“We Each Have a Commitment to the Community”: Solar Resilience in a Puerto Rico Town

By creating a microgrid with other local businesses on the grid, including a bakery, hardware store, and pharmacy, Adjuntas could gain energy security during emergencies, all while starving the fossil fuel industry by unplugging those with the highest energy demands.

The Quake after the Storm: Slouching toward Sustainability in Puerto Rico

Puerto Ricans were plunged in the dark once more in January, this time due to an earthquake that severely damaged a major power plant near the southern coast.  Recurring tremors led to thousands sleeping in the open for weeks. The blackout, while temporary, was ominously reminiscent of the long blackout following Hurricane María two years ago, which left some residents without power for nearly a year.

DisemPOWERed (Documentary Film Review)

The difference between Casa Pueblo’s shining example and the bleak energy reality faced by Puerto Ricans at large is the main lament of the documentary DisemPOWERed. Written and produced by anthropology and Latin American studies professor Sandy Smith-Nonini, this indie film is a meticulously researched, densely informative—yet accessible—exposé of Puerto Rico’s economic, political and energy woes.

Report Shows Hurricane Maria Death Toll Overwhelmingly Hit the Poorest and Oldest

A much anticipated study into the death toll from Hurricane Maria was released Tuesday. The independent report, commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico, puts the number of people who died at 2,975 ith low-income communities and elderly men at the highest risk of death.

This Hurricane Season, Puerto Ricans Are Imagining a Sustainable Future

A just recovery for Puerto Rico not only means rebuilding what Maria destroyed, but reclaiming the political and economic agency stifled by American colonialism.

Hurricane Maria was so Much Worse than we Thought

People in Puerto Rico have endured the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria since the storm hit 8 months ago, with many still struggling to get clean water and medical care. Now there’s evidence that the death toll from Maria and its aftermath has been far worse than previously thought

FEMA ends Food and Water Aid to Struggling Puerto Rico

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will end food and water aid to Puerto Rico despite the island’s ongoing struggles, NPR reported on Monday. Officials have argued that the immediate humanitarian crisis following Hurricane Maria has ended. Puerto Ricans might contest that assertion.

Hurricane Maria Crushed Puerto Rico farms. This Activist Wants to Grow Resilience through Food.

Obviously, we are still in the emergency relief situation, but food takes time to grow. And so we really, really need to see this as an immediate issue. How do we get farmers back to farming? How do we get a roof over their heads? How do we get them seeds? How do we get them tools? Because it takes a while to not only be happier, but to be more autonomous.

Power for Puerto Ricans, not Private Investors

It has been almost a month since Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Since then, most of the island’s 3.4 million residents have been without electricity or running water. The power grid was effectively destroyed, with only 7 percent back online to date. This means that the entire system, from generation to distribution, will need to be rebuilt. The question now is: how?

The Mental Health toll of Puerto Rico’s Prolonged Power Outages

I have studied various disasters’ effects on health, from the Sept. 11 terrorist attack to Hurricane Sandy. Based on my studies of hurricanes and power outages, we can expect to see a number of lasting effects on Puerto Rico in the months ahead, including mental health issues.

Tesla’s Solar Vision Gets its First Big Test in Puerto Rico

Tesla is only the most prominent company to bypass the conventional avenues of rebuilding to install renewable power and batteries. Other companies and nonprofits have been marshalling resources to fill the void left by federal relief efforts. German renewable energy outfit Sonnen has pledged to build microgrids in priority areas, working with local partner Pura Energia to install donated batteries to power first aid and community centers. Another group, Resilient Power Puerto Rico, is distributing solar generators to remote communities, where they can serve as hubs for immediate necessities like charging phones and filtering water.

Irma and María: Shedding Light on Puerto Rico’s Colonial Reality

Before Irma’s and María’s devastating pit stops in the Archipelago, Puerto Rico was (and still is, even more so now) undergoing one of the most detrimental financial and socio-political crises of its contemporary history. With an unaudited $74 billion debt under its belt, and $49 billion in pension obligations, with decades of illegal bond issuances and trades and an overly-advertised tax haven, Puerto Rico was/is almost literally drowning.