As soon as the first week Matria knew that we were facing a human rights crisis and that its work must go beyond Matria’s participants. From September to December more than 900 families in 20 municipalities in the country received food, first necessity articles, mosquito nets, water and filters from Matria. Matria has also offered services of psychosocial support and has coordinated medical and legal services to hundreds of people affected by the hurricane.
On December, Matria started its first recovery project called "Matria Solidarity House". This project was established in a rural community in Puerto Rico and will feature a community kitchen, facilities for business incubation, free education, planning and support for the reconstruction of housing, coordination of medical services and empowerment.
Sector Miraflores, Orocovis
A recovery project of Proyecto Matria, Inc.
Proyecto Matria (Matria) is a social, community, feminist and human rights nonprofit organization. Our mission is to transform society and advance equity through actions aimed at educating, promoting and facilitating the empowerment and economic development of women and other excluded groups.
For 14 years, Matria has given housing, education, employment and business opportunities to women who are survivors of gender-based violence, women who lead low-income families and people from the LGBT communities. It has also worked to educate communities and professionals on issues of equity and has been a supporter for important causes of human rights. Precisely because of its history of work with inequality, poverty and violence-prone communities, Matria was on foot from day one after Hurricane Maria to provide immediate assistance to about 50 families of women and LGBT people already involved in their programs.
Casa Solidaria Matria is based in a collaborative relationship with Miraflores community in Orocovis. It is a center of work and activities from which the reconstruction of homes destroyed during Hurricane Maria will be promoted from a sustainable vision. It will also work with the incubation of community companies that generate jobs in the sector. The companies will be linked to agricultural, reconstruction and food activities, taking advantage of the natural and human resources of the community itself. Nearly 169 families live in the area, most of whom live with low and very low income and are currently facing loss of housing and unemployment. Miraflores is a rural area where agricultural activities were developed in the past.
We are also offering legal assistance to complete FEMA applications and appellations.
Once we have Miraflores’ Casa Solidaria fully established, we will begin another project in other communities around the Island. In the meantime, we are still collaborating with communities in Comerío and Patillas.