Puerto Rico

The PepsiCo Foundation to Celebrate the Installation of Solar Energy and Water Filtration Systems to Strengthen Disaster Preparedness in 10 Communities across Puerto Rico

Washington, DC (May 20, 2019) – The PepsiCo Foundation and its partners from the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Para la Naturaleza (PLN) will hold a celebration on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 with members of the community of Juan Domingo in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. The event will commemorate the installation of off-grid solar energy, water collection, and water filtration systems at the Juan Domingo en Acción community center.

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This PepsiCo Foundation-supported initiative will strengthen disaster preparedness in the community of Juan Domingo by providing access to alternate sources of energy and safe drinking water following future hurricanes. This is the first of 10 installations that will be completed and begin serving communities across Puerto Rico by October 2019. An estimated 35,000 Puerto Ricans are expected to benefit from the project. The 10 sites supported under this initiative are in San Juan, Guaynabo, Loiza, Caguas, Rio Hondo, Utuado, Luquillo, and Culebra.

“Disaster events often hit disadvantaged communities the hardest, and hurricanes Irma and Maria were no exception,” said Katie Taylor, PADF Executive Director. “Millions were left without access to electricity, clean drinking water, and other vital services for several months.” Taylor adds, “By providing more reliable access to electricity and drinking water, we’re witnessing a shift in communities’ ability to reduce the harmful effects of future hurricanes.”

Fernando Lloveras San Miguel, President of PLN, says Puerto Rico’s dependence on fossil fuels and food imports puts residents at great risk to hurricanes. With support from PepsiCo Foundation and others, PLN is helping communities to have access to sustainable energy and attain food security through ecological farming. PLN is also leading reforestation efforts in Puerto Rico. Lloveras is proud that such investments are “promoting food security, advancing sustainability, ensuring that residents can enjoy basic services throughout the year, and improving quality of life for the people of Puerto Rico.”

According to Magdalena Hernandez, Executive Director of the community organization Juan Domingo en Acción, more than 60 families of children attending school at the Juan Domingo en Acción community center lost their homes following Hurricane Maria. Thanks to The PepsiCo Foundation and its partners, Hernandez said, “the school is going to become an oasis for energy and water for more than 300 families during future emergencies.”

 

“In emergency situations, community centers like those supported by this project often serve as eyes and ears in the community,” said Aaron Van Alstine, PADF Senior Program Manager for Disaster Resilience. “Members of these community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to monitor and understand the needs of the residents.” Van Alstine says, “Access to solar energy will improve their ability to relay life-saving information to emergency responders, to serve as hubs for the distribution of emergency aid, and to provide a crucial meeting space for community members to come together and support each other in times of extreme hardship.”

 

The PepsiCo Foundation and its partners at PADF and Para la Naturaleza will hold a tree planting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. AST on Wednesday, May 22 to celebrate the equipment installation at the Juan Domingo en Acción community center. The event will take place at Centro Andarínes, Avenida Los Robles, #55-57, Barrio Juan Domingo, Guaynabo, PR 00966.

 

About The PepsiCo Foundation

Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation works with nonprofit partners and invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system – helping alleviate hunger, manage water and waste responsibly, and support women as champions of nutrition from farm to family. For more information, visit https://www.pepsico.com/sustainability/philanthropy.


PRESS CONTACTS: 

PepsiCo Foundation
Jonathan George
jonathan.b.george@pepsico.com
+1 (972) 334-2205

PADF
Isaac Fast
ifast@padf.org
+1 (202) 280-3846

Para la Naturaleza
Yazmín Solla
yazmin.solla@gmail.com  
+1 (787) 942-1694

Disaster Recovery Update: Mexico, Caribbean

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma quickly became the strongest recorded Atlantic hurricane ever, with wind speed - and consequential destruction - rivaling that of a tornado. As it pummeled Caribbean islands, many communities were so damaged that they had to completely evacuate, as in the case of Barbuda. Only a few weeks later, Hurricane Maria followed Irma's path, knocking out power and road access to many parts of Puerto Rico.

During the same month, two earthquakes devastated the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, and then in the Mexico City area. The two earthquakes reduced dozens of buildings to piles of rubble and damaged countless others. The first, which struck the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, was Mexico's strongest earthquake in a century, with powerful aftershocks that were felt for days.

See more: PADF Damage Assessment Photos of Post-Earthquake Oaxaca.

