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.

A Local Food Revolution in Puerto Rico

At farms like Cosechas Tierra Viva in Las Piedras, run by Eduardo Burgos and Franco Marcano, where they grow kale, arugula, green beans, and eggplant for local farmers’ markets, the storm kicked them into high gear. Just a month after Maria’s landfall, they converted the farm to run exclusively on solar energy and shifted their irrigation system’s source to rainwater.

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.

Puerto Rico: Deciding Its Energy Future

The immediate energy nightmare in Puerto Rico is gradually winding down, with electrical power now available to about 90 percent of households (some rural areas are still without power). But it’s clear to nearly everyone that a reversion to the island’s previous energy status quo is not a viable option…

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.