Updated February 10, 2020: Please note: Our 2020 trip has been postponed due to serious risk factors. The people of Puerto Rico remain near and dear to our hearts, and while we are disappointed to postpone this year’s relief trip, we remain energized to return in the spring of 2021 and determined to provide support throughout 2020. Using the donations we’ve raised for our 2020 BFOH trip, we will send emergency supplies to our friends in Puerto Rico.

By now, you are likely well aware of the earthquakes this week that have impacted the people of Puerto Rico, who are near and dear to our hearts.

Early Tuesday morning a 6.4-magnitude earthquake centered off the southern coast hit the island territory just a day before it was rocked by a 5.8-magnitude quake. More than 2,000 people are in shelters. Nearly 1 million are without power. Hundreds of thousands are without water. At least one man has been reported deceased, and homes and buildings across the island have been toppled. Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez told news sources that federal agencies monitoring the seismic activity expect tremors and quakes to continue for several days.

This disaster comes just over two years after Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which moved our learners to launch our annual Backpacks Full of Hope relief missions to Puerto Rico. Our friends and partners in Puerto Rico remain in our thoughts, and we have assured them we are here for them, we are thinking of them, and we will help in every way we can.

Preparation continues for our Backpacks Full of Hope 2020 trip in March, when staff members, learners, and families will build sustainable homes, plant trees, and provide needed supplies to the areas affected. In the wake of this week’s disaster, Puerto Rico needs our help now more than ever, and we want to double down on the aid we are dedicated to providing.

You can click here to help sponsor a learner’s trip to support Puerto Rico’s recovery. If you would like to donate to our extended Puerto Rican community right now, please click here.

We will monitor the situation and keep you apprised of more ways to offer support.