I am Puerto Rico! We are Puerto Rico!

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I am Puerto Rico! We are Puerto Rico!

From Adalina Agosto

I'm raising money for my Puerto Rican brothers and sisters. 100% of all monies donated will go directly to organizations on the ground in Puerto Rico.

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Update #7

over 4 years ago

It is now one month after Hurricane Maria. Our relatives in San Juan sent us photos today of empty shelves at the supermarket she shops in - one month later.

My partner and her grandparents arrived safely to NY and just yesterday visited a center where they were providing evacuation services. The photo attached to this update shows what they were given from the Red Cross. Just a few items as you can see with best wishes and the suggestion of contacting them in one month should they need additional supplies.

Can this really be happening? Is this the type of support Americans deserve? Where is all the money being donated to these large charitable organizations being spent?

I am pleased to inform you that Lusianie and I have booked our flights and we are flying down to Puerto Rico on Friday, October 27th. This time next week I will be handing out solar lamps and chargers, bottles of water, tarps, clothes, batteries, insect repellent and I would be dishonest if I didn't share that I plan to buy a few toys and Halloween costumes to bring just a little joy to the little ones.

After this relief mission, we will continue to raise money to provide a Community Thanksgiving to one of the forgotten neighborhoods in Caguas. Thanksgiving is typically the start of the happiest time of the year for my Puerto Rican brothers and sisters. I'd love to help them start the season with a fully belly and a big smile!

I CANNOT WAIT to share photos of what YOU made happen with your generous donations. Words wont ever be ever to express my gratitude. And if you continue to share this page, I promise you, we will be able to help more people. For some, life in PR feels like the hurricane just happened yesterday. Let's help them. Together.

With love and with never ending gratitude,

Adalina

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I am absolutely devastated by the suffering that my island is enduring.  If you know me at all, you know that I live for Puerto Rico and I am absolutely obsessed with my isla.

90% of my island was obliterated by Hurricane Maria.  We have only just begun to see the damage and unfortunately, I am sure we will be witness to horrific images in the days and weeks to come.

While I appreciate all charities, it is hard for me to donate to an organization that doesn't use 100% of their monies for their cause.  Should you feel compelled to help, I can guarantee that I will personally deliver 100% of all donations to organizations on the ground in PR.

So many families have lost everything.  Please help me to help them.  Please help me to help her, mi Puerto Rico, mi isla del encanto. 

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Adalina Agosto posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #7

It is now one month after Hurricane Maria. Our relatives in San Juan sent us photos today of empty shelves at the supermarket she shops in - one month later.

My partner and her grandparents arrived safely to NY and just yesterday visited a center where they were providing evacuation services. The photo attached to this update shows what they were given from the Red Cross. Just a few items as you can see with best wishes and the suggestion of contacting them in one month should they need additional supplies.

Can this really be happening? Is this the type of support Americans deserve? Where is all the money being donated to these large charitable organizations being spent?

I am pleased to inform you that Lusianie and I have booked our flights and we are flying down to Puerto Rico on Friday, October 27th. This time next week I will be handing out solar lamps and chargers, bottles of water, tarps, clothes, batteries, insect repellent and I would be dishonest if I didn't share that I plan to buy a few toys and Halloween costumes to bring just a little joy to the little ones.

After this relief mission, we will continue to raise money to provide a Community Thanksgiving to one of the forgotten neighborhoods in Caguas. Thanksgiving is typically the start of the happiest time of the year for my Puerto Rican brothers and sisters. I'd love to help them start the season with a fully belly and a big smile!

I CANNOT WAIT to share photos of what YOU made happen with your generous donations. Words wont ever be ever to express my gratitude. And if you continue to share this page, I promise you, we will be able to help more people. For some, life in PR feels like the hurricane just happened yesterday. Let's help them. Together.

With love and with never ending gratitude,

Adalina

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Adalina Agosto posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #6

It has been three weeks since Hurricane Maria hit my island home. I understand it is hard to believe that US citizens are dying of thirst and hunger but I can speak for several members of my very own family who have sent texts that one almost wouldn't believe it - they have not been visited by one member of relief personnel and they have run out of water.

Like you, I see all the donations pouring in, I see the military, in fact, my own daughter is part of the US Coast Guard and was deployed to Puerto Rico to assist with the relief efforts. However, it isn't a secret that red tape and politics and criminality is keeping the donations from reaching the people who need them the most.

With your help, we are visiting shelters, rescues, orphanages and towns which have been forgotten.

The next step is the Million Puerto Ricans March on Washington on November 4th. We have to remind our government that we too are US citizens and if this catastrophe happened in any state on the mainland, an emergency status three weeks later would be unheard of.

Won't you join me? Donate with me? March with me? We can't slow down our efforts now. Our fellow citizens of the United States need us.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you ever so much.

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Adalina Agosto posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #5

Today, my partner Lusianie visited Hogar Fatima, an orphanage for older girls in Bayamon. She arrived just in time as they did not have any drinking water. Their building sustained minimal damage and the girls are in great spirits.

Lusianie took water, food, ice to the girls and they were so excited to receive them. Lusianie said it felt like Christmas. As Lusianie is a chef, they begged her to stay and give them a cooking lesson but Lusianie had another orphanage to visit before she returns to New York for some much needed rest.

Our fund raising continues as we plan to continue to visit those Puerto Ricans who have been forgotten by the local and federal governments. We will not rest until one day we can rest well knowing our people made it through. Once that happens, piña coladas on me!

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Adalina Agosto posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #4

I've hit 25% of my $10,000 goal. I will not stop until I am confident that my people are out of danger!

