On Sunday, September 18, 2022, Hurricane Fiona made landfall in southwestern Puerto Rico, the same area most impacted by the 2020 earthquakes. Fiona has left a catastrophic amount of rain and damage across the archipelago. Most people are without power and many are without water. All this, just days before the five-year anniversary of Hurricane María today, on September 20th. Puerto Rico has barely recovered from the man-made disaster that followed that storm, the legacies of which are still physically and emotionally present.
We accompany our community in the heartache, worry, and feeling of solidarity for Puerto Rico. In particular, we hope that all of our teachers and students, our Seeds of Success participants and mentors, our Yale Ciencia Academy fellows and alumni, our Aquí Nos Cuidamos Community Ambassadors, and our CienciaPR members across Puerto Rico are safe and sound.
It is normal to feel despair and anxiety in the midst of tragedy. But we have a powerful tool at our disposal. We have each other. While CienciaPR is not an emergency response organization, our community is mobilizing to help and support Puerto Rico.
We have created a list of vetted nonprofits and volunteering opportunities doing work on the ground. We are reaching out to community leaders, partners, and collaborators to understand local needs and priorities. We will update our pages with opportunities to contribute to recovery efforts and support local communities as they become available.
Aquí Nos Cuidamos, one of our community engagement projects, has a free collection of mental health resources — created in partnership with psychologists and professional counselors — that you can use and share. The campaign, “Salud mental es plenitud,” covers topics like self-care, suicide prevention, and how and where to seek professional help, among others.
This series of public service announcements, created in the aftermath of Hurricane María, can be used to promote public health and disease prevention. The series–created in collaboration with Yale University, the University of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus, and Ciencia en Tus Manos–encourages hand washing, leptospirosis prevention, use of clean water, and mosquito control, among others.
Please email us if you are a member of our #CienciaBoricua who needs support or if you have suggestions of organizations, community or volunteering efforts that we should add to our list.
If you feel compelled to support our work, please donate here.
Just like we did after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the 2020 earthquakes, and continue to do during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to putting our network and science in service of Puerto Rico. In the meantime, please donate if you can, volunteer, share our list, and offer your support and friendship to anyone who might need it.
Nos tenemos. We have each other.