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"Connecticut Helps Puerto Rico": Local organizations rally resources after Hurricane Fiona

A road is flooded by the rains of Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico.
Stephanie Rojas
/
AP
A road is flooded by the rains of Hurricane Fiona in Cayey, Puerto Rico.

Connecticut resources are being rallied in response to Hurricane Fiona.

This hour, we hear about the relief effort being overseen by Stamford-based nonprofit Americares, mobilizing a team on the ground in San Juan. Plus, Sammy Vega with the Coalition of Connecticut Puerto Rican Parades & Festivals Relief Committee discusses the fundraising effort the committee is coordinating.

You can support these relief responses by donating to the Americares Hurricane Fiona Relief Fund, as well as the Coalition's Connecticut Helps Puerto Rico 2022 Fund. Navigate to the latter fund via CThelpsPR.org or CTayudaPR.org.

The Coalition also recommends donating directly to Lions Clubs International Foundation, Taller Salud, Hospital del Niño, Para la Naturaleza and Casa Pueblo Adjuntas Puerto Rico.

Plus, we discuss local lessons learned since Hurricane Maria five years ago, when thousands of displaced people from Puerto Rico were welcomed in Connecticut. CREC's Aura Alvarado and UConn associate professor Dr. Charles Venator-Santiago discuss the importance of “one-stop” locations, like the one Alvarado helped get off the ground in Hartford after Hurricane Maria, ultimately welcoming hundreds of displaced families.

Bruni Pizarro, executive director of Junta for Progressive Action in New Haven, recently co-authored a column on how Connecticut resettlement agencies are "underutilized." She wrote that many organizations like Junta "face uncertain and inadequate funding, imperiling their capacity to respond to future climate-related disasters."

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin’s office tells Where We Live that the city is ready to partner with community and Hartford groups to help families who may come here and also said that “it’s not yet clear that we will see anything like the large-scale relocations that we saw five years ago after Hurricane Maria.”

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker's office tells us, "We have had discussions across city departments and with several of our nonprofit and community partners so that we are prepared as a community to support those in need, whether that’s families looking for emergency housing, individuals in need of health care, children entering our public schools and other services and supports.”

The Hartford Hispanic Health Council and Junta for Progressive Action also told us they’ve been readying internal relief responses.

GUESTS:

  • Dr. Brenda Rivera-García: Senior Director, Latin America and Caribbean Programs for Americares
  • Sammy Vega: President, CICD-Puerto Rican Parade in Hartford; Founding Member, Coalition of Connecticut Puerto Rican Parades & Festivals Relief Committee
  • Aura Alvarado: Director of Communications and Community Relations, CREC Education
  • Dr. Charles Venator-Santiago: Faculty Director, Puerto Rican Studies Initiative at the University of Connecticut

Where We Live is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.

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Katie is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live. She has previously worked for CNN and News 8-WTNH. She enjoys Victorian novels and walks with her dog Sonny.
Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.