Effective, sustainable and innovative solutions for Puerto Rico.
1. Committed To Puerto Rico’s Renewal
As of September 15, 2018, ConPRmetidos has granted and committed over $1.7 million towards Puerto Rico’s relief, recovery, and renewal.
Powered by donations from over 17,500 people across the world, we have 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.
2. 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. 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:
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.
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.
Villas de Sol
Toa Baja — in Puerto Rico’s low lying north-central coast — is recognized to have been one of the hardest hit areas by hurricane Maria. Before the storm, most of the households in the community had wood and zinc roofs, constructed informally, and with little ability to withstand a hurricane or flood.
We are supporting an initiative by Sol es Vida to place hurricane-resistant roofs on the homes of fourteen local families. With the help of certified architects and contractors, the project will first train local residents on how to build and install proper roofs. These trained residents will then be hired to install roofs on the remaining houses within the project. With their new, in-demand skill, these workers can provide similar roofing services in similarly affected communities, while earning needed income for their own families and communities.