A note from Janice--
A group of medical students at the University of Pennsylvania who are from Puerto Rico have begun a fund for the hurricane victims there. How is this effort different from other charities? One of those students, who is my patient, tells me that the difference is that she and her fellow students are personally acquainted with trustworthy local charities that will be able to offer efficient, direct assistance. You can find all the details below if you would like to help with this worthy cause:
We are a group of 3rd and 4rth year medical students born and raised in Puerto Rico, where Maria, the strongest hurricane to ever hit PR, completely ravaged the island causing up to $30 billion in damages. The situation is dire- it is a real humanitarian crisis on top of the economic one we were already suffering. Thousands of people lost their homes and belongings, there is not enough water, food, or gasoline for everyone on the island, and there's still very little in the way of communication.
We have organized a fundraiser, "Penn helps PR", in order to donate to charities we trust:
This independent, nonpartisan nonprofit organization was created by Puerto Rican leaders abroad and on the island. Its original mission was to create a network over which to connect on ideas for entrepreneurship and social impact in Puerto Rico in response to the financial crisis of recent years. They are managing a relief fund with Foundation for Puerto Rico as the fiscal sponsor. They are currently prioritizing needs assessment efforts, long-term structural repairs to the most vulnerable communities, and power as a service. After Hurricane Irma, they conducted a speedy needs assessment and concluded that the adjacent island of Culebra had been affected the worst, so they concentrated their funds on that region. We are encouraged by this short, yet meaningful trajectory of carefully diverting funds to where the need is most critical.
b) Hurricane Maria Community Relief and Recovery Fund - 20% https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/cb4a3c78-5694-4324-bead-42c8ad94c1bf
This fund is housed at the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). One hundred percent of monies raised will be used to support immediate relief, recovery, and equitable rebuilding in Puerto Rico for the communities hit hardest by the storm. The Fund is governed by organizations like Puerto Rico-based Taller Salud, the G8 of Caño Martín Peña, and other local organizations. The fund will support organizations working with these hardest hit communities in Puerto Rico.
c) Vieques en Rescate, Inc - 20% http://www.viequesenrescateinc.com/http://www.viequesenrescateinc.com/ (website in Spanish only)
This small nonprofit was created in 2013 in response to the disproportionate incidence of cancer in the municipal island of Vieques, which 27% higher than mainland Puerto Rico. The cancer incidence is thought to be linked to the amount of toxic material dumped by the US Marines during their occupation of the island between 1941 and 2003. This island's infrastructure had been affected by Hurricane Irma two weeks before Hurricane Maria came. The entire island and its 9,000 inhabitants remain without communication because the cell phone towers are down, and they are unable to travel to the main island because the transportation ferries were damaged by the hurricane.
We understand that this structure may be a bit logistically complicated, but we believe that, in order to maximize the final impact of our monetary contribution, we need to direct these funds to the organizations that concentrate on the most underserved areas of our country. At the same time, we are completely open to suggestions on how to restructure this campaign, since we absolutely want to help all of the hurricane victims in the United States.
We are receiving donations through Venmo to @penn-helps-pr, or through youcaring at: http://www.conprmetidos.org/
Janice — I do hope you'll help this worthy cause. In the meantime, my patient has shared with me this delicious, healthy recipe from her homeland. Enjoy! And give money!
Puerto Rican red beans and rice (Arroz mamposteao)
Adapted from Giovanna Huyke <http://deliciousliving.com/users/adelinashee> , a well-known Puerto Rican chef. Sometimes Chef Giovanna adds small diced baked ripe plantains for sweetness. In some part of the islands, cooks sauté local sausage with the rice; ¡delicioso!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green cubanella or Anaheim pepper (3-4 ounces), chopped, leave in seeds
- 1 tomato (chopped and drained )
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained1/4 pound calabaza (pumpkin or butternut squash), peeled, seeded, cut into 2x2-inch cubes
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups short-grain cooked brown or white rice
- Avocado slices and cotijo cheese (for garnish )
- In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic, pepper, and tomato, mixing well. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add oregano, cilantro, beans, and calabaza (squash). Sauté for 2 minutes. Cover with tomato sauce, adding water as needed to cover. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.
- In a large frying pan or wok, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add cooked rice and beans; sauté until rice absorbs liquid, about 5 minutes. Add cilantro and adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish servings with avocado and cheese.
Janice — I like adding some (2 tablespoons or so) of balsamic vinegar to the saucepan. This dish is also great with cooked spicy chicken or turkey sausage slices. as my patient would say, ¡delicioso!