It’s been a busy week in Puerto Rico, where the people have had enough of corruption, graft, disrespect, criminal negligence that resulted in thousands of deaths due to inept disaster response… The list goes on and on. This New York Times piece sums it up.
While things are a bit better in Vega Baja since the NYSNA medical mission in January 2018, La Perla in San Juan looked pretty much the same on my visit one year later in January 2019.
On my last visit, to attend the National Association of Hispanic Nurses Leadership Institute, we helped administer vaccines. And I took a photo journey, all by my lonesome. Then I took what I found back to NAHN, who doesn’t just talk–they act.
The NAHN Ad Hoc Committee for Puerto Rico was formed at the Leadership conference, and we’re developing partnerships with states, such as New York, who have offered tangible support and with other non governmental and labor organizations to continue to return to facilitate recovery.
On July 17, 2019 I was honored to present: The Way Forward: An Ethnographic Review of Rescue, Recovery, Social and Climate Justice in Puerto Rico and the NAHN Annual Meeting.
This presentation documents a timeline of inaction by the Federal Government and it’s agencies including FEMA. No we have solid evidence that Govenor Ricardo Rosselló diverted aid, both tangible and financial, and failed to act to save people’s lives, then not only lied, he bragged about it and got caught with his pants down on vacation in Paris.
But the people of Puerto Rico, who valiantly took charge when the government didn’t. And multiple faith based, labor and other non governmental agencies continue to offer support for recovery.
I know that the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and multiple other health care community allies intend to help in whatever why they can. I thank NAHN for their advocacy, and for inviting me, as a new member, to share my experiences and expertise to help facilitate much needed change.