De Pueblo a Pueblo and Narra Foundation have made a difference at the Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR) in Humacao. Serving a large underserved student population, this campus suffered the most devastation from Hurricane María. Our help focused on the Águedo Mojica Marrero Library, whose building suffered major structural damages. This repository houses unique Puerto Rican heritage collections, such as the Santiago Iglesias Pantín labor movement collection and the personal library of Luis Rafael Sánchez, the prominent contemporary writer and intellectual.
On May 2, 2018, Professor Arlene Díaz, on behalf of De Pueblo a Pueblo~Narra Foundation, delivered much needed equipment to Professor Milagros Rodríguez, the librarian in charge of these invaluable collections. Priority was given to the purchase of dehumidifiers, blower fans and humidity meters as there is an urgency to mitigate the humidity inside the repository. Water leaking from the ceiling and walls are causing damage to books and manuscript collections. Mold has invaded the library space, attacking books, documents, furniture, walls, and acoustic ceilings inside. While all of the library holdings are at risk, the Iglesias Pantín collection is currently the most affected by the mold invasion. Many of these archival materials date back to the late nineteenth century.
The first picture below is of Professors Rodríguez and Díaz with a carload of dehumidifiers and fans. Additional pictures show the items donated by De Pueblo a Pueblo at use inside the third floor of the UPR-Humacao Águedo Mojica Marrero Library. As can be appreciated from these May 4, 2018 photographs, the current conditions at the library are of great concern as they constitute a health hazard to library staff and users. The third group of pictures, taken in February 2018, show mold damage to the Santiago Iglesias Pantín collection, a national patrimony of the Puerto Rican people.
For Professor Rodríguez, the contributions she has received from De Pueblo a Pueblo~Narra Foundation, and from concerned individual faculty members at various U.S. universities, has meant the world to her. Not only will the donated equipment help mitigate the current hazardous conditions inside the library building, but also the solidarity received from U.S.-based concerned citizens will provide her with the energy to keep caring for these heritage collections under very challenging circumstances. Through these efforts, De Pueblo a Pueblo~Narra Foundation is fulfilling its mission of providing direct help to where it is acutely needed.