One year ago, on September 20th, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane and proceeded cross the island from the southeast to the northwest, leaving devastation in its wake. In the weeks and months that followed, PROTECT and CRECE team members in Puerto Rico reached out to provide essential supplies—including diapers, baby formula, mosquito nets, and more—as well as water filtration systems to the local communities.
While significant improvements have occurred, life is still far from normal in Puerto Rico. Power was finally restored to the entire island on August 14th, 2018—over two months into the 2018 hurricane season, and 328 days after Hurricane Maria devastated the power grid. About two weeks later, the government of Puerto Rico and George Washington University released a study updating the official fatality count to 2,975 excess deaths between September 2017 and February 2018—six months after the storm.