Help for Puerto Rico

Our Response to Disaster:

Chilis on Wheels reactivated its Puerto Rico Chapter to aid in food relief efforts as a result of the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. Our founders Michelle and Ollie Carrera worked with existing relief efforts and provided daily meals at multiple locations. From September 28th, 8 days after Hurricane Maria hit the island, to December 31st, the Puerto Rico chapter distributed 15,000 meals, around 500 bags of groceries, close to 200 water filters, 450 insect repellent, and other care packages and other supplies. Thanks to your $5, $10, $20 donations, the boxes of supplies shipped in, A Well-Fed World and The Pollination Project funding. We had countless conversations on what veganism means, what it looks like in practice, and the role of animal agriculture in climate change. We were in the radio twice. We distributed much needed food to nursing homes, orphanages, domestic violence women shelters, homeless shelters, people going through homelessness in the streets, animal sanctuaries, and poor communities affected in 11 towns. We cooked in churches, in makeshift fires, in people’s kitchens, in restaurants, and outdoors.

A Long Term Response & What’s Next:

This work cemented the idea of more permanent transformational change for Puerto Rico through the creation of a vegan community center, Centro Comunitario Vegano Ecotono, currently in its setting up phase in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The center will come with bi-monthly Community Event Nights highlighting information on veganism; Family Days; Cooking Classes; Workshops; Urban Agriculture Workshops; Work trainings; cooking of the meal shares; and comes with a Volunteer Room for guests to come from outside Puerto Rico to stay and volunteer in our communities. Chilis on Wheels Centro Comunitario Vegano Ecotono is already serving as base for volunteers to cook meals to serve weekly in Santurce, and Vega Baja, and to prepare one-time supply relief days for isolated affected communities.
Centro Comunitario Vegano Ecotono is set to officially open in March 9th with a screening of Cowspiracy.
We still need your help. With still so many people without power, and with FEMA retiring its food aid, we are trying to fill gaps in aid.
If you are able to donate items, there is a drop-off location that will get these items to Michelle in Puerto Rico:
1. 979 East 38th Street, BROOKLYN (off of Avenue I). There will be bins out front where you can place your donations DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS ONLY.
Items needed:
Canned foods (vegan)
Protein bars (vegan)
Soy Curls
Alkaline batteries (D, AA)
Children’s diapers
Baby wipes
Adult diapers
Menstruation products (tampons/pads)
Portable power banks
Battery-operated fans
Solar chargers
Water Filters
2 desks (for the center)
posters on Veganism, in Spanish (for the center)
trimmer to cut down the grass (for the center)
Alternatively, you can also send items directly to our center at:
1500 Calle Esperanza
San Juan, PR 00920
Funds are also welcomed, as we purchase supplies locally to stimulate the local economy as much as possible. This includes the compostable bowls, and utensils used to serve the food, gas for donation pick-ups and distributions, operational costs for keeping up the center, and although it is currently Volunteer run, we eventually need to hire a caretaker to run programs and take care of the center.

Please share widely and watch more about the Centro Comunitario Vegano Ecotono below.