Dear Family, Friends and Supporters,
At this time of great concern for us all, we sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are in good health.
We know that you are likely getting other requests for support because the needs and challenges are great across the globe. However, our experience in Puerto Rico is quite complex and will require long-term support. Puerto Rico had not recovered from hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 when we moved quickly into recovery mode to support the most vulnerable populations during the earthquake swarm and its aftermath (it is still shaking). We are now being pushed to the extreme as the pandemic hits us hard.
As a direct result, your support is needed now more than ever. We are stretching every dime and continuing to be on the front lines helping the hardest-hit communities in the midst of this compounded and complex situation on the ground. At Waves Ahead we know how resilient and resourceful Puerto Ricans are, and we know that with your help we can keep moving down the long road of recovery.
Please help us today so that tomorrow we can continue providing the services and support to the most vulnerable: LGBT Older Adult and its supporters and caretakers. We will make every donation count to its fullest and invest it in our communities for today, tomorrow and the future. Please use our “donate” feature to make a donation, (https://secure.actblue.com/donate/reconstruyeq ) or you can also mail donations to “Waves Ahead, 1149 Ave, Americo Miranda, San Juan, PR 00921.”
We are enormously proud of our staff and the role they play in the LGBT+ Older Adults life in Puerto Rico and the incredibly positive impact Waves Ahead has had on the lives of so many. We are determined that come what may we must go on to enrich people’s lives long into the future.
With our gratitude and very best wishes,
Wilfred W. Labiosa
We are focusing on the mental health of our people…All of these experiences have taken a toll on the emotional well-being of most of many, and urgent help is needed. Support and emotional assistance is necessary. During January 2020, 24 deaths by suicides were reported among older adults, in February 2020 a total of 23 deaths by suicide were reported, and just during one week in March, 5 deaths by suicide in just two days. As heartbreaking as this is not new to the reality of Puerto Rico, in 2018, 243 suicides were reported, out of those reported 87% men and 13% women, 72% were older adults from 50 to 69 years old, and an average of 8% identified as LGBT+. We continue to provide mental health supports including therapy, counseling, mindfulness sessions and so much more.
Waves Ahead and the ReconstruyeQ projec: Resiliency, Rebuilding Lives
At Waves Ahead, we support marginalized and vulnerable communities in Puerto Rico, with a focus on well-being and access to emotional and mental health services. We help to strengthen and re-establish individuals, particularly LGBT+ Older Adults, Female heads of households, the homeless, and other marginalized communities on their primary areas of needs. Our skilled mental health professionals are trained to support, assist, and provide critical services to our population in need. We have three community centers on the island, one located on the southwest region in the municipality of Cabo Rojo.
As of 2018, our project ReconstruyeQ has rebuilt 19 homes that were damaged by Hurricane María, positively impacting 1,140 individuals; 31% are elders over 60+, 40% were families with children, 55% live alone, and 42% are LGBT+ community members. Now responding to the needs after January earthquakes, we visit the communities in the affected areas every day since January 4. We organize volunteers, mental health professionals, supplies, and provisions every day.
Now more than ever, your help will allow us to continue providing essential support and continue the process of rebuilding lives and homes.
We are helping individuals and families devastated by the earthquakes and hurricanes. We need your help! We accept cash donations, goods, and volunteers! Contact us for details.
Please consider participating as a local volunteer or donating in order to help us rebuild PR. We are always open to hosting humanitarian rebuild trips.
Thanks to our volunteers from the US and the UK that made a total success our Reconstruye Q efforts held in 2018 and 2019. We have rebuilt 19 homes and counting….more to come!
We need food, water, water filters, and personal hygiene items plus any “camping” gear including tents, mats, portable showers, etcetera.
We give thanks to the many volunteers, supporters and sponsors of our efforts – #ReconstruyeQ – special gratitude to the members of the Puerto Rican and LGBT Diaspora from United States, Cuba, United Kingdom, New Zeland & Canada who continue to support our local efforts!