More Than Six Months After Hurricane Maria, A Look at How Puerto Rican Nonprofits Face Work
The devastating impact of Hurricane Maria upon Puerto Rico in September 2017 has left despair and many questions on how to rebuild its infrastructure and also its people's future. Philanthropy and the work of nonprofits are a growing part of this ongoing conversation, rethinking the island’s daily dynamics.
Recently, Nonprofit Quarterly devoted a series of articles to the topic that explore how Puerto Rican nonprofits are practicing differently, how they face the new panorama, and what these organizations are doing to advance their missions amidst a different context.
From Create's emotional and social development of youth and its arts programs to the education and arts activities of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico to the island's new "resiliency commission," NPQ's series, by Cyndi Suarez, tackles some of complexities of the situation and the essential role nonprofits play in difficult choices that need to be made in order to improve the current situation:
Puerto Rico needs desperately to balance the rebuilding of its country and economy with a gathering and strengthening of grassroots political power. It’s clear that the federal government is not going to make things any easier. For example, just last December, after decades as a tax haven for US companies, which contributed greatly to its current economic crisis, the new GOP tax bill treats Puerto Rico as a foreign country when it comes to taxes. But tapping into the capacities and political power of local communities in Puerto Rico is not only necessary to counter the US government’s strangling efforts, but to build a regime at home that can truly be an effective representative of the Puerto Rican people.