My name is Joel Marrero and I'm organizing this campaign on behalf of family members such as uncles, aunts, and cousins living in the midst of a battered Puerto Rico. I was born in Puerto Rico but now live in Los Angeles CA.
It is organized with the help of family members living in the U.S. including Tony Oteromarrero, Joel Marrero Otero, Jocelyn Coral, Jorgie Otero, and Savier Caldero.
In response to their calls for help, we have turned to our communities, friends, support systems, and families here in the U.S. Some of our family have lost their homes and the little they owned. Others are anchors within their immediate communities and, in their inherent boricua spirit, have given away most of what they have rationed. Almost all—including 47 cousins, their partners and children, and 11 uncles and aunts, some who are elderly or are afflicted with disabilities—have lost electricity and water. It will take months to reestablish critical infrastructure. By then, the island will find itself again in hurricane season.
With funds raised we hope to provide direct financial assistance to our familia much of which will be used to buy basic necessities such as water, canned food, batteries, diapers, and medicine. This is help that will go directly into the hands of family members living in the rubbles of a devastating hurricane propelled by worrisome changes in our ecosystem. Given that the banking system in Puerto Rico is in shambles, I will withdraw the funds, transfer them by the most economical means (possibly venmo) to an entrusted family member with access to internet/wifi and a venmo-friendly bank account, and they will evenly divide the funds amongst family members. I will also send carepackages by means of Fedx which has proven to be an effective and the fastest means of getting goods to the island.
Lets match our carbon footprint with love footprints!
In addition, we implore you to reach out to your representatives and use your voice on behalf of a politically-dislocated people. And of course ask us—Tony, Jocelyn, Joel, Jorgie, Savier—about life in PR then and now, and for information on other ways you can help.
Below are photos from our family’s home towns of Naranjito and Corozal which are located about 45 minutes south of San Juan in the mountains of PR. These are among the hardest-hit areas and the least likely to see structural assistance anytime soon. The last few photos were taken during Joel’s and Tony’s last trips to PR, just to give you context. We will continue to add pix and update as we receive news and images from family on the island.
Gracias y Mil bendiciones/Thank You and Blessings
Joel, Tony, Jocelyn, Savi, & Jorgie
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