news releases

21 September 2022

Hispanic Access’ Statement on Hurricane Fiona



Category: News Releases

On Sunday, September 18, Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico affecting hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans and shutting down the island’s entire electrical system and causing catastrophic flooding. This is extremely impactful as many parts of the island have yet to fully recover from Hurricane Maria five years ago.

“We are devastated for our Puerto Rican community,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “Our hearts are with all of its residents that continue to show strength when impacted by horrible natural disasters. Many of our network members on the island have urged the need for comprehensive relief efforts. We cannot abandon our Puerto Rican community and we must continue to support them until they fully recover from the destruction of Hurricane Fiona.”

When Hurricane Maria took landfall five years ago, the island’s power grid was completely destroyed leaving many residents out of power for nearly a year. Now ran by LUMA Energy, the power grid remains fragile with many reporting frequent black outs even before the storm.

“The emergency situation in Puerto Rico is still unfolding,” said Juan Declet-Barreto, PhD, member of Hispanic Access’ Latino Climate Council. “Widespread flooding and rains continue as Hurricane Fiona moves away from the island. At this moment, it is critical that the efforts are concentrated on saving lives and getting people to safety. Unfortunately, the aid that was collected and shipped to Puerto Rico by communities abroad did not reach many communities. Therefore, donation efforts should be concentrated on direct and mutual aid organizations in Puerto Rico, who are best equipped to aid their local communities.”

In response to this tragedy, we’re gathered a list of local, direct organizations you can donate to help those impacted:

Taller Salud
Brigada Solidaria del Oeste
Ayuda Legal PR
Fundacion Pisadas de Amor
Techos Pa' mi Gente
Comedores Sociales
Caras con Causa
Ponce Health Sciences University
Pet Friendly PR
Mujeres de la Isla
True Self Foundation
Suministros PR
Santuario San Francisco de Asis
Sin Limites PR
Fundacion Mujeres PR
La Fondita de Jesus
Clinica Legal Psicologica
La Conde
Colectiva Feminista PR

“In the midst of catastrophic floods, electrical wires blazing through the roads, and shelters still receiving people who have lost their home or needed to evacuate, there has been virtually no response from governmental agencies,” said Paola Ivette Bonilla Carrero, Puerto Rican resident and member of Hispanic Access’ Latino Climate Council. “The rainfall was unprecedented, a historic 25 inches of water, and nobody was prepared for this type of damage. Worse yet, most of the damage caused was of infrastructure that was poorly fixed or replaced after Hurricane Maria 5 years ago. We urgently need our governmental and municipal agencies to get to work for our people. We should not be left to our own devices, desperately needing a call to action.”

With a warming climate comes an increasing frequency of extreme events like Hurricane Maria. We must provide our communities the necessary resources to be able to live and work in these adverse environments so that everyone can not just survive, but thrive. It is only through pollution reduction and environmental justice for everyone–including Latino communities–that we will be able to overcome the climate emergency.

About Us

Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

Phone: (202) 640-4342

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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