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To describe the importance of community engagement from research projects and research centers in times of disasters or emergencies, using the case of Puerto Rico in recent years (2017 - 2022) as an example.
First, research participants and stakeholders from local community and health organizations were contacted via email and phone calls after each emergency to assess their immediate needs. Second, needs were classified in categories (materials, educational resources, service referrals, and collaborations). Finally, delivery of support was coordinated in a timely manner whether in person or online.
Activities were conducted such as handing out materials, providing educational resources, contacting participants, and stakeholders, as well as coordinating collaboration with community and organizations.
Several lessons were learned from our experiences related to Puerto Rico’s recent emergencies as well as some relevant recommendations for future disasters. The efforts presented illustrate the importance of community engagement from academic institutions in disasters. Research centers and research projects, particularly those with community engagement components, should consider providing support in the preparedness phase as well as the recovery phase if necessary. Community engagement in emergencies is crucial to recovery efforts as well as fostering empowerment and making an impact on individual and societal levels.
This article analyses the abolition of slavery and the transition to free labour in late nineteenth-century Puerto Rico, seeking to understand the terms and timing of Puerto Rican abolition and the nature of society in its wake. Especially important in Puerto Rico, it argues, was the intertwined nature of slavery and other forms of forced labour as well as the predominance of foreign merchants and planters in the island's economy, which created multi-class alliances between working-class Puerto Ricans and creole elites. These class dynamics interacted with events in the metropole to influence the terms of labour on the island.
The bearded fireworm Hermodice carunculata is a conspicuous omnivorous benthic invertebrate distributed in the wider Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Questions were raised in the past regarding the taxonomic status of amphiatlantic fireworm specimens but subsequent analysis of morphological data with new molecular data reconfirmed the presence of only one species, H. carunculata with amphiatlantic distribution. Hermodice carunculata has been the subject of several taxonomic and genetic studies but there are still questions regarding the genetic diversity and population structure of the species throughout its range. We contributed to the genetic studies of H. carunculata with ~200 new samples from over 20 locations in the Caribbean, Eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. We sequenced the mitochondrial markers Cytochrome c oxidase Subunit I (COI) and Cytochrome b (Cytb) from each polychaete to examine the patterns of genetic diversity of H. carunculata. Our data revealed a significant population structure between the Caribbean H. carunculata including those from Brazil compared with those from the eastern Atlantic (Tenerife, Canary Islands) and eastern Mediterranean (Greece and Malta). We inferred rates of gene flow between eastern and western Atlantic populations by estimating the bidirectional effective migration rate (Nem). We corroborate previous studies indicating the existence of one species with genetically distinct populations. However, the biological significance of the observed population divergence should be evaluated with cross-breeding experiments.
La Verge de Montserrat is a statue of the Virgin Mary and her son found in Catalonia in the eleventh century in which both characters are depicted as “Black.” This female figure occupies a particular position in current Catalonia since she is considered the patron saint of the country and constitutes one of the symbolic cornerstones of Catalan nationalism. Through the concept of “iconic path,” this article tracks the formation and evolution of this image in Catalonia from its inception until the present day, bringing special attention to the roles and significances that it has acquired within the context of the current pro-independence movement. We also draw a comparison between the “lives” of this image in Catalonia and its development in other countries, namely Puerto Rico, Equatorial Guinea and Sardinia. In each of these places, the image of the goddess has been reinterpreted according to local viewpoints. Yet these conceptualizations are not fixed or homogeneous, but radically dynamic and problematic. The iconic paths of images diverge and converge across time giving birth to new creative exercises. Through this approach, our aim is to propose a relational and processual model for the study of religious images, and images in general, as historical objects.
