By Nicolás Peña
Washington, D.C. Sep 25, 2017 .- The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), stands in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria which left 15 people dead, more than 3 million without communications, electricity, and water.
After the declaration of a State of Emergency in 54 of the 78 Puerto Rican counties, the situation of Hispanic older adults is even worse. According to the most recent official data, one in every 16 citizens in Puerto Rico is an older adult, which translates to more than 574,000 people. 40 percent of this population was living in extreme poverty, even before Maria.
NHCOA, honoring its mission to protect and improve the lives of Hispanic older adults urges the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide all the support needed for this vulnerable population.
NHCOA will open a collection center to receive non-perishable foods, medicines, water, blankets, disposable diapers, and clothing, for seniors (it doesn’t matter if is used, but in good condition). The address is: Casa Iris 2201 12th St. NW. Suite 101, Washington, and D.C.20009. If you would like to donate money, call 202-347-9733.
On September 26, NHCOA will present to Congress its annual report on the Status of Hispanic Adults. Taking advantage of the presence of Representatives and federal public health officials, Dr. Yanira Cruz, President of NHCOA, will file a petition in favor of Puerto Rico, specifically for its older adult population, their families and caregivers.
“In situations like these, we really see what our priorities are. We will raise our voice in the Capitol as loudly as possible, to remind and bring front of mind that natural disasters such as Maria, bring hardship and suffering to many, but especially the elderly, who in many cases are isolated, without a support system or family, and don’t possess the benefit of youth or good health to find their way through crisis. Do not give up! Latinos can do this and more!” said Dr. Cruz.