What Do You Want to Know About the Puerto Rico Crisis?

Reporter AJ Vicens is covering the aftermath of Hurricane Maria from San Juan.

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico AJ Vicens/Mother Jones

What does a one-day food ration look like in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria?

It’s a small fruit cup, a 7.5-ounce can of corned beef hash, four cookies, and a pack of peanut butter and cheddar crackers. That’s what some residents are expected to survive on each day as the island struggles to recover from the hurricane’s devastating effects

AJ Vicens / Mother Jones

Since Friday, one of Mother Jones reporters, AJ Vicens, has been on the ground there, documenting how residents are coping with the disaster, as well as the excruciatingly slow—or, in some places, non-existent—recovery efforts. Two weeks after Maria, 95 percent of the island’s 3.4 million residents still don’t have electricity. Fifty-five percent don’t have access to drinking water. People wait in line for hours just to get gas. Electricity poles litter the street like matchboxes. “Green,” decomposing bodies flow into a funeral home. And in small towns like Ciales, AJ reports, “many homes were either wiped from the earth or rendered uninhabitable, gutted of everything the families had inside.” 

In one dispatch, AJ follows the mayor of Cabo Rojo, Bobby Ramírez Kurtz, as he’s conducting a meeting entirely by flashlight. Kurtz says he’s determined to help not only residents of his city, but also Puerto Ricans elsewhere on the island. “I don’t care what I have to do to get the things for my people,” he says.

AJ will continue to report from Puerto Rico and help shed light on the situation for our readers. What questions do you have for him while he’s there? Let’s see what he can investigate for you. 





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WE CAME UP SHORT.

We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. We really need to see if we'll be able to raise more with this real estate on a daily basis than we have been, so we're hoping to see a promising start.

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