It’s hard times. The stock market climbs to a precipitous height while farmers sing, "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" Cotton prices are down, and they sing about it. Railroad strikes fail, and they sing about it. The Scopes Monkey Trial pits science against superstition, and they sing about it. The musical Show Boat breaks the Broadway color line, but Black blues singers still sing of their own invisibility in a racist culture. Arguments rage over primitivism in Black musical culture. Blind Lemon Jefferson takes on the inhumanity of capital punishment, and many more sing against the unjust execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. There is trouble sung on the Ford production line and in rural holdouts resisting the coming dominance of the automobile. But modernity has arrived with a vengeance – not least in the form of the “Flapper” and the “New Girl,” a subject of worry in the more macho sectors of song. On the Gastonia front line, the striking textile worker and balladeer Ella May Wiggins takes a fatal bullet in the chest, and in Spanish Harlem, Rafael Hernández Marín composes his “Lamento Borincano,” Puerto Rico’s own “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”
Woman suffragists and labor activists continue to sing together, in more than one language, while, in Chicago, the Columbian Exposition of 1893 introduces a new musical genre – ragtime – to the world. Black composers and lyricists – Scott Joplin, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Will Marion Cook, Harry T. Burleigh, Bob Cole, and the brothers James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson – work to free themselves from the debasements of the “coon song.” Black operatic singers like Marie Selika Williams and Sissieretta Jones carve out their careers against the tide of popular minstrelsy. A strange new phenomenon – Filipinos in “coon songs” – reflects the latest muscle flex of US Manifest Destiny: the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and – for good measure – Hawai’i, all richly captured in popular song. Lili’uokalani’s overthrow and Hawaiian annexation lead to two remarkable musical by-products of US imperialism: the infiltration of Puerto Rican kachi kachi music in Hawai’i and the unique work-song body – the hole hole bushi – of the Japanese plantation laborers – all women. Meanwhile, Tin Pan Alley has a field day with the newly seized territory, transforming a site of misery and loss into a popular music paradise with the likes of “Hula Hula Dream Girl,” “Along the Way to Waikiki,” and “Oh! How She Could Yacki Hacki Wiki Wacki Woo.”
This chapter analyses the heterogeneous, contradictory and shifting social meanings that salsa music has articulated since its inception in the late 1960s. Shifting from the Nuyorican-grounded urban masculinity and anticolonial politics in its early years to the current globalised and neoliberal spaces of dance studios, this chapter explores how the sounds of salsa, as popular music, become sites for power struggles over cultural, racial, ethnic and gender identities.
At the outset, this Chapter will show that officials from the United States resolve the most important insular matters not solely undemocratically but especially taking U.S. interests into account. It will affirm that they may have thus contributed to the territorial socio-economic ails, which have, in turn, fueled the current debt debacle. From this perspective, the United States should strive to democratize the dependency. It may advance such democratization outside rather than inside the Union in light of Congressional or on-site opposition to the latter option.
The cogitation will contemplate and ultimately reject the contention that the ex-isting arrangement violates individual civil rights or that Puerto Rico must become a state in order to vindicate them. It will stress that no such violation transpires since the treatment of Puerto Ricans does not differ from that of their fellow U.S. citizens. Specifically, anyone bearing the citizenship of the United States can exercise all the guaranties in question if she resides on the mainland (or Hawaii) yet not on the island (or any other territory, or abroad).
The discussion will then establish that the extant regime encroaches not upon the islanders’ personal entitlements but instead upon their collective self-determination. Ergo, vindication may consist in permitting the island to rule itself just as much as in admitting it into the federation. From this standpoint, the U.S. political establish-ment could simply amend the 1950 statute presently in force and pursue more suc-cessfully the same goal: namely, granting the dependency “self-governance” as an “as-sociated free state.” Within this wide framework, the association could flexibly develop over time toward either more or less cooperation between the parties.
Patients with end stage kidney disease (ESKD) are at higher risk for increased mortality and morbidity due to disaster-related disruptions to care. We examine effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on access to dialysis care for US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ESKD patients in Puerto Rico.
A retrospective, longitudinal cohort study was conducted among VA patients with at least 1 dialysis-related encounter between September 6, 2016, and September 5, 2018. The annual number of dialysis encounters, visits to an emergency department (ED), and the number of deaths pre- and post-hurricanes were compared. A random effects logistic regression model for correlated binary outcomes was fitted for predictors of mortality. Chi-square tests were for differences between pre- and post-hurricane visits.
