Puerto Rico posted on Twitter. Hurricane Maria knocked out power grid, millions without electricity.

This post will be updated regularly.  If you have additional information to add, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you, Juan Carlos Vega


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