Latino/as bloggers raised another #Twitterstorm last night under the hashtag #UnidosporPuertoRico and I participated on behalf of our Puerto Rico stations. I keep following the news and thinking daily what else can be done to get our Puerto Rico stations back on-air.
Getting them back on air is significantly important to areas like Vieques. The following statement in this CNN Article struck a chord with me, “A truck drives round town, with speakers in the back so what little news is available can be shared in this cut-off world.” It pains me to hear that because Radio Vieques is the only community radio station within Vieques and LPRC has been working furiously to get them back on air.
Getting Radio Vieques back on-air is critical to Vieques because they are isolated amidst this catastrophe everyone is facing in Puerto Rico. The people of Vieques can be nearly forgotten unless we have community air-waves within the Island and online to ensure they are not forgotten.
So, LPRC is here on their behalf, we are following up on emergency funding submitted after Hurricane Irma with the National Endowment for Humanities and our Go Fund Me fundraiser. Funding is the most essential short-term need to help get Radio Vieques back on-air. We are in sporadic communication with the station’s management and all our Puerto Rico stations. When Radio Vieques gets back on-air it will be a great aid to this “forgotten community”.
Radio Vieques is a community radio station and this means they have an intimate relationship with the people of Vieques, Culebra [Flamenco] and the eastern side of Puerto Rico. They will work to keep the community informed on the disaster recovery efforts and the resources available to this community. Their strong signal reaches the entire Vieques island, Culebra and the eastern side of Puerto Rico and they are well-known for providing civic support, community news and long-term support as families seek to recover whatever losses they can. They work with community organizations to provide essential knowledge like mental health for this affected community that helps with recovery efforts.
Here at LPRC, we are looking forward to reaching our Go Fund Me funding goal of $100k and we are dependent on those who care to consider public radio communications as a vital component on the long path to recovery for the people of Puerto Rico. Today, right now, while my thoughts are with my family in Puerto Rico, my heart is with Vieques. LPRC will continue working diligently to get Radio Vieques back on-air.