Instead of an update, I'd like to share Dana Milbank's article in today's Washington Post:

The sad suspicion about Trump’s shameful treatment of Puerto Rico

By Dana Milbank Opinion writer September 26 at 7:53 PM
Suppose that the entire San Diego metropolitan area had lost electrical power, and it wouldn’t be restored for months.

Or, suppose that most of the ports, roads and cellular towers in the Seattle metropolitan area had been destroyed, and a major dam had failed.

Or, that most of the homes in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota were either damaged or destroyed in one day.

Or, that the combined populations of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont had seen much of their forests and agricultural land wiped out.

Or, that the residents of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming — combined — had lost access to food and clean water, leaving them vulnerable to cholera. And imagine that overflowing hospitals, without power, had no capacity to deal with an outbreak.

Now, imagine that in response to any of these scenarios, the president of the United States variously ignored the plight of the affected Americans (in all of the above cases about 3.4 million people, give or take), blamed them for their own troubles and provided inadequate help. This is precisely what is happening right now to the 3.4 million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico, an island territory more populous than about 20 states. Hurricane Maria essentially wiped out these Americans’ ports, roads, electricity, communications, water supply and crops and many homes. Yet, a week after the storm, the response from the American mainland has been paltry.

There is no rush, as there was after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, to approve the emergency funds that Puerto Rico will surely need. There has been no massive movement of military personnel and equipment to Puerto Rico: no aircraft carrier (one was sent to the Florida Keys in response to Hurricane Irma), no hospital ship (finally on Tuesday afternoon the Navy said it was sending one). The Post’s Joel Achenbach, Dan Lamothe and Alex Horton called the three Navy amphibious ships dispatched to Puerto Rico “a modest fleet given the scale of the crisis.”

President Trump, so visible when Harvey and Irma hit, all but ignored the devastation that Maria brought to Puerto Rico, devoting more attention to respect for the flag at NFL games. When he did turn his focus to Puerto Rico on Monday, it was to say that the island “was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt” and that its “old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars . . . owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”

Two Trump Cabinet members, Energy Secretary Rick Perry (who traveled with Trump to Texas and Florida after hurricanes there) and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, made a joint public appearance Monday but didn’t even mention Puerto Rico. And the Trump administration said it would not assist Puerto Rico by waiving the Jones Act, which restricts the use of foreign cargo ships, after waiving the act in response to Harvey and Irma.

Finally, Trump began to say the right things on Tuesday, acknowledging Puerto Rico “needs a lot of money.” He said he’ll visit next Tuesday. Trump explained that there’s “a very big ocean” around Puerto Rico but said “we’re doing a really good job” and predicted his administration will get an “A-plus” for its response.

That’s out of the question, but Trump could avoid a failing grade if he hurries. Experts say the island could within days have disease outbreaks and the loss of law and order.

As Achenbach, et al. report, Adm. Paul Zukunft, the Coast Guard commandant, said Monday that he understands why Puerto Rico’s residents feel forgotten. “They feel isolated, and they’re probably getting a sense of betrayal, of, well, ‘Where is the cavalry?’ ” Zukunft said.

Good question. Phillip Carter, a military specialist with the Center for a New American Security, wrote a piece for Slate likening Trump’s “anemic” response in Puerto Rico to President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Carter told me Puerto Rico conservatively needs a response of 50,000 U.S. troops. Even Haiti — a foreign country — got the help of more than 20,000 troops after its 2010 earthquake.

“The response to Harvey and Irma and previous disasters has been much more substantial,” Carter said. Trump, he said, “is more interested in the NFL than Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.”

No question the logistics are harder in Puerto Rico. But the 3.4 million U.S. citizens there have long endured second-class status: no voting members of Congress, no presidential vote, unequal benefits and high poverty. Now, the Trump administration’s failure to help Americans in Puerto Rico with the same urgency it gave those in Texas and Florida furthers a sad suspicion that the disparate treatment has less to do with logistics than language and skin color.

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Adalina Agosto posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #3

Here is the latest update:

•Many towns have not seen one officer, one soldier. As you can see by the photo, have no water, no food. Things will continue to get worse before they get better.

•Total military personnel count: 1,300 soldiers in the island.

•Airport: Over 300 people spent the night at the Airport yesterday. There is currently a limit of 10 commercial flights per day as their control tower's radar was heavily damaged. Airlines have "stand by" waiting lists of 20,000 passengers each. JetBlue, Delta, Spirit, American Airlines and United only have outbound flights to the US. American Airlines is charging over $2200 for round trip tickets to PR basically paralyzing those who want to get to their families!

•Mail: USPS still can't service the island. FedEx might resume service mid-week.

•The Manatí mayor is ANGRY at the Gov. and is asking for help desperately. They need water urgently. They haven't seen anyone.

•A few retailers and wholesalers like Costco have water for sale and also have cash-back service at the registers.

• 21 people were arrested for violating curfew. Other arrests have also been made (1 adult with 3 minors robbing a hardware store, 1 Walgreens in Santurce was robbed and set on fire, thieves are robbing car batteries and fuel from parked cars at night).

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Adalina Agosto posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #2

Thunderstorms pounded the island last night dropping buckets of water on already uninhabitable areas. Looters are rampant and food is starting to become scarce. Families are worried about how they will feed their children. Supermarkets are under water and people are worried about riots. People are scared to sleep. The nightmare is only beginning.

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Adalina Agosto posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #1

My latest report from my family and friends on the island:

Gas stations are extremely damaged and they will not be able to supply gas for transportation, generators, etc. Hospitals in Carolina are non-functioning. There is one clinic open in San Juan that is functioning with a partial generator. They are moving patients into hallways of other buildings to protect them and attempt to give them the attention they need. My heart is broken.

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