Completed Grants

Effective, sustainable, and innovative solutions for Puerto Rico.

 
 
 

Committed to Puerto Rico’s Renewal

 
 

Powered by donations from thousands of people across the world, ConPRmetidos has directly delivered or funded aid that has impacted the lives of thousands of people in need of food, water, communications, power, shelter, and a helping hand forward.  And yet, there is still so very much to do.

ConPRmetidos is reinventing Puerto Rico from within. We are engaging local leaders, entrepreneurs and global innovators to jointly tackle root causes and build a better, sustainable future for Puerto Rico. One year forward from hurricane Maria, we’re shifting our capacity towards larger more impactful projects, creating new and diverse partnerships, and guaranteeing effective program implementation and financial stability. With your support, together we can renew Puerto Rico for generations to come.

 

 

Solutions for a clean, green Puerto Rico.

 
 

Hurricanes Irma and Maria knocked out Puerto Rico’s entire public power grid. Many marginalized neighborhoods were left without electricity for three, five, seven months… And some struggled for even longer.

The lack of reliable power and the fragility of the existing grid remains a critical challenge for the island's residents.

We have invested over $320,000 to introduce innovative and effective clean energy solutions that can meet the ongoing needs of vulnerable communities.

These investments include:

Resilient Power Puerto Rico

A nonprofit modeled on post-hurricane Sandy efforts in New York City, Resilient Power Puerto Rico is installing robust photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems in 100 community service centers, clinics, schools, and libraries across all 78 municipalities on the island.

We provided funding for six of these locations, including a cancer patient clinic in Vieques, hospice care centers in Arecibo and Caguas, and a center in Bayamón offering shelter, nutrition, health care, and education services to persons with mild to severe intellectual disabilities.

Women’s Shelter

As too often happens in the wake of natural disasters, incidences of violence against women spiked following the hurricanes. Without a functioning power grid, women's shelters throughout the island did not have electricity or functioning security systems, leaving women and children residents vulnerable and in emotional distress.

We provided a 5kW solar energy system at a women's shelter in Arecibo, a municipality that reported the second highest rate of domestic violence incidents in 2017 (Source: Puerto Rico Police Department). The installed system will continue to provide much-needed comfort and safety to over 30 vulnerable shelter residents during future blackouts or storm impact situations.

OffGridBox

In Maria’s immediate aftermath, access to clean water was a significant and life-threatening challenge for millions of island residents. To help address this, we purchased and imported an OffGridBox: a patented water filtration and rainwater harvesting system that can filter, sterilize and pressurize 1,580 gallons of water per day while also producing up to 16kWh of power per day, enough to help meet water and critical energy needs of up to 1,500 people.

  • The OffGridBox was first installed in the Bayamón chapter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, a community center that provided emergency relief services immediately after the storms.

  • As Bayamón’s clean water services have stabilized, we are relocating the OffGridBox to a rural community in Punta Santiago that suffers from lack of access to safe water.

Basura Cero Puerto Rico

We funded a battery collection and disposal program devised by Basura Cero Puerto Rico, a local nonprofit that was alarmed by the toxic waste build up in the island's landfills, waterways and green areas from discarded batteries used after the storm to power lamps, flashlights, fans, and other emergency devices.

In collaboration with local Walgreens stores, the Judicial Branch of the Government of Puerto Rico and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Basura Cero established 29 collection stations across the island where 17,965 pounds of batteries were collected for safe disposal.

 

 

Leveraging local and global capacity to renew vibrant communities.

 
 

A hallmark of our approach to how and where to act following last year's hurricanes has been to invest in vibrant communities who don’t need to be told what to do. They just need supporting heart, soul, hands, and resources to put their solutions into practice.

Over the course of the past year, we have invested and committed over $615,000 to such communities that are leading Puerto Rico forward:

Cataño

In March of this year, we partnered with a group of public education leaders from the mainland, captained by former U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, to answer the call of two public schools in Cataño needing some help to get back on their feet.

These two schools were recognized due to (i) the extent of hurricane-caused damages, (ii) the high percentage of their student body living below the poverty line, and (iii) their demonstrated efforts to physically and emotionally rebuild their community.

Our support included the provision of grants to pay for: (i) pest control and termite extermination services; (ii) replacement of damaged ceiling panels; (iii) refurbishment of common areas; and (iv) replacement of damaged and unsafe school furniture in an elementary classroom.

Together with school supplies retailer Yoobi, we also donated school materials for 700 students, and collaborated with Walmart of Puerto Rico to provide two new playground sets for the schools.

The Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative

We gave a $150,000 grant to support Foundation for Puerto Rico's economic recovery strategy in the community of Punta Santiago, Humacao, a town on the east coast of Puerto Rico that was severely impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative is an economic recovery strategy with a sustainable model for long-term development. It was designed by Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) to support communities on the island by helping them become more resilient while activating local resources for the creation of new tourism attractions and experiences. This community-based recovery program aims to build local infrastructures required for growth. The goal is to help communities recover quickly by creating a Community Destination Economic Development Plan that increases local tourism offerings and the average length of stay for visitors.

As a result of this grant, economic development in the community of Punta Santiago in Humacao is being improved through better commercial operations, new businesses, job creation, workforce development and a growing tax base. This project is also helping to build the resilience and capacity of local business, community and government leaders.

