Over the past two decades I’ve visited Puerto Rico on nearly a dozen vacations. I circumvented the island numerous times, marveled at the hospitality, enjoyed the Latin culture, sunned on the beautiful beaches under palm trees, told friends and readers to visit, and appreciated that this island was a bit of America with it’s own unique heritage.
I’ve been bringing my son Aidan, now 14, since he was an infant. From charming abuelas who would pinch his toddler chubby cheeks in the street to learning to speak Spanish and making new friends as a teen — Puerto Rico means so much to him too.
To see the island flattened by Hurricane Maria hurts. To watch the almost hostile response to the crises from our government as the island copes with both the lack of electricity and running water is painful, frustrating, and completely flabbergasting.
As travelers, I try to teach my son that it’s imperative to be citizens of the world, to help where and when help is needed. We’ve been contributing to funds to help other islands affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but today, it’s time to help Puerto Rico.
Here are a couple of ways to help our American island neighbors to our south:
United for Puerto Rico: Created by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló; 100% of the proceeds go to helping the victims affected by by these natural disasters in Puerto Rico.
Hispanic Federation: Unidos: The UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund is working to meet hurricane and earthquake-related needs and recovery in both Puerto Rico and Mexico. 100% of donations help in the recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and the Mexico City earthquake.
UPDATED DONATION INFORMATION
World Central Kitchen: Chef Jose Andres’ organization of volunteer chefs at World Central Kitchen have been on the ground in Puerto Rico cooking for, and feeding, the people of the island since a few days after the storm. As of October 19, WCK has fed 1 million Puerto Rican residents (that’s twice as many as the Red Cross). With the help of donations from around the world and an army of committed volunteers, WKC has reached over 60 communities served by food truck, boat, and even helicopter.