Americas / United States / Puerto Rico

November 30, 2017

Punta Santiago: A Puerto Rican town 100 percent dependant on humanitarian aid

Punta Santiago, a town of approximately 5,000 inhabitants, was once a vibrant coastal village whose seafood restaurants brought families from all over the island. That changed the day Hurricane Maria came ashore, bringing with her fierce winds and storm surges reaching heights of seven feet that consumed everything in their path.

Local fisherman and those working in the hospitality industry (restaurants, hotels, and other tourist services) make up most of the Punta Santiago’s year-round residents. Almost everyone has lost their livelihood and means to make a living. Most fishermen lost their boats and their motors have been flooded and left completely destroyed.

As of November 18, 2017 there was no electricity or operational hotels, restaurants, etc. for those working in the hospitality industry. The harsh reality is that the community is 100 percent dependent on humanitarian aid – water, food, electricity, and other necessary items – for their survival.

Malteser International Americas will continue to support the Puerto Rican Delegation of the Order of Malta and their life-saving food distribution center in the community through next year.


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