Caño Martín Peña

Approximately 70% of the communities surrounding Caño Martín Peña were flooded with wastewater — some for four days — following hurricane Maria. Over 1,000 homes suffered severe damage, including partial or total loss of roof, with many families losing most of their belongings or sources of income. In great need, many of these homes were fitted with temporary blue tarps. A year later, too many homes still have blue tarps with some families living in damaged structures that do not qualify for FEMA assistance.

We are providing the Grupo de las Ocho Comunidades Aledañas al Caño Martín Peña, Inc. with the funding needed to provide sixteen families with hurricane resistant roofs and repairs to windows, walls, floors and steps. Each home will undergo a thorough process of structural evaluation, arquitectural design, construction and repairs, and final housing inspection.

The labor is local and supplies are being sourced from local companies, helping to maximize the investment into the local economy.

Satellite Phones

We gave a $9,874 grant to purchase communications equipment used to coordinate and expedite emergency aid immediately after Hurricane Maria.

Immediately after the storm, aid deployment efforts were severely impaired without a functioning communications system. ConPRmetidos distributed satellite phones to non-profit organizations on the island that were engaged in urgently needed relief and needs assessment work on the ground.

Thanks to the satellite phones, key nonprofit organizations were able to procure and coordinate the delivery of emergency aid to people in vulnerable communities during the four months following Maria. The organizations that benefited from these satellite phones included: Fundación Culebra, Connect Relief, The Puerto Rico Model Forest, and Centro de Apoyo Mutuo. The satellite phones also helped families communicate and reunite after the storm during a critical time when less than 5% of the cellular antennas in Puerto Rico were operational.

Posigen Water Filtration System

Posigen, a successful green energy startup in New Orleans that provides working-class families access to affordable solar energy, donated $50,000 worth of solar-powered, water-filtering equipment to a community in need in Puerto Rico. Posigen asked ConPRmetidos to identify the community and to pay for the shipping, from New Orleans, plus the professional installation of the equipment once it arrived on the island. ConPRmetidos selected a community center located in the western side of the island, an area that was severely affected by Maria.

We provided a $4,000 grant to ship solar powered water-filtering equipment to Puerto Rico. The Posigen water filtration system enabled a community center in a small rural municipality to supply clean water to area residents without increasing their energy or operational costs to do so.

 

 

Empowering local entrepreneurs.

 
 

Portable Energy for Small Businesses

The effects of hurricane Irma and María have been particularly acute for small-sized businesses, which are a crucial engine of Puerto Rico's economy. The collapse of the power grid forced many entrepreneurs to close shop, leaving workers across the island without reliable income during a time of great need for food, healthcare, transportation, and security.

Two weeks after the storm, ConPRmetidos purchased, delivered, installed and subsequently rotated thirty portable, generators among small businesses located in affected municipalities, including San Juan, Isabela, Arroyo, Aguadilla, Aguas Buenas, Rio Grande, Orocovis, and Jayuya.

The $71,044 grant allowed local businesses to resume operations, retain/regain the employment of dozens of people, and enabled the recovery of commercial activity essential for the economic stability of surrounding communities. The rotation program for these portable power generators continues in areas still affected by little to no energy supply.

Food Distribution

ConPRmetidos covered the costs for Fundación El Plato Caliente to rent a van that was used to distribute and deliver meals to residents of the "Sector El 26" and "Villa Calma" neighborhoods in the municipality of Toa Baja.

Our $2,816 grant allowed over 80,000 meals to be distributed in these affected communities.

Connect Relief

ConPRmetidos invested in Connect Relief, a project led by a local nonprofit to connect those affected by the hurricanes with relief efforts. Through a virtual platform, Connect Relief provides up-to-date, accurate information on the specific needs of communities, shelters, nonprofit organizations and homes for the elderly, to those who are bringing and distributing aid.

The $25,000 grant has provided resources towards the enhanced effectiveness and efficiency of the platform, helping improve Connect Relief's data analysis and volunteer coordination efforts. As a result, they have been able to train over 500 volunteers who have gathered data necessary for relief and recovery efforts from over 277 communities, 90 shelters, and 49 senior homes in 70 municipalities.

Boys & Girls Club of Puerto Rico

57% of children in Puerto Rico have parents who face job insecurity, 28% higher than the average within the United States. One of the primary roadblocks is a lack of core skills that can be applied to specific professions that are in high-demand within the current economy.

ConPRmetidos gave a grant to the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico for the launch of a Hospitality Training Center that will provide parents with training programs and guaranteed entry-level jobs after completing the program. 

 

 

Connecting to form strategic partnerships and exchange ideas.

 
 

Puerto Rican Leaders Meet with Katrina Recovery Experts in New Orleans

ConPRmetidos gave a $14,690 grant to provide a "crash course" to Puerto Rican leaders on how to deploy effective and sustainable recovery efforts. The delegation met with over a dozen New Orleans leaders and organizations involved in economic development, social innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable building, green energy, and public-school reform. The purpose of the trip was to learn valuable post-Katrina lessons that could be applied to Puerto Rico's recovery and to avoid repeating some of the costly mistakes that were made in New Orleans.

ConPRmetidos documented the lessons learned by the delegation in a publicly available document. This report - Post-Maria Recovery: Lessons and Recommendations from Post-Katrina New Orleans - is now being shared with others working on Puerto Rico's recovery.