The number of ED visits increased in post-hurricane period (1172 [5.7%] to 1195 [6.6%]; P < 0.001). ESKD-related ED visits increased from 200 (0.9%) to 227 (1.3%) (P < 0.05). Increase in mortality was associated with age (OR = 1.66; CI: 1.23-2.17), heart failure (OR = 2.07; CI: 1.26-3.40), chronic pulmonary disease (OR = 3.26; CI: 1.28-8.28), and sepsis (OR = 3.16; CI: 1.89-5.29).
There was an increase in dialysis services at the San Juan VA Medical Center post-Irma/Maria, and access to dialysis care at the non-VA clinics was limited. The role of VA dialysis centers in providing care during disasters warrants further investigation.
The United States occupations of Cuba and Puerto Rico following the War of 1898 instituted immediate reforms to the educational systems of the islands. The imposition of public school systems modeled on those of the United States and a concurrent wave of Protestant schools established by American missionaries are well-known features of the imperialist project. Yet American reforms were shaped by what was known in the nineteenth century as “the school question,” or the controversy over the appropriate relationship between schooling, religion, and the government that had pitted the Protestant majority against Catholics and resulted in a consensus that religious-affiliated education should be permitted but relegated to the private sphere. The implementation of this consensus as the basis of occupation policy in Cuba and Puerto Rico, majority Catholic societies, contributed to the significant growth of a system of private Catholic schools and sparked debate about the relationship between religion, education, and nationalism. In an imperial context, “the school question” led to political polarization in the face of persistent US hegemony.
This chapter focuses on the relationality been enslavement, punishment, and convict mobility in the French, Spanish and British empires in the Caribbean, into the 1870s, arguing for an interconnected approach to punitive European geopolitics. Following the Haitian Revolution and the closure of Spanish colonies to enslaved convicts from other polities, British judicial process used penal transportation to the distant colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. During the 1830s, however, they were closed off following the development of anti-transportation sentiments. At this time, Britain’s West Indian colonies had for some years been interested in the establishment of a penal colony in the Caribbean region. Anti-transportation ideas reignited these debates, and British Guiana and Trinidad each established remote, inland penal settlements, but only for locally convicted felons. The chapter notes that in discussions about the abolition of the slave trade at the turn of the nineteenth century, pro-slavery campaigners justified it through the comparison of judicial enslavement and penal transportation. This provides important background for understanding the use of the language of enslavement more generally as a rhetorical device in broader debates about the abolition of transportation and its aftermath in the Caribbean.
The virtual removal of forest canopies through light detection and ranging (lidar) has enhanced archaeological interpretations of settlement patterns in tropical zones. Although lidar collections of Indigenous landscapes in the Caribbean Archipelago are limited, resolutions from open-access lidar datasets reveal coarse regional settlement patterns and large-scale architecture planning. In this article we inspect the Caguana Ceremonial complex in Utuado, Borikén (Puerto Rico), using a 2016 lidar dataset available through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration portal. Visual comparisons between known Indigenous sites, surface anomalies, and site inspections in the three sectors under study identified plazas, possible ancient paths into the Caguana complex, a possible agricultural area west of the site, and the ANG-4 site. This study, the first application of lidar inspections in Puerto Rican archaeology, demonstrates that open-access data can help guide research and save time in field surveys, thus improving our ability to protect the Indigenous cultural heritage hidden under forest canopies.
Through a focus on liberal academic and policy networks, this article considers how ideas and practices central to an educational “war on poverty” grew through connections between postwar Puerto Rico, Latin America, and New York. In particular, it analyzes how social scientific ideas about education's role in economic development found ample ground in the colonial Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as the island assumed the role of “laboratory” of democracy and development after the Second World War. The narrative then considers how this Cold War programming came to influence education initiatives in both U.S. foreign aid programs in Latin America and New York City in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly as the number of Puerto Rican students grew amid the Puerto Rican Great Migration. Ultimately, the article suggests a broader hemispheric and imperial framework in narrating the evolution of postwar education policy in the nation's largest city.
