Less than 2 weeks after Hurricane Irma struck Culebra, and while most were still trying to begin to get back on their feet, Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 Hurricane, hit hard at speeds of almost 140 mph leaving our beautiful little island and community with further damage, and very little supplies or infrastructure. Homes and livelyhoods have been lost. Due to communication issues, we have seen few photographs and don't have full reports on how extensive the damage is. Those of us who were lucky enough not to be on Culebra have been praying, waiting by the phone, scouring news reports for glimpses of our loved ones and property.
Making it even more disasterous for Culebra is that Puerto Rico was devasted and ripped apart from one end of the island to the other. 100% of the electrical grid is gone. The big airport is not functioning. Ferry docks damaged. It will be months to years before the main island is back on its feet. Culebra will be at the end of the supply line sadly.
While we wait for a better assessment of what is needed, and how to distribute it, we desperately need to raise funds so that we will be able to purchase what is needed. Currently, there are several other funds for food and supplies. This campaign will be more for rebuilding the infrastructure - for example providing generators, solar power and accesories like lights and fans, small desalination kits for water, seedlings to restart farms for providing food, satellite phones, inverters and more. We will start distributing as soon as we can get shipments to Culebra.
We have skilled technicians ready to go in and volunteer their expertise if we provide the materials. We will certainly need more than this initial goal, but wanted to get a good start on reaching that.
We also are working on a marketing plan to rebuild tourism, the only source of income on Culebra once the island has recovered enough.
This fund was started by Laurie Knowlton, a long time resident (sometimes part time, sometimes full time) since 1970. I grew up on dirt roads and beautiful beaches, and my love for Culebra runs deeply.
Our team has been busy researching the best solar options. We’ve come up with some great options including a mini desalination plant that can produce 150 gallons of drinkable water per day.
I have purchased the supplies myself, and am happy to provide receipts upon request. As more donations come in, we can purchase and ship more supplies.
We all love Culebra, her beauty, her spirt, her community. We will recover with your help. Gracias. #CulebraStrong #CulebraSeLevantan
- Logan Williams
- Ben McPherson
- Peter Loza
- David and Mary Wiley
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