Through Our Eyes: Puerto Rico explores how the island is recovering after Hurricane Maria hit over two months ago. We virtually followed three residents — Fernando Samalot, Stephanie Monserrate, and José Miguel Sanchez — throughout part of their journey as they rebuild Puerto Rico and their own lives. You can find the video on Facebook.

Fernando, Steph, and José Miguel helped us understand what Puerto Ricans are living through after Maria. Now it’s our turn to help them. They all penned powerful messages for you, the audience, to encourage donations.

Here are some of the local organizations you can donate to. You can read more about them below.
Bori Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief
Love in Motion
Casa Pueblo
Güakiá Colectivo Agroecológico
Green Culebra
Bregada Express
Finca Siembra Tres Vidas
Plato Caliente

Fernando Samalot — Adjuntas, Puerto Rico

This catastrophe has brought to light the harsh reality that Puerto Rico has been living in since long before the storm, and it has made visible all the obstacles the island is facing in its recovery. But in its wake, Puerto Ricans have been forced to reinvent themselves and come together as never before. I’ve seen the creation of hundreds of community, self-organized projects working on relief efforts all over the island, as well as already established organizations shifting their focus and playing key roles in our recovery.

I’ve been working with three organizations in particular: Bori, which organizes relief missions; Casa Pueblo, which distributes solar lights and is helping to shift the island towards using renewable energy sources; and Love In Motion, which attempts to change the focus of the tourism industry to volunteerism.

All donations collected for these groups go towards efforts that not only help in the immediate aftermath of the storm, but also help with the long-term projects for the people of Puerto Rico. It’s important to understand that the road to recovery isn’t simply about rebuilding — it’s about rethinking and redesigning our very way of life.

I’ll continue to be involved in these and many other projects, and you can keep up with me on Instagram here. Please consider following and donating to these organizations.

Bori Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief
Love in Motion
Casa Pueblo

Stephanie Monserrate — Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Life definitely won’t be the same after Hurricane Maria. I hope we can start to acknowledge that we’re all we’ve got, and we need to start working together. Thanks to Irma and Maria, we’ve seen everything Puerto Ricans are able to achieve when we set our minds and hearts to do something. Now sadly, it’s our turn to ask for a little help.

This is day 61 after Hurricane Maria, and there are lots families that are still waiting for help. They don’t have electricity, water, or food. These organizations, movements, and farmers are ‘working hands’ on communities — they are not only bringing them what they need, but also creating dialogue and activities that promote self-managing communities.

We are living in a constant state of survival. Puerto Rico is and will continue to endure difficult times, and it’s up to us to make it better. It’s up to us to turn these difficult times into lessons. Please consider following and donating to these organizations.

My farm, Güakiá Colectivo Agroecológico
Green Culebra
Bregada Express
Finca Siembra Tres Vidas

José Miguel Sanchez — San Juan, Puerto Rico

Maria came to Puerto Rico and took hope, family members, and even faith from some Puerto Ricans. It devastated more than nature. It hit our homes and hearts like nothing I have seen before. I survived Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Georges, and other bad times, and this was no exception. It didn’t take long before Puerto Ricans took matters into their own hands. After the lack of leadership and action from the government, and the obvious show of corruption, the people have decided that the only way to survive and help those in need was to go out and do it ourselves. It has been rough, depressing, and tiring, but it has also been beautiful to see so many people taking care of their fellow Puerto Ricans. I can tell you that this has been inspiring for me. I encourage you to keep helping Puerto Rico because it will be a long journey before we get back to ‘normal.’ I love Puerto Rico, so I decided to stay and fight for our people.

I have been working untiringly with my church Iglesia Descubriendo el Amor de Dios (Discovering God’s Love Church) and will keep doing so. You can help us by donating to our account in Banco Popular here:

Amor de Cristo Inc. | Account #011662417 | Routing #021502011

I’ve also been involved with the organization Plato Caliente, which has been supplying cooked food for our missions as well as for other people going into different towns in Puerto Rico. I have seen how they work and I can say they are awesome. You can also help them so they can keep cooking for people in need. Send your donations here:

PayPal.Me/elplatocalientepr or Banco Popular | Account #024–379654

I won’t stop getting help to the people of my beautiful island. Feel free to contact me on Facebook here.