Formalizing Community Aqueducts is a Discouraging Process in Puerto Rico

The procedure for community aqueducts to legalize their franchises and maintain their operation is so complicated, bureaucratic, and devoid of technical support that it discourages communities from formalizing the systems that carries water to their homes because of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority’s inability to provide the service.

Community Aqueducts Struggle to Recover After Hurricane María

Of the 242 community aqueduct systems legally registered in Puerto Rico as franchises, 31% have not requested recovery funds for the damages caused to infrastructure by Hurricanes Irma and María in September 2017, according to data from the Government’s Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3). Although the reasons are different for each community aqueduct, not owning the land where the equipment and wells are located, the number of documents that the federal government requires, and the lack of orientation to those who administer these systems, are some of the causes for which these entities fall short of the requirements to apply for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and COR3. As of this week, a total of 167 community aqueducts have requested recovery funds, said COR3 press spokeswoman Maura Ríos Poll. Of these, 150 have already gotten the obligation of the money, according to data from the COR3 website, and 21 of those have not yet received any disbursement. There are 242 community aqueducts recognized as franchises by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA, in Spanish).

Discrimination and Harassment: Rivals for Women on Puerto Rico’s Sporting Arenas

Claribel Millán played with the Puerto Rico National Softball Team during the 1970s and represented the island in the 1974 World Cup held in Connecticut. Her dedication to her national colors was in constant friction with what she says she was discriminated for — being a lesbian. She remembers that the federation leaders and directors of the sport that she practiced asked the players not to speak of or show any type of affection that would bring out their sexual orientation as lesbians. It was the beginning of the so-called golden age of women’s softball in Puerto Rico, when the National Team was directed by   Alejandro “Junior” Cruz. “They called us to a meeting to talk about lesbianism.

Discrimen y hostigamiento: rivales de las mujeres en la cancha del deporte puertorriqueño

Claribel Millán jugó con la Selección Nacional de Puerto Rico de sóftbol durante la década de 1970 y representó al país en el Mundial de 1974 celebrado en Connecticut. Su entrega a los colores patrios estuvo en constante tensión con lo que ella nombra como el discrimen por ser lesbiana. Recuerda que los dirigentes y directivos federativos del deporte que practicaba les pedían a las jugadoras que no hablaran ni manifestaran ningún tipo de afecto que sacara a relucir su orientación sexual como lesbianas. Era el comienzo de la denominada época dorada del sóftbol femenino en Puerto Rico, cuando la Selección Nacional era dirigida por el también exalcalde de Guaynabo, Alejandro “Junior” Cruz. “Nos reunieron a todas para decirnos eso del lesbianismo.

Few Changes Made in Puerto Rico to Access Health Information and Services in a Hurricane

The Department of Health, responsible for inspecting and approving the emergency evacuation plans of all the island’s hospitals, only keeps them for the three hospitals that it runs. The agency’s Deputy Secretary’s Office for the Regulation and Accreditation of Health Facilities (SARAFS, in Spanish) does not keep a copy of the evacuation plans that it is supposed to have previously evaluated, and that could mean the difference between life and death for patients and employees. The information surfaced as part of a lawsuit in which the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) asked the DH for several documents and protocols related to emergency events. “As part of the inspections, SARAFS personnel check that said plans comply with all the established requirements. However, a physical copy, on paper, digital or in any other way stored in an electronic device(s) of these plans is not delivered to SARAFS personnel, nor is it received by said personnel, nor is it retained in the record of the facilities that work in the SARAFS, so the Department of Health does not have them,” according to the certification that the DH submitted to the San Juan Superior Court as part of the case.