Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in September 2017. The storm was a category 5, and it killed over 3,000 people and destroyed homes, communities, and businesses. Almost two years later, these islands are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
On April 5-8, 2019 The Region II Head Start Association held four regional meetings with early childcare professionals in San Juan, Cayagus, Mayaguez, and Ponce. We witnessed the devastating impact Hurricane Maria had on early childcare centers and facilities.
These important meetings were conducted as part of our Choose Safe Places project, which supports the Puerto Rico Department of Health and is funded through hurricane disaster supplemental funds provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).
The regional meetings supported the Choose Safe Places (CSP) project. CSP is a program that helps to inform and educate decision makers about the location of child care programs. The ultimate goal is to minimize the potential for exposure to dangerous chemicals and other environmental contaminants. While the traditional CSP work focused on ensuring building sites were free from chemicals and toxins, this current work is focused on developing new tools that can be used in disaster recovery.
The Region II Head Start Association is proud to support disaster recovery work in Puerto Rico. Our goal is to ensure children are able to thrive in an environment that is nurturing, caring, safe and free from toxins.
Our full report, "Preliminary findings: Meetings with early childhood professionals
in Puerto Rico regarding disaster recovery from Hurricane Maria." contains information gained from conducting 4 regional meetings in Puerto Rico in April 2019.
Additional information can be found in the full 11 page report, which is available to download by filling out this form. You will be directed to the report once you hit submit.