Third Update From Puerto Rico

Via email from Astrid Cruz:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

— Emily Dickinson

91 recipients, 138 donations, 300+ lives touched to the date (humans and animals alike). These are the results of just one hurricane relief effort in the island run by three people (my parents and I). One of many that, quite frankly, aren’t enough.

Local and federal government have failed Puerto Rico. It has been thanks to private ones that communities like the ones near where I live in Caguas have gotten a bit of help. A Catholic priest, Father José Oquendo, contacted me out of the blue asking for help (he’s a friend of one of Mom’s cousins) asking if I could help with cases in his community of Villa Carmen. I said yes right away and we managed to get them food and supplies, including a butane stove for an almost blind mother and her disabled daughter and underpads for an elderly lady who’s been bedridden for years now. “If you see the houses,” Father Oquendo paused in the middle of the street, “they’re intact, however, inside, there is so much need.”

We were promised power for 95% of the island by Dec 15. It didn’t happen. Some are being told it will take up to a year to reestablish it in their area. Families are spending money they don’t have in generators and fuel so they can keep food and medicines cool. Businesses are either closing or never reopened. People keep dying because of lack of power in hospitals, doctor offices, costs of keeping a ventilator on or a dialysis machine. Suicides are happening on a daily basis because of how tired, how fed-up people are. And our government keeps lying to us about the death toll, about the energizing percentages.

Christmas is coming and there are still people without roofs, living like a in a shoe in someone else’s house. There are still people with no food and no means to get it.

I’m angry and sad. I wish I could do so much more. Instead, I’m trying to focus on what I can do, and that is pick-up and channel donations as best I can.

Please, don’t forget about this island. The government has failed us but there has been an enormous response from both Americans and International friends and that is what has kept us going.

Ways to donate:

Amazon wish-list: http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/3T4USG7ULMQN2
Amazon gift cards: artistikem@gmail.com
PayPal: artistikem@gmail.com
Mail: Artistikem PO BOX 7225 Caguas PR 00726-7225
ATH Móvil: 787-366-5068

Previously here:

Don’t Forget Puerto Rico Or Its Abandoned Pets
Puerto Rico Is Still In Trouble
Second Update From Puerto Rico
An Update From Puerto Rico
Amazon Wish List For Hurricane Maria Relief In Puerto Rico

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