NOTICE TO ALL SOMOS 2017 PUERTO RICO CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS (Updated October 10th)
URGENT MESSAGE REGARDING HURRICANE MARIA
Despite close to three weeks post Hurricane Maria, there continues to be sustained massive devastation in Puerto Rico. SOMOS is reaching out to all of its registered conference participants to inform you of a couple of things.
1. We will be hosting a SOMOS Pro Puerto Rico Dinner that will ONLY be open to our registered conference guests, sponsors, and elected officials on November 1. More details will follow this week. If you are registered, you are invited.
2. SOMOS was eagerly looking forward to putting together a humanitarian effort that would have allowed all of us to participate in relief/rebuild efforts. However at this time, our host hotel , the Caribe Hilton Hotel has informed us that they are closed and will not be re-opening until January 2018. Attempts to secure alternate lodging accommodations were unsuccessful and given current conditions on the Island where we are not confident of being able to provide a safe and coordinated effort, we made a decision to cancel this year’s conference.
To give you some perspective, a SOMOS board member that has been in Puerto Rico throughout these past three weeks, explained it like this, “The situation is truly disheartening down here in San Juan and actually very tragic 30 minutes beyond the metropolitan area. Thousands of homes are beyond repair and many businesses will never reopen. It will take 15 years for our island to recover from the storm….”
As of this Sunday, October 8, 2017, 88 % of people still don’t have electricity and only 57% of people have running water. These stats and others can be tracked on http://status.pr Needless to say that this is a disaster that will take many years to recover from.
SOMOS is partnering with Para La Naturaleza, an organization that we have worked with for several years in helping to raise the awareness of environmental conditions and injustice in Puerto Rico. Their website is www.paralanaturlaleza.org and as you will see, they are working with neighboring communities in an effort to rebuild them.
We are asking that you donate your registration fee so that we can make a monetary contribution to Para La Naturaleza to support their efforts. Additionally it is our hope that we will be able to send a small group of 5 to 10 people down to Puerto Rico to present the group with our check and to assist them for a short time. All contributions that we receive through retained registration fees will be put towards those efforts.