How You Can Help Puerto Rico Recover Post-Earthquakes

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Jan 08, 2020

Puerto Rico was hit with back-to-back earthquakes this week—a 5.8 magnitude quake on January 6 and one that registered as 6.4 a day later, per the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). One person is confirmed dead and there are power outages across the island, as well as structural damage to roads and bridges, NBC News reports. The island has also experienced at least 51 aftershocks and, according to USGS, there is a chance residents will experience one or more additional aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 6.4. 

While President Donald Trump approved disaster relief via Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help alleviate “the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures," the administration has flubbed previous efforts to help Puerto Rico. As Colorlines previously reported, after two years of waiting for earmarked funds to reach Puerto Rico following the destruction caused by 2017’s Hurricane Maria, the island has received just a fraction of that $8.3 billion.

The administration has proven that Puerto Rico is not a priority, but concerned citizens can help by donating to these organizations:

Hispanic Federation launched the UNIDOS program and partnered with “grassroots organizations, individuals, businesses and foundations to address the multiple long-term needs of the island’s residents,” after Hurricane Maria brought unprecedented devastation to the island, per its website. It has provided 7.4 million pounds of food, water and essentials and committed $30 million to support more than 110 local groups and initiatives across Puerto Rico. Donate here.

PRxPR was launched by a group of Puerto Rican business leaders who were born on the island but now live in the mainland U.S. According to the organization, 100 percent of donations go to the most critically affected communities for food and agriculture, clean water and fuel and renewable energy initiatives. Donate here.

Chef José Andrés, who heads the World Central Kitchen (WCK), launched #ChefsForPuertoRico. With a team of chefs and cooks, WCK has activated kitchens in the cities of Yauco and Ponce to provide fresh meals to survivors in the hardest hit communities. It is also delivering solar lamps provided by the Hispanic Federation. Donate here.

Local organizations Brigada Solidaria del Oeste and Casa Pueblo are also in the early stages of organizing efforts.


*Note: Story has been updated to include more organizations.