Regarded as being the worst natural disasters on record to affect Puerto Rico, the Category 5 hurricane directly resulted in 64 deaths and $55 billion worth of damage. Suffering catastrophic damage, Puerto Rico was forced to endure mass flooding, no tap water or power across the entire island, and the destruction of thousands of homes, roads, and bridges. Without access to proper medical care or assistance to rebuild destroyed bridges and roads, many people injured from the storm were left to survive with insufficient amounts of food and water, which precipitated further deaths. The severity of the power outages disabled all communication resources, leaving survivors isolated without resources, again leaving them vulnerable. In contrast, when the U.S. mainland was hit by hurricanes Harvey and Irma weeks earlier, the response was immediate, thus limiting the loss of life. Consequently, the latent and negligent response from the U.S. government to dispense proper aid to Puerto Ricans led to catastrophic loss of life, totaling in over 3,057 deaths and $91.61 billion worth of damage.
Political + Economic Roots
Justice + Recovery
At the end of the day, Puerto Rico is going to be rebuilt. But, who is it going to be rebuilt for? Hurricane Maria presents an opportunity to right our wrongs and help the island reconstruct itself in a way that makes the island more independent, sustainable, and resilient. Our job is to ensure that Puerto Rico's culture will not be washed away by rich foreigners treating the island as a cryptocurrency get-away.