It is currently less than 24 hours until I embark on my journey to Puerto Rico. I had the pleasure of attending a meeting in Buffalo led by the Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Fund last night. The people at the meeting were extremely welcoming and ready to listen to anyone who was willing to help the people of Puerto Rico. There was an extremely strong sense of community. Concerned people from Buffalo, ranging from all ages, worked together to help those in need. Despite the age difference between the attendees of the meeting, everyone was shown equal respect and everyone had a chance to speak. They all collaborated like I’ve never seen before. The goal of helping those in desperate need of relief was all that mattered to these individuals. It was truly a pleasure to meet everyone at the meeting and listen to their concerns. I hope I can report back to them in a week and share positive news about the current state of Puerto Rico.
There were many discussions about the current state of the island. One individual spoke about how anxiety has spread throughout the island. However, what stood out to me was the extent of that anxiety. The individual at the meeting stated that people have noticed that bees and other animals are starting to leave the island. The anxiety is felt by all species that inhabit Puerto Rico. This is fair considering the damage inflicted by Maria and by the recent earthquakes. Also, it makes sense that people are feeling anxious because the US government failed the people of Puerto Rico by withholding relief funds for such a long time. The entire island is rightfully anxious that more damage will occur and that they will have to fend for themselves. To those who are anxious, I would like to let them know that #UBLawResponds hears their concerns and I will try my best to bring their stories to the mainland when I return. The Puerto Rican people currently do not feel safe and have no reason to feel supported by the US government. This needs to change.
I would like to also thank the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade Association of WNY for making a generous donation to the UB Law Clinic’s continued efforts to support the people of Puerto Rico.
To support the continued work of the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal please, please donate here.