Puerto Rico

Talia Blake / RIPR

It’s been nine months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and displaced residents are still scrambling to find permanent housing.

Talia Blake / RIPR

Six months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, many families are still struggling to find a new place to feel at home. United Neighbors of Fall River and other human service agencies joined together to form the Hurricane Relief Coalition, and they’re saying Bienvenido or welcome to Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria with an event May 12th. 

Wendy Garf-Lipp, United Neighbors Executive Director, is spearheading the event. It will include job fair, transitional paperwork assistance, a language translator, and more.

Avory Brookins / RIPR

An advocate for environmental justice says communities of color need to take charge of their own economies to better-prepare for the effects of climate change.


South Coast Schools To Receive New Funding For Puerto Rican Evacuees

Feb 21, 2018
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Schools districts in Massachusetts that have enrolled students recently arrived from Puerto Rico will soon be getting a portion of $15 million dollars in new state funding.

Fall River and New Bedford are among the districts slated to receive a portion of the funding. According the New Bedford Mayor’s office, more than 150 new students have arrived in that city from Puerto Rico since the hurricane.

In Holyoke, the school district has already hired more people to help teach 185 student evacuees, including specialists in English as a second language and special education.

John Bender / RIPR

Miosotis Castro, her husband Francisco Alvarado and their three children are among thousands of Puerto Ricans who lost their homes when Hurricane Maria hit the island three months ago. 

RIPR FILE

It’s the first time Secretary Nellie Gorbea will return to the island since the devastating Hurricane Maria. 

Ryan Caron King/WNPR

Blanca Ortiz-Torres was sitting in a Puerto Rican oasis. She was at a working bakery in the tiny mountain town of Maricao that had both a generator and a cistern and, as a result, could serve cold drinks, hot coffee, fresh pastries, and pizza.

But she wasn’t happy about it. 

RYAN CARON KING / WNPR

We drove to Caguas, a city south of San Juan, four weeks after Hurricane Maria hit. Our guide was Luis Cotto -- a former Hartford city councilman now living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We traveled to Puerto Rico to tell stories; he traveled to deliver thousands of dollars in inflatable solar lights and water filters to people who need them, including members of his family. 

 


Local Donations For Puerto Rico Stuck In Limbo

Sep 29, 2017
Jumilla / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

Rhode Island and Massachusetts residents have amassed enough donations meant for Puerto Rico to fill nearly ten cargo ship containers.

But getting those donations to the island following Hurricane Maria is proving difficult. Organizations like The Salvation Army and American Red Cross have been primarily collecting monetary donations.

The Puerto Rican community in Rhode Island and Massachusetts is teaming-up with local businesses to help Puerto Ricans on the island devastated by recent hurricanes.

John Bender / RIPR

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender profiled Warwick musician Lydia Perez. 

Originally from Puerto Rico, Perez has been performing throughout Rhode Island since the mid-nineties.

With her group, Yoruba 2 she has toured throughout the region, teaching and performing the traditional music and dance of Puerto Rico.

“Well my name is Lydia Perez, I’m a traditional artist in the state of Rhode Island.”

“My name is Yidell Rivera.  I am Lydia’s oldest daughter, and I’ve worked with her since, well, my childhood.”