Several “unofficial” shelter campsites have popped up in response to the earthquakes in Puerto Rico. Families who are staying in these camps are there for a multitude of reasons. For some, these camps are closer to their homes. In other cases, floods or other issues have made official camps less desirable options, and others prefer the choice to live in a smaller encampment (the official sites generally house 500-1,000 people).

One of these “unofficial” shelter campsites is located in Ponce along the 10 Highway. Kerry Irizarry is one of the founders of Campamento en la Carretera 10, and has been working tirelessly to find resources for the people staying there.

His main concern is the safety and mental well being of the children staying there. The camp has a small makeshift playground, and temporary shelter made of plywood with a tin roof for the kids to spend their time. He reminds the adults not to yell and cry out every time there’s an earthquake in hopes of keeping the children from getting more scared.

We discovered this location through our partners at ITDRC (Information Technology Disaster Resource Center), who installed internet and a TV in the children’s area to provide distraction and entertainment. Last Friday, NECHAMA and Footprint Project installed a solar station to power ITDRCs services and to serve as a phone charging station.

Your support of our assessment deployment to Puerto Rico continues to provide needed environmentally responsible support to communities and families unable to return to their homes. Keeping them in touch with their loved ones, and giving them access to news, information, and tools that connect them to resources they need to continue to recover from the ongoing earthquakes.