Disaster (415/455)

From Melissa Camacho, BECA faculty at SFSU:
As some of you may know, Puerto Rico is now facing a humanitarian crisis. Whatever you may see from the limited media coverage, it simply does not capture the magnitude of the situation. Currently FEMA is on the ground, but due to transportation limitations, and dealing with US government restrictions on what can enter PR without being taxed (thanks to The Jones Act), help is not reaching people fast enough. The U.S. is not granting permission for other countries to assist the island. Meanwhile, there are also still rescue efforts under way in parts of the island that up until now have been unreachable. 

If you you are willing, I am asking that you please help in two ways:

1. Please do what you can to keep the story in the media. We are struggling to compete with Trump’s NFL/North Korea/WHATEVER nonsense as well as everything else going on in the world. Social media has been instrumental, but any and all outlets that continue to cover the story, including local outlets, will help.
2. Donate. At this point it is impossible to send items. We can’t ship things en masse without having to deal with the US government, and the USPS cannot resume service at this time. It is easier to send money and have local distribution outlets handle it. Right now the two BEST places to donate (because the overhead is extremely low) are UnitedForPuertoRico (funded by First Lady Beatriz Rosselló) and the official donation site for the island. The second is Los Ambulantes, which works with all NGOs, and helps organize volunteer efforts, including animal rescue and care. Another viable option is YouCaring​ (funded by Ricky Martin), if you want to go the pop culture route. [Please note that if the links don’t work you can cut and paste them from below.]

Finally, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU to those who continue to inquire about my family. We have intermittent communication with them, and we have been trying to fly family out (especially the 4 and 7 year old) and/or to get food/water/gas/necessities to them, but again, it is next to impossible. Myself and my family outside of PR continues to be proactive and are trying not to get desperate.

Your assistance with this is truly appreciated. Melissa

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