Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Virgin Islands Rebuilding Fund Drive

De Pueblo a Pueblo (From People to People) was sparked by a group of concerned citizens in Bloomington Indiana after the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and María, and the two large earthquakes in Mexico in September of 2017. Then and still now there is an urgency to help.  Neglected by their respective local and federal governments, the people in these nations need a humanitarian hand to uplift them so they can stand back on their feet again. Guided by the words of Nobel Prize Elinor Ostrom, we started to contact “the people on the spot” (Governing the Commons, 1990) to learn about their their needs and assess solutions. As a result of several weeks of conversations with various people raging from community leaders to everyday citizens, we will focus our fund drive efforts toward a common pillar of our community: Education.

By addressing the needs of institutions that focus on education, we are helping the core and future of the reconstruction process. A functional school and university provide the normalcy and stability younger generations need in the midst of destruction and chaos. It is critical for college students to continue their education, as this will prepare them to creatively find effective solutions to the pressing problem of these societies. In addition, schools and universities give back to the local communities by providing needed employment and working on projects that address critical needs.

The strength of De Pueblo a Pueblo lies in its research ability and connections in those places to identify the critical needs and effective projects led by the “people on the spot.” We are calling these efforts ‘People to People’ precisely because the aid will go directly from our local community to benefit a number of grassroots, people-led community projects in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Rather than supporting one big single project, De Pueblo a Pueblo is contributing to different endeavors that facilitate local people’s efforts to address critical community needs and rebuild in a stronger and sustainable way. We believe that contributing, even in small ways, highlights and empowers people-led projects which provide needed emotional support and encouragement to those working on the spot.

These are the education projects De Pueblo a Pueblo will focus on:

  1. Elementary schools:

    Given the financial hardships that the educational system in Puerto Rico is going through after Hurricanes Irma and María, schools that have literature-based curricular projects currently struggle to acquire and replace lost and damaged books in their children’s literature collections. De Pueblo a Pueblo is working with five elementary schools in critical need and in areas that still lack power like Bayamón and Humacao. Your contribution to De Pueblo a Pueblo will help provide quality children’s books for elementary schools as well as needed school supplies.

  2. Universities:
  1. Innovative college students’ and grassroots projects that address critical community problems:
  • De Pueblo a Pueblo will contribute to student-led community kitchens that help both students and local communities in need. Our efforts will focus on the soup kitchens developed by the Centro para el Desarrollo Político, Educativo y Cultural (CDPEC) at several campuses of the Universidad de Puerto Rico. Much more than a soup kitchen, this grassroots promotes agriculture, sustainability and solidarity.
  • Comité Melendre is a local business effort based in Oaxaca that has channeled aid to people affected by the September earthquakes.  Established in 2004 in Juchitán, this non-profit organization seeks to empower civil society, focusing on sustainability as well social, cultural and educational projects. Its program Canasta básica istmeña supports local business—buying directly from producers and sellers in Istmo de Tehuantepec. More info is available at here.

De Pueblo a Pueblo is working in partnership with The Narra Foundation, a local Bloomington non-profit, to make a difference in our sister communities. Your contribution will be tax-deductible and will directly benefit those in need, from people to people.

After-effects of the Disaster: Puerto Rico and Mexico, four months later

Roundtable, Wednesday, January 24, 4.00pm

Four months after hurricane María hit Puerto Rico, creating a vast path of destruction across the island and coinciding almost to the day with a series of major earthquakes in central and southern Mexico leaving millions of people without homes, there is need for reflecting on the long term consequences of natural disasters like these, beyond the material damage they caused. Some of the questions posed at this roundtable, organized by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies in collaboration with the De pueblo a pueblo initiative, will be the following: what longterm strategies for rebuilding and development have been successful after preceding major disasters like the earthquake in Haiti (2010), or Hurricane Katrine? How have disasters contributed to reshaping the relationship between governments and local communities? What is the role of public and social media channels in reporting and encouraging, but also at times distorting a public conversation on regions and communities affected by natural disasters? What is “natural” and what is “human” or “social” about disasters like the recent hurricanes and earthquakes? What are the large-scale effects of natural disasters beyond the immediate destruction created, on the collective well-being of communities, and considering especially vulnerable populations such as the disabled, the elderly, and children?

