Yairamaren Roman Maldonado Part of "Boricuas in Berkeley" Aiding Puerto Rico

13 Nov, 2017

Yairamaren Roman Maldonado Part of "Boricuas in Berkeley" Aiding Puerto Rico

Pictured above: Jesyka Melendez, Erika Lopez Alfonzo and Yairamaren Roman Maldonado, members of Boricuas in Berkeley. Photo taken by Anne Brice of UC Berkeley.

BCNM scholar and Ph.D candidate Yairamaren Roman Maldonado is one of the Boricuas in Berkeley members working to provide a support network for Puerto Ricans and students from other Caribbean communities on campus. UC Berkeley official news recently covered the incredible humanitarian efforts of this graduate student team.

Puerto Rico, still struggling to recover from the damages left by Hurricane Maria, has been largely reliant on grassroots organizations and individuals such as the members of Boricuas in Berkeley due to rigid regulations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As the article notes, "one-quarter of Puerto Ricans still don’t have access to potable drinking water...[and m]ore than 80 percent of the island is without electricity, and officials say it could be months before all power is restored. Most crops were destroyed, leaving Puerto Ricans heavily dependent on the U.S. for food aid, and thousands remain homeless."

Boricuas in Berkeley organized a dinner and music benefit, raising more than $7,000 in donations to non-profit organizations including the Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica and the Hurricane Maria Community Recovery Fund. The student group plans to hold events in December and beyond "to promote education about Puerto Rico and other Caribbean communities, including Cuba, Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands and Martinique."

Paredes, an undergraduate transfer UCB student majoring in ethnic studies, is now accepting donations at the Cesar E. Chavez Student Center in room 245. Find his Amazon wishlist and Facebook page for more information.

Read about their efforts, and find out how you can contribute, here.