Recent natural disasters in North America, like Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, the earthquake in Mexico and Hurricane Maria, have caused drastic destruction, claiming many lives. Hurricane Irma followed by Hurricane Maria devastated the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean. What Hurricane Irma did not destroy, Maria did. Local treasuries affected by the hurricanes are depleted.
On Sept. 27, the New York Times reported that in the Virgin Islands, "the authorities had to ease the strict curfew after bodies started piling up at the morgue because people could not stay out long enough to bury those who had passed away of natural causes since the storms." The Virgin Islands depend on ports in Puerto Rico, which were battered. People in the Caribbean are in need of water, food and medicine, among other necessities, to save lives. The entire electric grid in Puerto Rico was destroyed.
Here in New Mexico, we are lucky to be living in the mountains, where natural disasters are not as common as in other places. What we do have in common with Puerto Rico is poverty, or lack of financial advantage.
Mississippi and New Mexico, in that order, are the two poorest states in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, today, around 25 percent of the people living in Mississippi live in poverty. The portion of New Mexicans below the poverty line is 20.4 percent. Puerto Rico continues to have a 50 percent poverty rate.
According to reports even from tweets from President Donald Trump, Puerto Rico was already facing major financial difficulties before the storms. Everything in the areas affected by the storms is destroyed. According to reports, it could take 30 years to recuperate from it all.
The apocalypse in the Caribbean should move us to help with whatever we can. Even a small amount of money will help. With many people sending a small amount, it can accumulate to much for the needs to help save lives.
To donate, call American Red Cross at (800) HELP NOW - or (800) 435-7669 - text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 or visit redcross.org.
To donate, call UNICEF at (800) 367-5437 or visit unicefusa.org.