Rebuild, Restore, Recover: One Endeavors Employee’s Mission To Rehouse Puerto Ricans In Need
Last Updated: 09 Mar 2021
Disaster Relief & Emergency Servicesecho $minutes. " Minute Read"?>
Once the damage from Hurricane Maria was realized, Endeavors Puerto Rico Program Manager Carlos Cubero knew he had to do more.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, the need to rebuild and recover is greater than Puerto Rico’s severely beaten infrastructure can support at the moment. The logistics of rebuilding after a natural disaster are often hampered by weakened roadways, an unreliable power grid, and a lack of viable supplies. Additionally, many people whose homes were damaged or destroyed also lost their jobs from the storm and may not be able to afford a rebuild.
That’s why Endeavors Puerto Rico has been providing disaster recovery, working one-on-one with families and individuals since 2018. Through our individualized disaster case management approach, we’re helping our clients recover their standard of living. What does that look like in the day-to-day? Among other recovery strategies, it involves replacing damaged furniture, installing water cisterns, and securing temporary housing.
However, there’s something very visceral about working with people who have lost nearly everything and have nowhere to turn. And it’s the feeling of knowing you are helping others that prompted Endeavors Program Manager Carlos Cubero to lead his team of Disaster Case Managers from rebuild project to rebuild project. It’s also what prompted him to lead a volunteer effort that would prove exactly how passionate he is about helping others.
Cubero saw first-hand the devastation and sense of hopelessness that many in Puerto Rico continue to experience, even two years after the hurricane. He saw families who needed more than a new couch or their electricity restored. He met people without a safe, permanent home of their own anymore — people whose everything had been blown away by the storm.
Not one to sit by and watch, Cubero took action and spearheaded a volunteer operation to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Maria. By reaching out to collaborators like the Hispanic Federation, the Lutheran Church, nonprofits like Puerto Rico Al Sur, hardware stores, and community leaders, he secured thousands of dollars in donations to purchase building materials.
One such church was Christian Aid Ministries, an organization dedicated to helping those in need around the globe. The ministry sourced volunteers to travel on mission trips and build houses for Puerto Ricans in desperate need of disaster recovery assistance. This organization even provided an astonishing $8 million worth of its own building materials.
In all, Cubero brought together twelve organizations for a common cause, totaling over 2,800 volunteers from across the United States and Canada.
Some home repairs were simple: painting, replacing doors and windows, and interior cleaning. Other homes required major structural repairs like removing entire walls or complete reconstruction from the ground up.
Since the birth of this project in February of 2019, Cubero and the volunteers have repaired a staggering 2,000 homes for Puerto Ricans hit by the hurricane.
But the work is not done yet, as of Spring of 2021, the organization has impacted 120 families, 30 houses were repaired, 20 rebuilt with a total of in-kind donation of $908,066. They project to impact 175 more homes to be repaired, a value of $3,355,00 in-kind donations. As an organization whose mission is to help vulnerable people in crisis, we could not be prouder to have such a compassionate, dedicated teammate. Cubero and his work embody everything Endeavors stands for and aspires to put out into the world.
How Can You Help Puerto Rico?
As this project moves forward, Endeavors Puerto Rico continues the call for volunteers. We need more hands to help. The impact our volunteers have on the lives of Hurricane Maria survivors is immeasurable. Thanks to them we have been able to impact more than 70,000 individuals, but there are still many people to help. If you are interested in volunteering, contact our team!
If you don’t have the time or means to travel and volunteer as a builder, you can still make a difference! Many families and individuals who were still recovering from Hurricane Maria were once again hit by a natural disaster when a 6.4 earthquake rocked the main island of Puerto Rico. Endeavors has started a disaster relief drive for anyone who would like to help. A $3.00 donation can provide enough bottled water for a family of four to stay hydrated for two days. Imagine what $10.00, $50.00, or $100.00 can do for people who need help right now.
About Endeavors Puerto Rico
Our mission is simple, our work is life-changing. We are passionately serving vulnerable Puerto Ricans in crisis through our innovative, personalized approach to Disaster Case Management and Emergency Services. By teaming up with local community organizations, nonprofits, municipalities, Long-Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs), and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs), we provide comprehensive recovery plans for survivors of federally-declared disasters like Hurricane Maria.