Clean Water for Puerto Rico
As many of you know, I am from San Juan, born and raised, and my entire family is currently trapped in the situation in Puerto Rico, including my parents and 98-year-old grandmother, who are all doing well, in the grand scheme of things.
In Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria, clean drinking water is a major concern, and a potentially deadly bacteria called Leptospirosis is already causing illness in a population where many can't reach a hospital. This is a public health disaster in the making, but there's a fairly simple solution at hand: Aquatabs remove all water-borne illnesses to make water safe to drink -- even for those whose only water source right now might be a stream or pond.
So, to address this, Miriam and I are launching the Clean Water Initiative for Puerto Rico. Modeled after initiatives launched by Doctores Boricuas and Médicos Boricuas for medical supplies, we've created this Amazon wishlist for massive amounts of these life-saving tablets: http://a.co/bHOKQph.
Packages start at just $6.99 to purify 100 liters of water, so a little bit can go a long way! Once the shipments are delivered here, we're partnering with private contacts to deliver to non-metropolitan area airports, and then private community organizations that will pick them up and distribute to the people in need.
We are also planning to send some via FedEx to private community organizations with offices in San Juan. The idea is to get them directly into the hands of those who need them most as soon as possible. And we've created this campaign to raise money for FedEx and shipping, and to raise awareness of the WishList, so supplies can be donated in larger amounts.
So many people are doing their part to help during this time, and we thank you all. We hope you'll find it in you to keep the fight going. #puertoricoselevanta
P.S. If you find that Amazon has a glitch and does not pre-fill the shipping address, simply enter:
Language Divas, 135 W. 225th St. 4E, New York, NY 10463.
Thank you for all you contributed. We did good work with the moneys raised, sending tanks, filters and disinfecting tabs to a dozen communities around the island.
Our work here, at the level that we could do, is done.
We have now turned to the possibility of helping with solar energy endeavors, from individual housing emergency/temporary solutions to contributing to the development of micro-grids that will be permanent and more storm ready.
If you wish to continue collaborating with our efforts or to spread the word about them, please be advised that we have turned to our old opera company as a 501c3 partner, and will no longer be using this campaign.
You can read about the new coópera here:
Thank you for rooting for us and for Puerto Rico!
Laura & Miriam
Happy holidays! We wanted give you a little update on the efforts in Puerto Rico.
Today marks 100 days without power for many people on the island. We were in touch earlier with an organization in San Sebastián called PESAC ( https://www.facebook.com/presbiterianos.pesac/), which runs a variety of services and programs for children, youth, AIDS patients, and the community at large in this remote part of Puerto Rico.
They are grateful that we are placing two LifeStraw water purification systems donated by our partners Songbirds of Peace with them. Residents in the area have been picking up their water from a camp set up by the organization, which has been pumping water out of rivers and streams without the level of filtration we are now providing.
There are two additional main concerns that the people of the nearby communities have: (1) roofs and (2) power -- especially in houses where there are bed-ridden patients who depend on machines to stay alive.
Diesel generators have been running for months, threatening the air quality and draining the pockets of people who must buy diesel to stay live.
Given this situation, we feel it is best if we ourselves branch out. Solar-powered generators are not cheap, but neither are they prohibitively expensive, especially when we are counting on the power of many.
Our mission will continue to be solving small-scale needs wherever we can, and whatever they may be -- just as we would do to prepare our own home or assist our own family.
Your continued support is invaluable, and we will continue updating you with the exact purpose for which your donation is being used.
Thank you again!
Laura & Miriam