A Philanthropic Call to Action Towards a Just and Resilient Puerto Rico

September, 20, 2020

The Background

Three years after Hurricane Maria claimed over three thousand lives in Puerto Rico, the island and its people continue to confront significant challenges to its long-term equitable recovery. These challenges have been significantly compounded by a combination of natural and man-made disasters over the past year -from major earthquakes that rattled the island’s Southern cities to the COVID-19 pandemic- all of which have deepened the island’s nearly 14-year economic recession.

Lagging federal disaster aid, local budget cuts and other austerity measures have also exacerbated poverty and inequality on the island, fueling mass migration and displacement pressures. On top of that, Puerto Rico is an often-overlooked territory that, as other low-income communities of color in the United States, is disparately impacted by the climate crisis and other disasters.

Your Commitment & Pledge

Recognizing the urgency of this moment, we call on grant-makers and leaders in the philanthropic sector to redouble their commitment to the 3.2 million US citizens of Puerto Rico. Over the next weeks, months and years ahead, we pledge to:

  • Maintain, strengthen and expand our philanthropic commitment to Puerto Rico, while leveraging the power of the 5.8 million Puerto Ricans in the diaspora.

  • Prioritize investments in local community leaders, organizations and networks working to advance a more just, equitable and inclusive Puerto Rico, especially those lacking government support. 

  • Fund long-term projects with sustainable, generational and systemic impact such as popular education, citizen participation, advocacy and organizing.

  • Provide flexible financial support and technical assistance resources to strengthen the capacity of organizations in Puerto Rico that fully engage in the island’s long term cultural, education, economic, environmental and physical revitalization.

  • Increase support to organizations working with issues and in areas historically lacking investment.

For more background, please read La recuperación tras María, ¿para cuándo?, ¿para quiénes?  (Recovery after María, for when?, for whom? ), a report capturing recommendations from 11 social organizations and individuals who have been working with recovery efforts since Hurricane María.


Keep track of our moves