Nearly two years since being devastated by the island’s worst natural disaster on record; some areas of Puerto Rico still look like hurricane Maria struck land yesterday. On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico and seriously compounded historical socio-political challenges. Puerto Rico is geographically and politically isolated, and those who hold power over resources that could pose impactful solutions, like the U.S. Congress and FEMA, have consistently failed to respond to the ongoing crisis in meaningful ways. Most Americans remain unaware that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, and that the island is a U.S. territory. This is particularly true here on the west coast and explains in part why the recovery efforts of the federal government in Puerto Rico lagged far behind those in Florida and Texas, where U.S. citizens were devastated by the same 2017 wave of hurricanes. Puerto Rico needs our support. Many communities remain distressed, disconnected and in search of partners and collaborators.
With your support and investment, The University of California at Berkeley seeks to lend people power, volunteers and partnership to resilient organizations looking to activate local and rural communities. Through people-to-people connections between one of the most prestigious college campuses in the U.S. and some of the most impacted rural towns of Puerto Rico - we aim to contribute to accomplishing ambitious goals of solar energy and agricultural self-sufficiency while shining a light on the needs of some of our most marginalized people in the US. We aspire to learn and bring back from the courageous and creative resilience of those on the front lines of climate change.
With your funding, we hope to launch and sustain annual weeks of service-learning trips to Puerto Rico led by a student brigade of 14 undergraduate UC Berkley students. Through a spring DeCal our student brigade will explore the history of Puerto Rico, the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria as well as a general overview of Puerto Rican culture and values. Our public report backs will keep the long term recovery of Puerto Rico in the spotlight on the Berkeley campus.
This month, we will initiate our support of ambitious long term partnerships on the ground in Puerto Rico with community Camp Tabonuco and Casa Pueblo. Casa Pueblo, located in the mountainous region of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, is a winner of the Goldman Environmental prize currently providing leadership in the field of solar energy. Our team will support Casa Pueblo’s grassroots initiatives to expand solar energy in Adjuntas and across the mountainous center of the Island. Camp Tabonuco, nestled in the mountains of Jayuya, Puerto Rico, leads groundbreaking initiatives to connect rural youth in Puerto Rico to agroecology efforts. Our team will work to share time and people power towards bold sustainable and self-sufficient agriculture for the region. Your investment will enable us to foster and grow at least a decade of partnership with our sister organizations in Puerto Rico.
We are a collective of students with roots in the Caribbean region, now on the frontlines of climate change, and we hope to act as a bridge between the university and communities we remain rooted in and connected too. We are asking for your support to stand in solidarity and partnership with the people of Puerto Rico. Your contribution will fund travel to Puerto Rico, meaningful service projects, and knowledge and experiences that we can share to expand our mutual understanding of climate change, sustainable energy and grassroots social collaboration.
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Total Yearly Budget: $11,750
*Partner Fees are paid directly to our grass roots partners in Puerto Rico hosting our service project. We are proud to report this is our largest line item.
Co-Lead Rosa Enriquez firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Lead Pablo Paredes Burgos email@example.com
Group Email: firstname.lastname@example.org