Puerto Rico: A Year After Maria

March 19th Presentation

On September 20, 2017 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, that lovely and beloved island. Now that name, a name symbolic of purity and motherhood, will never be the same again; for it joins the list of storm bad girls Katrina, Sandy, Irene, Irma, Wilma, Rita, etc. The tree filled island pre-Maria was left bald on Maria’s departure. Much of the island went without power for months. Over 40,000 landslides triggered by this storm occurred in at least three-fourths of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities. The most recent official death toll numbers to an astounding 2,975, the deadliest event in more than one hundred years. Hurricane Maria represents many firsts in U.S. history: the longest sustained domestic air mission of food and water response, the largest disaster commodity distribution commission, the most expansive sea-bridge operation of federal disaster aid, and the biggest disaster generator installation mission. In addition, Maria constitutes one of the largest disaster medical response and housing operations in U.S. history.


The words above just skim the surface of the devastation and consequences. The ever evolving results of the damage Maria did presently shows that over 160,000 people left the island for the states. Given the uncertain nature of the island’s economy, a continuation of Puerto Rican migration to the states is to be expected. This will also mean a changing experience for stateside Puerto Ricans.


Centro, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College composed the report, “Puerto Rico One Year After Hurricane Maria” that marks this important turning point via a year of hindsight. On March 19, Carlos Vargas-Ramos, PhD (of Columbia University’s Political Science Dept. and Centro) will present the report’s findings at Swinging Sixties Senior Center. This 2-hour presentation, starts at 6 p.m., and a question and answer session will follow the lecture.


Centro is currently creating an online community to strengthen the network of stateside Puerto Rican communities. This community will connect organizations across the country who are working to address Puerto Rico’s economic and humanitarian crisis. To join go here: http://centropr.nationbuilder.com


“Puerto Rico One Year After Hurricane Maria” will be presented on March 19th, 6 p.m. –8 p.m.at Swinging Sixties Senior Center, 211 Ainslie Street, Brooklyn. For Reservations: mariaoneyearlater.eventbrite.com 



Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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