After Hurricane Maria, communications were nonexistent, and relief efforts were at a standstill. A group of people who love Vieques deeply, both on and off-island, came together to raise funds to restore communication and other vital services. Today, the organization's focus is on bringing Vieques a sustainable future.
ViequesLove is partnering with nonprofits across Vieques, as well as the coalition of government agencies, to meet the needs of the people of Vieques. Because ViequesLove was born in crisis and continues to operate in emergency situations, our future is unclear. To fund these efforts and related missions, ViequesLove is using the money donated to this GoFundMe by our overwhelmingly generous donors. Any funds left over after relief operations have ceased will be dedicated to creating a more sustainable future for Vieques.
ViequesLove is under the fiscal sponsorship of COREFI, a registered 501c3 organization, that has been providing relief to at-risk citizens of Vieques, long before Maria struck Vieques. Due to the scope of the project minor administration fees have been necessary. All team members are unpaid volunteers.
We want to give a heartfelt thank you to our donors. You have made many things possible on Vieques and have given many people hope. The love for Vieques is true, steady and most of all, unconditional. We thank you and continue to work for you and our island home.
Accomplishments To Date
• Utilized satellite phones to establish communication between key local entities; hospital, police, airport and team leaders on and off the island.
• Delivered a satellite phone by boat to Culebra.
• Set up call center to allow Vieques residents to call loved ones.
Media and Government Outreach
• Mounted a national media campaign to bring attention to the plight of Vieques. Vieques has been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly, CBS, Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other news outlets across the country and globe.
• Advocated with key legislators to provide more aid to Vieques and rally against the Jones Act
• Advocated with key government officials to bring more aid to Vieques and recently requested information on the relief and recovery plan from the Federal Coordinating Officer for Puerto Rico.
• Filled private planes landing directly on Vieques in the first two weeks after the storm with baby supplies, food, medicine, and other needed supplies.
• Provided immediate support to police department to fill vehicles with gas
• Shipments of food distributed to Corefi, Departemento de Familia, and Alianza Cristiana y Misionera Vieques, the Boys and Girls Club
• Donation made to Banco de Aliamentos de PR so that they could continue to serve their Vieques and Puerto Rico clients.
• Worked with former NY Governor Pataki, the Governor’s office and other organizations to locate gas and diesel to bring to the island during the first few weeks after the storm.
Life Saving Needs
• Provided the hospital with enough medicine to establish the first free pharmacy at the hospital in 30 years.
• Distributed 73 in-kind solar generators to residents with critical medical needs requiring power
• Advocated for new generator purchase for hospital withSenator Bennie Thompson.
• Leveraged an evacuation triage system with the Red Cross to evacuate many critical needs patients including cancer, dialysis, and other medically fragile patients.
• Funded transportation for 13 dialysis patients from Vieques to San Juan
• Purchased additional generators for residents with medical needs
• Purchased and delivered critically needed generator parts for the Water Treatment Plant to prevent sewage back-ups in the streets of Vieques.
• Supported Eva Bolivar, Jose Andres and Chefs of Puerto Rico to provide meals to Vieques
• Supported Claritza Navarro and her M&M Construction team to clean-up and rebuild SunBay to encourage the return of tourism after the water and food situation has stabilized.
• Funded generator technicians to come to the island to evaluate and service the 22 generators running critical infrastructure services, like the water pumps and water sanitation plants.