It is probably common knowledge that the residents of Puerto Rico are still facing major hardships due to the damages caused by hurricane María’s winds and rain, and more so now because of the catastrophe stemming from the derisory recovery efforts. I won’t delve into that part of the problem but instead focus on the effects of the hurricane at the U of Puerto Rico’s School of Communication and its library.
More than a month after the hurricane, I finally heard from the Director of the School, Jorge Santiago-Pintor, who shared with me information and photos. Sadly, the facilities were terribly damaged: a large part of the roof of the second floor was blown off, thus causing rain and debris from the storm to enter the main offices and classrooms on that floor and then filter down and flood the library, classrooms and offices on the first floor. Across campus, the antenna and other equipment of the School’s radio station WRTU was also damaged or destroyed.
In order for the School to regain its operations and offer classes again, it urgently needs the assistance of individuals and academic institutions that might be able and willing to do so.
The help could be in the form of office equipment and supplies such as computers, printers and ink cartridges, letter-size copy paper and envelopes. The School would also welcome donations for the purchase of equipment and supplies, as well as to help with the costs of the repairs of the structure of the School, its library and radio station. Donations of specific books and journals will be requested at a later date when human resources become available to receive and catalogue printed materials.
The attached photos tell part of the story, but the situation is really much worse due to the ongoing fiscal crisis of Puerto Rico’s economy. The implication is that few, if any funds will be easily available for the school’s reconstruction and recovery, or for that matter for the university as a whole.
This message is thus a plea for the support that you and/or your academic units might be able to provide, be it with equipment and supplies that that could be gift to the School, or with funds for such matters and urgent repairs of the building and its facilities.
Check or money order donations should be written to “Universidad de Puerto Rico” and the memo space must indicate “Escuela de Comunicación”. Please address the envelope to Jorge Santiago-Pintor, is P.O. Box 21880, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931-1880. You may also contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do CC me on any donations so I can try to be abreast of the process. Given the challenges in the mail delivery, it’ll be important to keep track of or follow-up on donations to assure they get to their intended destination. I can be reached at email@example.com or +1 512-965-5267.
NOTE: Federico Subervi is working to start a GoFundMe so that donations can be taken in more easily online. Please contact him for more information so he can update you if that becomes available.
Thank you kindly from the bottom of my heart and Alma Mater.