Solar Generators For Puerto Rico
As many know, Hurricane Maria left massive island wide destruction in Puerto Rico. Hospitals are without power or water across the region and other vital services are out due to a power grid collapse.
Many families are struggling in the rural areas of Puerto Rico with no ability to communicate to the outside world. Many are suffering from lack of refrigerated insulin and other cooling medical needs.
There are also many repairs to be done and many people were below paycheck to paycheck living BEFORE the hurricane. The area will need copious amounts of help in the coming months. The infrastructure is destroyed (bridges, sewer, plumbing etc) with little reason to believe they will be repaired soon. Our delay in posting this fund was due to sorting out our logistics first because of the above.
This fund drive is a two-fold purpose.
Our first goal is to bring power to individual communities with endless solar power in the form of Solar Generators. We will be delivering these generators personally to avoid the logistical difficulties that currently exist. This mission has some personal feel as half of our family has been disconnected from the outside world.
The second goal is to provide clean water using filtered pumps. With the collapse of the water systems and possible contamination with sewer, flood water, chemicals etc, this service is vital. Puerto Rico is in the tropics, the heat alone requires you to stay hydrated.
At Sunnyside Solar of Brattleboro, we felt it a waste not to put our skills to this project.
We will keep a journal and photo log during this effort. For anyone interested, we will keep you in the loop with deliveries and results.
For new arrivals to this fund, please redirect your donation to the rebuilding of a very important and special place in the mountains of Puerto Rico.
There is so much to do.
It is my opinion that most communities in the mountains could be out of power for more than year with some likely a second year before the return.
Whilst, we have installed solar systems and helped others repair their solar systems, the mission has drastically changed. It is impossible to make a decision as to who would receive a solar system and who wouldn't in a community of 20 houses.
The focus now:
• Food/Water delivery
• Solar Lights
• Building supplies
• Tools (building and farming)
• Deep Cycle Batteries
We drive into areas and deliver bags that include fruits and vegetables alongside staples such as rice and bean. I ask locals what items they need and when we come back by we try as best as possible to have the things needed.
Many in the area are elderly, poor or both. Most have lost their means of transportation and some do not have a telephone. I cannot recount how many times I have been asked if I am FEMA.
Truthfully, it is very tough both mentally and emotionally. To see my beautiful jungle... naked, scarred, ripped... houses and possessions of many scattered...
There is so much to write it could fill pages. A time luxury I do not have.
I return to the states next week and have decided to use a local group that has been providing relief to manage continuing donations once I leave.
Over the course of the next week we will be in the center of the island, distributing food, life straws and installing solar generators in community centers.
This first week, work will be done in:
Juncos, Gurabo, Comerio, Barranquitas, Orocovis, Jayuya and Ututado.
Next week, our schedule is deconstruction salvage and that will slip into replanting of agriculture destroyed by the storm for the third week.
During all of this, trips back and forth to San Juan to collect the supplies folks are sending will occur. Deliveries will not cease.
There is much work to be done and we appreciate any continued and sustained donations. Every bit helps.
We will be taking photos and video of our efforts, but please do not expect those to be posted quickly.
Updates from here on may be difficult to keep at any set interval. The island is still widely without power and communications are only slightly less shattered than when Maria first hit.
Email updates are much easier with group mailings. If you want to be in that group, simply message me and I will include you in the first mass email.
Thank you to everyone! Please share and spread the word.
We are putting together five solar generators this monday (10/23) and will be posting pictures that day. The shipping of the panels has become a difficult task that should be sorted by early next week, The main components however are coming down with us on flight.
We have two MSR high volume water purifier pumps and 100 lifestraws going with us. There are more private donations of lifestraws on the way!!!
We have also packaged over 150lbs of food. Everything is coming down with two of us in our checked baggage. Thank you so much Southwest Airlines for allowing so many free bags!!!!!
We leave on Sat Oct 28th. Our itinerary is to deliver to the isolated communities of Jayuya, Utuado and Comerio before moving east to Juncos and Gurabo.
If you have read this far, I really appreciate it. We are hoping the donations continue as it will help offset gasoline and water costs once we are on the island in addition to providing more lifestraws and equipment for solar generators.
So please continue to share this fund with others and we will continue to distribute around the island.
We will have plenty of pictures before we leave. Thank you all for your continued support.