Last week in Puerto Rico, while our SUNY and CUNY volunteers worked with our partners at Caras Con Causa, they had the opportunity to meet an extraordinary local leader, Pedro Carrión.

Back in 2011, the Senate of Puerto Rico crafted a resolution honoring his life of service to his community through education, awareness, and environmental advocacy. By teaming up with prominent organizations in Puerto Rico, Pedro has fought to end pollution, preserve coral reefs, and educate students about the importance of sustainability. In addition to his work assisting with the important repairs to the mangrove forests, he spent the hours and days after Hurricane Maria, knocking on doors to check on neighbors, and delivering food, water, and comfort to families who were unable to leave their homes. 

Pedro shared his story with us and explained how families are still struggling to make ends meet and acquire basic necessities such as food and water after Hurricane Maria. We walked door to door in Cataño to hand-deliver bags of food and cases of water to families facing food insecurity. The homeowners were grateful to receive help and meet our volunteers, and our volunteers were happy they could make an immediate impact and spend time with community members! 

In the aftermath major events like Hurricanes Maria and Irma, food insecurity in areas like this can lead to a loss of population as people move out of the community to escape the long-term effects of the storms. As part of NECHAMA’s holistic approach to helping these communities rebuild, we recognize that part of that process has to include more than just roofs and doors – we have to make sure that families have access to basic necessities to keep them in their homes and help the community continue to recover and regrow.

Donate today to support us in our efforts assisting families affected by disasters.