Disaster Relief for Puerto Rico and Mexico

The Progreso Latino Fund is partnering with a Latino-led global fundraising campaign to support disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico and assist evacuees who have come to Greater New Haven.

Photo credit: AP

Hurricane Maria's devastating landfall in Puerto Rico in September 2017 left large areas of the island without power. Thousands of people continue to live in shelters and much of the population has limited access to fresh water and other basic necessities.

At the same time, Mexico suffered a massive earthquake that toppled buildings in and around Mexico City and killed and injured hundreds of people.

The Progreso Latino Fund (PLF) has responded to these disasters with $17,500 to support nurses, firefighters, shelter providers and other first responders who are working on the ground.

PLF has also supported disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico through a $5,000 grant to the Hispanic Federation and a $10,000 grant to Hispanics in Philanthropy.

The grant to the Hispanic Federation is in conjunction with the New Haven relief effort led by State Rep. Juan Candelaria and Arte, Inc. Championed by "Hamilton" composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Hispanic Federation is designating 100 percent of its Hurricane Relief Fund to organizations working on the ground in Puerto Rico.

The $10,000 grant to Hispanics in Philanthropy, which is in a partnership with the Puerto Rico Community Recovery Fund at the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, is being added to the recovery fund to support work with local Puerto Rican organizations that can respond to needs across the island.

PLF has also granted $2,500 to Hispanics in Philanthropy for disaster relief efforts in Mexico. Hispanics in Philanthropy has offered a one-to-one match for all donations and is also designating 100% of the money raised to funding organizations that are on the ground working to meet the needs of people in that community.

And, in October 2017, PLF held its signature annual Progreso Latino Fund Forum which raised nearly $8,000 in funds to support relief efforts on the ground in Puerto Rico and Mexico.

PLF also collaborated with New Haven City officials to respond to the needs of families who came to New Haven from Puerto Rico and Mexico after the storms. As of December 2017, there were over 129 families and 332 individuals who came to New Haven fleeing the devastation in Puerto Rico. In addition to families with school children, the Fair Haven Community Health Care Center and Cornell Scott Hill Health Center note that families in Puerto Rico have pooled their funds to send their sickest family members to the mainland because the care they need can no longer be had on the island. Junta for Progressive Action has taken the lead in helping people to register for FEMA benefits.