On Wednesday, Sept. 20th hurrican Maria touched down on my birthplace and home to the beautiful people of Puerto Rico. If it hadn't been for the historic power of the storm, I would have done as with most other hurricanes said a prayer and trusted in the resiliency of 'mi gente' because we've seen so many hurricanes come in the past. We were all relieved when just days before Irma had skirted the island without causing major damage. Puertoricans are strong at heart and trusting in God, we have indelible spirits and can overcome. But when I saw the devestation on the news and messages being uploaded online from all parts of the island showing massive flooding, how the powerful winds bent the strongest of trees down to the ground.. it looked like the aftereffects of a nuclear explosion. Today is Friday Sept. 22 and the rains continue. Those of us here on the mainland feel distraught, disconnected, helpless and frightened. It will take a LOT of support from many agencies to rebuild PR, and a lot of families coming together from both the US and PR to set things right. I would never in a million years have thought of asking for support but I do worry that most public agencies will not use any moneys sent in ways that actually help those on the ground, the most affected. I have a large family with very few of us living in the US. My main PR family has remained on the island, rooted in our deep history and bonds to this land, and they have all been affected by Maria. Although I do not have word yet on how bad the damage has been to my immediate family, I can see already from the devestation that this is no ordinary disaster. I am asking friends who are interested in donating to give $1, $5, $10 or more so that I can put this in a bank account for the benefit of my family in PR. It may be a lofty goal but I know we here in CA and elsewhere in the USA have so much. I am asking for my family and for those affected by this human tragedy. Thank you and please contact me directly if you would like to help in other ways. xoxo Noe
About Me: I am a first generation immigrant to the US mainland, born in Puerto Rico and moved to the states when young. My heritage and family, all I know about who I am are in Puerto Rico. The funds collected here are to be used for damages and emergency needs exclusively in the benefit of my relatives which include 3 aunts and uncles, great aunts, cousins and their families-- in all over 35+ people. The majority of my family live in or near the NorthWestern part of Puerto Rico in the Hatillo and Arecibo area, one of the worst impacted in this storm. The funds received are to be placed in a private account to be accessed by my aunts and uncles and distributed to the family as needed. I anticipate there will be costs associated with rebuilding, transportation, wage losses, medical needs and replacement of general living goods (i.e. food, clothing, furniture, appliances, household supplies). Please contact me directly if you would like more information.