Map of Puerto Rico with map inside

Sponsored by Alianza Boricua de Amherst College

Thursday, November 16 • Valentine Quad

(Rain Location: Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center)

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, Puerto Rico suffered great devastation due to the impact of Hurricane María on September 20, 2017. Today, an estimated 60% of residents are still without electricity; drinking water is in short supply; supermarkets are partially open with food suppliers struggling to get enough goods to the island to meet the need; telecommunications are still down, particularly in more remote areas; and thousands of families are displaced, with an estimated 10,000 homes completely destroyed by the hurricane.

In states like Florida, New York and Massachusetts, the influx of those leaving Puerto Rico has already begun. Community organizations in our area—Nueva Esperanza and the Western Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico among them—are working tirelessly in the coordination of services to support Puerto Rican families. The town of Amherst is also working on plans to welcome and support our new neighbors.

The Alianza Boricua de Amherst College, a group of College faculty, staff and students of Puerto Rican descent or with ties in the Island, invite you to be part of the recovery efforts by participating in the Puerto Rico Relief Effort, a campus event to be held on Thursday, November 16, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Valentine Quad. We’ll have Puerto Rican music, traditional finger food and a talk provided by American Studies Visiting Professor Ray Suárez: “Puerto Rico, the U.S., and a Complicated, Accidental Relationship”.

You can support the relief efforts by donating goods or by making monetary contributions through an account established at Freedom Credit Union called the "Western MA Puerto Rico Relief Fund.” Please scroll down for the event program and more information on how you can help.

We appreciate your compassion and generosity during this difficult time for our Puerto Rican families and friends!


Alianza Boricua de Amherst College

Schedule of Events

Tent in Valentine Quad

White event tent on Valentine Quad

10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Donations are being collected to support the victims of Hurricane María on the Island and families relocating to Western Massachusetts. (Donation suggestions)

Jose Gonzalez holding a guitar

11:00 a.m.
Music with José González and Criollo Clásico.

Ray Suarez smiling

12:00 p.m.
Talk by American Studies Visiting Professor Ray Suárez: “Puerto Rico, the US, and a Complicated, Accidental Relationship.”

Blue sky with Puerto Rican flag and the words, Puerto Rico - Se Levantara - will rise again

1:00 p.m.
Representatives from Nueva Esperanza, Enlace de Familias and Western Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico.

Aerial view of damaged houses in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Donation Table

See a list of items needed for families in Puerto Rico, as well as families moving to Western Mass.