The roundtable will bring together scholars of History, Education, Geography, and Political Science, to discuss these topics. Additionally, there will be testimonials offered by IU faculty and students from Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Thoughts on Reconstruction, Imperialism, and the Unfortunate Case of Puerto Rico

“Thoughts on Reconstruction, Imperialism, and the Unfortunate Case of Puerto Rico” by Luis Fuentes-Rohwer
December 7, 4:00pm
IMU Maple Room
CRRES Speaker Series presents a lecture with Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, Professor of Law and Harry T. Ice Faculty Fellow at IU’s Maurer School of Law.
Puerto Rico is in the middle of a historic bankruptcy, yet unable to enter into traditional bankruptcy protection. Puerto Rico is in the middle of a historic rebuilding process post Hurricane Maria, yet, according to President Trump, relief workers will not stay on the island “forever.” This talk will make sense of this unfortunate condition, both as a question of US constitutional law as well as the racial identity of those who live on the island. For, make no mistake, the question of Puerto Rico is directly intertwined with the question of race at the heart of the American experiment. This talk is presented by the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society.

Bilingual Poetry Reading

Join us at Needmore Coffee Roasters (104 N. Pete Ellis, 47408) for a bilingual poetry reading by members of the Bloomington community. We will read poetry from poets Alejandro Tarrab (Mexico), Minerva Reynosa (Mexico), and Mara Pastor (Puerto Rico). We will have a donation bucket to help victims of Mexico’s earthquake and Puerto Rico’s Hurricane. If you are interested in reading or have questions about the event, email us to cardboardhousepress@gmail.com Cardboard House Press would like to thank the Bloomington Arts Commission (BAC) of the City of Bloomington and Needmore Coffee Roasters for their support. https://www.facebook.com/events/302049376942694/

We also want to encourage people to donate to “De Pueblo a Pueblo” efforts.

Bootstraps and PROMESAs: The Law and History of Puerto Rico and its Economy

The Indiana Journal of Law & Social Equality presents a panel event addressing Puerto Rico’s past and present economy and the U.S. laws that have influenced it. The event will be catered and is open to all and will also provide an opportunity for attendees to donate to disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Speakers will include Maurer J.D./Ph.D. candidate Joel Bonilla-Blondet and IU Associate Professor of History Arlene Diaz.

Date: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Room 123 (Moot Court Room), Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 211 S. Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN

Thanks to all who attended the benefit concert and who donated throughout the day.

If you missed the concert last night. You can replay it on our Facebook page http://facebook.com/depuebloapueblo

Puerto Rico México and US Virgin Islands Benefit concert ❤️ Donations appreciated at Depuebloapueblo.com

Posted by De Pueblo A Pueblo on Monday, November 6, 2017


De Pueblo a Pueblo: A Benefit Concert for Puerto Rico, Mexico, and US Virgin Island




7:00 p.m.

‘De Pueblo a Pueblo: A Benefit Concert for Puerto Rico, Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands’ serves as the kickoff event to raise funds for communities in Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Caribbean recently impacted by devastating natural disasters. The event will showcase a diverse collection of Latin American and Caribbean music, performed by artists who have made Southern Indiana their home, including performances by cellist Emilio Colón, Mariachi Perla del Medio Oeste, Orquesta Escuela Vieja, Soneros la Caliza and other special guests. It will also feature a series of short presentations by Bloomington community members who have recently visited the affected areas.

‘De Pueblo a Pueblo ~ From People to People,’ is a volunteer-based initiative of concerned citizens from Bloomington, Indiana, many of whom have personal and/or professional roots in Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Caribbean. This effort counts with the support of the City of Bloomington, local community leaders and organizations, Indiana University faculty, students and staff, as well as the collaboration of the Centro Comunal Latino, the Center for Sustainable Living and the Narra Foundation.

Charity event – “Day of the Dead” Costume Dance Party

Saturday, November 4, 9:00pm @ Serendipity, 201 S. College Ave.

The $5 cover and sale of Mexican food will contribute to hurricane and earthquake victims (http://depuebloapueblo.com/) as well as the UndocuHoosiers Alliance (https://www.facebook.com/undocuhoosiersbloomington/).

The dance party, themed around the Mexican celebration of “Dia de los muertos,” includes bachata, soca, and other forms of Latin American music, provided by DJ Good Peoples. The event will also will offer “calavera” and “catrina” (skull) face painting, homemade tamales, and homemade salsa. Attendees must be 18 years or older. For more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/134084127236468/

IU faculty partner with city, organizations for concert to benefit Latin American relief efforts

When a string of tropical storms ripped through Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Caribbean and the U.S. Virgin Islands in late August and early September, many Latin Americans in Bloomington had the same reaction: shock.

After scrambling to track down family members and friends living in the area, shock turned quickly to mobilization. Now, several Indiana University faculty and staff members have turned that mobilization into the fundraising initiative de Pueblo a Pueblo, or in English, From People to People.

“There was a real sense of urgency from people here at IU to not sit passively and to actually do something,” said Carmen Medina, associate professor in the School of Education and one of the founders of From People to People.

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