Have You Seen Puerto Rico?

Here’s your reminder that people in Puerto Rico are still facing a major humanitarian crisis, won’t have electricity or clean drinking water for the foreseeable future, their ability to grow their own food has been decimated and the incomprehensible inaction of this administration is leading to the death of American citizens.

I wrote that about two weeks ago.

It’s still true.

The last few weeks have seen Americans take matters into their own hands. Students are chartering planes, there are concerts and telethons, Lin-Manuel Miranda made a plea and a playlist and a powerful anthem. We’re doing what we do best, rising to the occasion. We’re rolling our sleeves up and lending a hand wherever, however help is needed. The people are taking action.

If you’re looking for a place to contribute, visit:

We could talk statistics, the glacial pace of government action (the House has at least passed an aid [well, loan…] package), the offensive and disheartening remarks by the Trump Administration…

But have you seen Puerto Rico?

We’ve all heard the podcasts, read the articles, seen the tweets. We know things are bad

But have you seen Puerto Rico?

We all know that the death toll is rising (48 dead), that aide has been hard to get, that with drinking water so scarce some have resorted to consuming water from toxic waste sites — more than 35% of the island is without clean drinking water.

And it’s easy to look away, to scroll by the images and videos, to stay comfortable in your homes and streets far away from the danger and devastation. It’s easy to disconnect and disregard the lives of people who aren’t necessarily like you, who are technically American, but live on an island thousands of miles away from the mainland. It’s easy to recite the platitudes and gasp “how awful,” and in the end do nothing.

The recovery process is slow. 85% of the island is still without electricity with the goal being to restore power to the majority of the island by December 1. Homes will need to be rebuilt. Agriculture and farming has been devastated with years of recovery ahead of them. So, take a look. Remain engaged. This isn’t a story that’s going anywhere and we have to remain connected. It’s easy to move on to the next thing, but the people of Puerto Rico won’t be able to move on for quite some time.

Have you seen Puerto Rico?

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