PADF has been orchestrating strategic disaster response since its conception in 1962. We have responded to over 70 of the hemisphere's worst disasters in the last 50+ years. When determining our response to these disasters, we take a number of different criteria into account: How can PADF best serve the most vulnerable affected individuals and communities? Will the solution be sustainable and practical? What practices can we employ that will help communities become more resilient than before the disaster, thereby reducing their risk for future disasters?

PADF's Response

Juchitán, Mexico. After an initial assessment of the earthquake's damage, we are supporting Centro de Atención Múltiple No.8 (C.A.M. No.8) in Juchitán with our reconstruction effort. C.A.M. No.8 is a school that serves students with disabilities and has been instrumental in raising awareness to the need of inclusion of these disadvantaged students in society. Certain damaged areas of the school are at higher risk of crumbling and must be replaced. PADF is helping the school with demolition of damaged infrastructure, replacing water tanks, repairing utilities and, most importantly, rebuilding the main classrooms and therapy room. Our focus is helping to restore normal routines for the students, thereby keeping them in school and advancing their education.

Mexico City area, Mexico. The PepsiCo Foundation has donated $500,000 to be used in the Mexico City area, which has a metro population of over 21 million. PADF has conducted on-the-ground assessments of the damage. We will keep all stakeholders informed as the ground assessment informs our response.

Puerto Rico. PADF has focused on Puerto Rico as a geographic for intervention, given its long list of complex post-disaster needs. In Puerto Rico, we are working with local and international stakeholders to identify our area of intervention. The PepsiCo Foundation has also supported the disaster response in Puerto Rico by donating $500,000 to be pooled with individual contributions.

We will post updates as recovery efforts develop in each of these areas. Thank you again for your donation and for supporting post-crisis communities. With your help, we will support the most vulnerable people in these areas, seeking to make their communities safer and more disaster resilient than ever.


PepsiCo Foundation Donates to PADF $1 Million for Disaster Recovery in Puerto Rico & Mexico

Washington, DC (October 25, 2017) - The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) has received a donation of $1 million dollars from the PepsiCo Foundation to support post-disaster community recovery efforts in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“Our neighbors in Mexico and the Caribbean have endured immense suffering,” says Katie Taylor, Executive Director of PADF. “We mourn with each person affected by these horrific disasters. PADF is committed to restoring lost livelihoods and economic opportunities, improving access to safe shelters and clean drinking water, and helping communities to get back on their feet.” She adds, “PADF is proud to work side by side with the people of Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the PepsiCo Foundation. Together we will build stronger communities that are capable of bouncing back more quickly from future disasters.”

On September 7 and September 19, earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.2 and 7.1 shook Mexico, killing more than 350 people and toppling buildings in Oaxaca, Morelos, Puebla, Guerrero and Mexico City. Vital infrastructure, including schools, marketplaces, healthcare facilities, roads, and homes sustained damage. On September 21, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to strike the US territory in 90 years. Winds exceeded 155 miles per hour and toppled power lines and cellphone towers, paralyzed transportation, decimated farmers’ crops, and caused damage to vital tourism infrastructure and services. One month after the hurricane, a majority of the island’s 3.4 million residents are still without sufficient food, water, and power.

“The massive scale of these disasters has created extremely complex challenges that will require long-term, comprehensive community recovery and reconstruction strategies,” said Liza Mantilla, Director of Disaster Management at PADF. “The destruction in many areas has been catastrophic. We are grateful for the compassion and commitment that PepsiCo Foundation has extended to our neighbors in need.” The work of PADF will focus on restoring livelihoods, access to good nutrition and safe water, and resilient community services in Puerto Rico and underserved areas of Oaxaca and Morelos.

PepsiCo stands in solidarity with the communities affected by these events. PepsiCo Chairperson and CEO Indra K. Nooyi affirms, “PepsiCo is committed to supporting our communities in a time of need. Over the past week, we’ve offered that support once more, working closely with relief organizations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the United States to help communities devastated by recent natural disasters.” She adds, “We stand with the people of Mexico City, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean as they begin the work of recovering and rebuilding.” The PepsiCo Foundation has dedicated more than $6.5 million for disaster relief and recovery in the last month.

The Pan American Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings together diverse partners and community stakeholders to strengthen economic opportunities, civil society engagement, democracy and human rights, and local capabilities to prepare for and respond to disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established 1962 by the Organization of American States (OAS), PADF has over five decades of experience building stronger, more resilient communities in every country in the region. During the past decade, PADF initiatives have enabled 92 million people to enjoy improved security and quality of life. For more information, visit www.padf.org.