To determine if solar-powered battery systems could be successfully used for electricity-dependent medical devices by families during a power outage.
We assessed the use of and satisfaction with solar-powered battery systems distributed to 15 families following Hurricane Maria in rural Puerto Rico. Interviews were conducted in July 2018, 3 mo following distribution of the systems.
The solar-powered battery systems powered refrigeration for medications and prescribed diets, asthma therapy, inflatable mattresses to prevent bedsores, and continuous positive airway pressure machines for sleep apnea. Despite some system problems, such as inadequate power, defective cables, and blown fuses, families successfully dealt with these issues with some outside help. Almost all families were pleased with the systems and a majority would recommend solar-powered battery systems to a neighbor.
Families accepted and successfully used solar-powered battery systems to power medical devices. Solar-powered battery systems should be considered as alternatives to generators for power outages after hurricanes and other disasters. Additional research and analysis are needed to inform policy on increasing access to such systems.
On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 hurricane, swept across Puerto Rico (PR), wreaking devastation to PR’s power, water, and health care infrastructure. To address the imminent humanitarian crisis, the US government mobilized Federal Medical Shelters (FMS) to serve the needs of hurricane victims. This study’s objective was to provide a description of the patients seeking emergency care at FMS and the changes in their needs over time.
This retrospective, cross-sectional study included all patients presenting to the FMS Manatí from October 6, two weeks after Hurricane Maria’s landfall, to November 2, 2017. Categories were created to catalogue the nature of new acute medical issues by patients presenting to the Shelter. Descriptive, graphical analyses were performed to assess changes to presenting complaints over time, and by age groups defined as infant (age ≤1 years), child (1 year < age ≤10 years), adolescent (10 years < age ≤ 25 years), and adult (age > 25 years).
Over the 30-day period, 5,268 patients were seen in the FMS seeking medical care (average 188.1 patients per day), spending less than five hours in the facility. The distribution of patients’ age was bimodal: the first peak at one year and the second at age 50. The most common patient complaint was infection (38.8%), then musculoskeletal (MSK) complaints (11.8%) and management of chronic medical conditions (11.8%). The proportion of patients presenting with chronic disease complaints declined over the course of the period of observation (21.4% on Day 4 to 8.0% on Day 30) while the proportion of patients presenting with infection increased (31.0% on Day 4 to 48.6% on Day 30). Infection complaints were highest in all age groups, but most in infxants (80.2%), while MSK and chronic disease complaints were highest in adults (14.9% and 14.9%, respectively).
Infection treatment and chronic disease management were important medical needs facing patients seeking care at FMS Manatí after Hurricane Maria. These findings suggest that basic needs related to sanitation and shelter remained important weeks after the hurricane, and a focus on access to medications, infection control, and injury prevention/management after a disaster needs to be prioritized during disaster response.
Since the West Indies saw the forced introduction of the most enslaved Africans in all of the Americas, the most written about element of pre-twentieth-century Caribbean writing in contemporary scholarship is without a doubt plantation slavery, including abolition and slave revolt and rebellion. However, even while drawing attention to these concerns, much of nineteenth-century Caribbean writing, in the works of Cuba’s Félix Varela, Haiti’s Émeric Bergeaud, and Puerto Rico’s Ramón Emeterio Betances, for example, also shows distinct concerns with ideas of sovereignty. Rather than illustrating an obsessive concern with racialized revolution or at once idyllic and treacherous scenes of tropical paradise, the Caribbean writers under discussion in this essay demonstrate a clear shift towards trying to determine the meaning of freedom in a life after slavery, and what kinds of new identities the inhabitants of a post-slavery Caribbean might take on.
Community engagement (CE) is critical for research on the adoption and use of assistive technology (AT) in many populations living in resource-limited environments. Few studies have described the process that was used for engaging communities in AT research, particularly within low-income communities of older Hispanic with disabilities where limited access, culture, and mistrust must be navigated. We aimed to identify effective practices to enhance CE of low-income Hispanic communities in AT research.
