On September 30th, I went down to Puerto Rico and witnessed first-hand the devastation Maria caused on this beautiful and tropical destination many tourists have enjoyed over the years. Though I was already expecting it, the shock of seeing threes defoliated and nature destroyed, left me heartbroken.
El Yunque, our precious rainforest, looks like nothing it was before. This forest hosts more than 240 species of trees (23 of those are not found anywhere else) and it is home to about 50 bird species. Eight major rivers originate here and they supply water to about 20% of the Puerto Rican population. A shock to this system puts that water source at risk.
Though I know that hurricanes are natural cleansers and the Puerto Rican flora and fauna are adapted to work through them, I cannot help but be concerned about the future of Puerto Rico’s ecosystems. Eventually, trees will flourish and the ecosystem will find a way because we know nature is resilient. But it is uncertain how long it will take and there are ways in which we can support the conservation efforts in Puerto Rico while that happens.
Conservation Projects in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican Amazon Relief Fund
The aviaries at Rio Abajo in Puerto Rico were hit hard with the passing of Hurricane Maria. These aviaries have conservation programs that protect the critically endangered Puerto Rican Amazon parrot. The World Parrot Trust has supported the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s efforts to recover this bird, and they created this fundraiser to rebuild what has been lost after the hurricane.
Para La Naturaleza Community Fund
Your help will get their neighboring communities back on their feet, assist in sustainable agricultural efforts, and start the process of reforestation and restoration of our natural habitats. The Para la Naturaleza Community Fund offers the opportunity to turn your contribution into immediate positive action to jumpstart the recovery of our people and the ecosystems that give us life.
Regrow Puerto Rico, a fundraiser by VisitRico
VisitRico is hosting this fundraiser to collect $405K that will provide $1,500 per month for 3 months to 100 agroecological farmers.
More coming soon…..
Organizations Protecting Stray Animals in Puerto Rico
Stray animals are a big problem in Puerto Rico. Many people move to the mainland and leave their pets behind because simply, they cannot take them. There is also a lot of misinformation about the responsibility of neutering pets which contributes to the overpopulation of unwanted animals in the rescue system.
These organizations help with that and are currently in need of support.
Santuario Canitas, Guayama
This sanctuary lost 80% of their property, so they need help rebuilding. On their facebook page, they also have a list of items that they need. Apparently they lost 20 animals due to the hurricane.
The Sato Project
The Sato Project is mobilizing to provide supplies and support to their our team on the ground in Puerto Rico and to transport as many dogs as they can to safety in the coming days and weeks. Your gift will help them ensure that countless animals are not left behind to suffer on their own during the long road to recovery ahead.
El Faro de los Animales
The eye of Hurricane María passed near their Sanctuary and destroyed most of it. They need to rebuild the sanctuary and they are accepting donations the following ways:
Banco Popular checking Acct:
Checks or Money Orders Accepted
to the Order of: ANIMAL LIGHTHOUSE RESCUE
PO Box 30349
New York, NY 10011
Gift Cards from Petsmart, Sams & The Home Depot
Save a Sato
They are OUT OF FOOD! The correct postal address to send food and other animal stuff is PARCELAS FALU #459 C, Calle 35, San Juan PR 00924. USPS starts working tomorrow, September 25.
Save a Gato
They are currently working towards sending as many cats as they can, out of Puerto Rico. You can donate via PayPal : SaveAGatoPR@gmail.com
Humane Society of Puerto Rico
They are accepting any kind of donation for the animals. Right now they are running out cleaning supplies and need money for gas. Like many in Puerto Rico, they still have no power and are operating using a generator.
More coming soon…..