Letter to Our Community: Puerto Rico Still Needs Us

Co-founder of the Ithaca College Organization, Futures, calls us to action in helping the island of Puerto Rico build from the ground up after Hurricane Maria.

This semester I am embarking on a project that I would like to share. As all of you know, Hurricane Maria absolutely ravaged the island of Puerto Rico. Already plagued by imperialism and financial strain, Puerto Rico had to start from the ground up. Despite no longer being in the news, the island is still in disarray. Schools and hospitals still have no power, many residents have no access to clean water, and because the island is under jurisdiction of the U.S., they have to receive emergency relief funds from the government.

Think about this: the U.S. has an imperialistic relationship to Puerto Rico, they have a representative in Congress but that representative cannot vote. The 2016 Promesa Act declared that Puerto Rico was not a commonwealth, but merely a piece of land under Congress’ possession. Because of this, Congress consistently gives Puerto Rico less federal funding than any of the other 50 states. Within the U.S., the state with the lowest median household income is Mississippi, coming in at $40,593. Whereas, Puerto Rico’s median household income is $18,626.

Being raised by a single Puerto Rican mother, this is an issue very close to my heart. I feel as though most of my fellow U.S. citizens only cared for Puerto Rico right after the disaster. At this time, Puerto Rico is still in a desperate need for help and will for a long time to come. The organization, Futures, at Ithaca College, has started a community fund through the Hispanic Federation. The Hispanic Federation is the same donation resource used by other prominent Puerto Rican figures such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Lopez, and Gina Rodriguez. Every dollar counts and 100% of the funds will go towards helping the people of Puerto Rico.

Futures is dedicated to the ideals of empathy, perspective taking and mindfulness all while promoting the idea that the youth have the power to challenge and change our future. As an organization that wants to give back and support those in need, we are hoping we can count on our friends and family to donate, however little or much, toward this cause and help build back Puerto Rico. Every little bit makes a difference.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions regarding the Futures organization or the crisis in Puerto Rico itself. Thank you again for your time and donation.

Together, we have the power to make change.


Calvin Yohannan

Futures Co-Founder

Phone: 862-485-8820

Email: cyohannan@ithaca.edu

Donate here: https://hispanicfederation.org/support/unidos_community?form_id=MTAx

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