The community stakeholders included community-based organizations, the community healthcare clinic, the local AT project, and residents of the Caño Martín Peña Community in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The CE procedures and activities during the Planning the Study Phase comprised working group meetings with stakeholders to cocreate the funding proposal for the study and address the reviewers’ critiques. During the Conducting the Study Phase, we convened a Community Advisory Board to assist in the implementation of the study. During the Disseminating the Study Results Phase, we developed and implemented plans to disseminate the research results.
We identified seven distinct practices to enhance CE in AT research with Hispanic communities: (1) early and continuous input; (2) building trusting and warm relationships through personal connections; (3) establishing and maintaining presence in the community; (4) power sharing; (5) shared language; (6) ongoing mentorship and support to community members; and (7) adapting to the changing needs of the community.
Greater attention to CE practices may improve the effectiveness and sustainability of AT research with low-income communities.
Chapter 2 explores the decade and a half following the Cuban War, noting how anarchists emerged and evolved across the region. In Cuba, the visit by Errico Malatesta and the creation of ¡Tierra! helped anarchists build Havana into the network hub. Meanwhile, anarchists in Florida and Puerto Rico developed dual relationships by working with the anti-anarchist American Federation of Labor (AFL) unions on the ground while communicating with and funding ¡Tierra! as their newspaper. By the early 1910s, anarchists in Florida abandoned the AFL associations and forged the first Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Locals in the network. In Panama, anarchists migrated to the construction project shortly after it began, organized anarchist groups throughout the Canal Zone, linked themselves with Havana, and in 1911 created the isthmus’s first anarchist publication. Throughout all of this, anarchists – no matter where they were – attacked US intervention, capitalism in the region, oversight of the canal, and US-designed political systems then being developed across the Caribbean.
The objective of the Caribbean Strong Summit was to plan an intersectoral summit to address the equity of community health and resilience for disaster preparedness, response and recovery and develop a set of integrated and actionable recommendations for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Region post Hurricanes Irma and Maria. A three-day meeting was convened with a wide range of community, organizational and private sector leaders along with representatives from Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, the Americas, and global experts to generate recommendations for enhanced resilience based upon lessons learned and evidence-based approaches. More than 500 participants from the region gave 104 presentations with recommendations for resilience. Over 150 recommendations were generated and ranked for importance and actionability by participants. A representative sample of these are presented along with five major themes for building health resilient communities in the Caribbean. This summit was successful in compiling a set of integrated recommendations from more than 19 diverse sectors and in defining five major thematic areas for future work to enhance resilience for all types of future disasters. A follow-up meeting should be planned to continue this discussion and to showcase work that has been accomplished in these areas. A complete set of the recommendations from the Caribbean Strong Summit and their analysis and compilation would be published and should serve as a foundational effort to enhance preparedness and resiliency towards future disasters in the Caribbean.
Syndromic surveillance has been useful for routine surveillance on a variety of health outcomes and for informing situational awareness during public health emergencies. Following the landfall of Hurricane Maria in 2017, the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) implemented an enhanced syndromic surveillance system to characterize related emergency department (ED) visits.
ED visits with any mention of specific key words (“Puerto,” “Rico,” “hurricane,” “Maria”) in the ED chief complaint or Puerto Rico patient home Zip Code were identified from the DOHMH syndromic surveillance system in the 8-week window leading up to and following landfall. Visit volume comparisons pre- and post-Hurricane Maria were performed using Fisher’s exact test.
Analyses identified an overall increase in NYC ED utilization relating to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria landfall. In particular, there was a small but significant increase in visits involving a medication refill or essential medical equipment. Visits for other outcomes, such as mental illness, also increased, but the differences were not statistically significant.
Gaining this situational awareness of medical service use was informative following Hurricane Maria, and, following any natural disaster, the same surveillance methods could be easily established to aid an effective emergency response.