San Juan, Puerto Rico: After the Storm


Puerto Rico is known for its diverse topography. You can journey within hours from the lush forests of the US Parks Service’s largest protected rainforest in El Yunque to arid lands approaching the definition of desertous. Contributing to the dramatic topographical changes is the dramatic weather. Changes in climate over the years have contributed to worsening storms represented in the most recent devastation of Hurricane Maria.
After cataclysmic events, like Hurricane Maria, one of the most critical needs is access to communication and information. For weeks after Maria, many families were left without any communication not just from the US to the island, but even across the island. The status of loved ones and the plight of various communities remained in question. Meteorologist Ada Monzon walks with Earl along the beach of one of the hardest hit communities, Loíza, to explain the aftermath and her role in keeping people informed.
Once the storm cleared, the devastating effects were made obvious in towns like
Caguas. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Iván “Pudge” Rodriguez, partnered up with Raul Rodriguéz and the Cagua Criollos baseball franchise to help the community of Caguas. They provided all kinds of assistance including food and water despite the intense damage suffered by Criollos stadium, an iconic Puerto Rican stadium where many of baseball’s greatest have played over decades in the winter leagues. Pudge also toured Craig and Earl around his Pudge Coffee farm in his hometown of Vega Baja where priority one has been to get coffee farmers back in business.
Casa Pueblo in the mountain town of Adjuntas is a community organization famous for winning the coveted Goldman Environmental Prize. Director Arturo Massol-Deya continues the mission and focus of his parents Tinti Deyá Díaz and Alexis Massol González, Casa Pueblo’s founders. They support the town of Adjuntas by providing services to the community through things like their farms, radio station, medical labs along with things like their solar cinema. Post-Maria, Casa Pueblo was one of the only places on the island that didn’t lose power because of their solar infrastructure.