Our Work in Puerto Rico

In 2017, Hurricane Maria displaced thousands as it made landfall in Puerto Rico. More than 3,000 people died, 200,000 were displaced, the island lost power for almost a year and health systems were stressed. In total, Hurricane Maria left behind about $90 billion worth of damage. Hurricane Maria also decimated a key sector of the local economy – Puerto Rico’s coffee industry. Following the hurricane, 80 percent, of Puerto Rico’s coffee harvest and trees were destroyed, resulting in an estimated total loss of $85 million in annual revenues for coffee farmers.

As Puerto Ricans waited for the government to respond, Hispanic Federation (HF) was a first responder to the crisis, and has been a major funder and driver of Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts. Since 2017, Hispanic Federation’s work in Puerto Rico has grown and our investments have only deepened. In fact, HF has invested a historic $54 million and partnered with hundreds of local, grass roots organizations to not only address the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Fiona and other natural disasters, but advance long-term resiliency efforts efforts, including revitalizing the coffee sector, increasing the archipelago’s reliance on renewable energy, and more to build a stronger and more resilient Puerto Rico.

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Building a stronger and more resilient Puerto Rico
$ 0 M
In philanthropic funding invested through Hispanic Federation’s recovery and resiliency efforts.
Empowering a network of nonprofits
0
Local nonprofit community collaborators throughout Puerto Rico.
Supporting local entrepreneurs
0 +
Small and micro-entrepreneurs have been supported and bolstered through our recovery and resiliency efforts.

 Our Goals

Since 2017, Hispanic Federation has been one of the largest private funders, implementers, and advocates for Puerto Rico’s disaster relief, sustainable recovery, and resiliency efforts.

Hispanic Federation aims to expand capacity, equity, and social capital across historically marginalized communities, strengthen local economies, and respond to the front-line realities of climate change in Puerto Rico. We do so through:

  • a transformational philanthropic and nonprofit capacity building strategy,  
  • a large, collaborative network of local and national non-profit organizations, 
  • an innovative, adaptive, and holistic approach to policy and programs,  
  • broad public education and civic engagement campaigns, and 
  • an emphasis on strong, multisector partnerships.

Our goal is to help the local community build a Puerto Rico where all people can live with dignity and thrive. Hispanic Federation promotes a sustainable and just recovery, by prioritizing our work and investments in advancing social, economic, and environmental justice. This includes:

  • Climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resiliency initiatives 
  • Safe, dignified, and affordable housing 
  • Sustainable agriculture & food security 
  • Solar energy & clean water access 
  • Natural resources restoration and conservation 
  • Healthcare & wellness access 
  • Economic empowerment and mobility 
  • Accessible quality education 
  • Human & civil rights protection  
  • Civic engagement and transparency
  •   Arts & culture  
  • Emergency preparedness and relief

Our Work in Puerto Rico

Explore all of the work we lead to build a stronger and more resilient Puerto Rico.

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Sustainable Agriculture and Habitat Restoration

Advancing sustainable agriculture and environmental protection has been a central focus of our work in Puerto Rico since 2017. Working with local environmental organizations, farmers, fishers, climate justice advocates, and community leaders, HF has invested over $8 million to restore natural habitats, protect critical ecosystems, and strengthen local agriculture and fishing communities on the island.

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Energy Resiliency and Justice

HF collaborates with multi sector partners to help lead Puerto Rico towards a more just, sustainable, and human-centered energy future. Since 2017, HF has also provided the funding, technical assistance, and capacity support needed to contribute towards more than 250 solar energy installations across the archipelago, and so much more.

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Community Planning and Development

Since 2017, HF has led a number of community planning and development initiatives, including the repairing and fortification of homes damaged by natural disasters, conducting culturally and linguistically competent outreach regarding the 2020 census, and more.

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Economic Empowerment in Puerto Rico

In order to give everyone across the archipelago the opportunity to participate and thrive in our economy and society, HF has established various programs and advocacy campaigns to equip community members with 21st century skills, expand access to tax benefits, and more.

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Nonprofit Development and Grantmaking

Hispanic Federation empowers grassroots nonprofits across Puerto Rico that are on the frontlines of serving the local community through grantmaking, capacity building, and more.

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Policy and Advocacy

Hispanic Federation leads a number of policy and advocacy campaigns to advance opportunity for communities across Puerto Rico. Much like our work at the national level, our policy and advocacy work in Puerto Rico focuses on three pillars: civil rights, justice, and equity and empowerment. Learn more about our policy and advocacy work in Puerto Rico below.

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Take Action for Puerto Rico!

Through hard work and advocacy with partners, we’ve been able to make significant progress toward achieving some of our shared goals. Take Action for Puerto Rico! continues to bring together people and organizations to raise awareness, stimulate collaboration, and take action around critical issues for Puerto Rico.

Disaster Relief and Recovery 

Since 2017, Hispanic Federation has been a first on-the-ground, front-line responder to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the 2020 earthquakes, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Hurricane Fiona in 2022. To do so, Hispanic Federation takes unprecedented action, helping to coordinate hundreds of donation drives in the States, distributing millions of pounds of food, water and essentials to those most affected, delivering emergency relief aid to the hardest-hit municipalities, partnering with dozens of local organizations, and seeding millions of dollars to support emergency relief and recovery projects throughout Puerto Rico.

From 2017-2022, Hispanic Federation invested $51 million to support Puerto Rican families and communities, with 94 cents of every dollar going to support emergency relief and long-term recovery programs 

Read our Five-Year Report

Read our report – Building a Stronger and More Resilient Puerto Rico – which details our disaster recovery and resiliency work between 2017 and 2022.

Contact Us

For more information about our work in Puerto Rico, contact us below.

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