top of page

Building Power

Bso Fema.jpg

Hurrricane María
September 2017

"La solidaridad es la ternura de los pueblos"- Gioconda Belli

We decided not to stay put while we waited for the government and FEMA to help, since we knew this wouldn't happen for a long time and they wouldn't tend to the real and urgent needs of the southern and western communities in those times of crisis. 

Through self-organization and mutual aid, we managed to unite dozens of people throughout Puerto Rico and the diaspora in an effort for just recovery. 

Ricky Renuncia
Summer 2019

"Si lxs de abajo se mueven , lxs de arriba se caen"

The summer of 2019 saw the emergence of a popular movement that demanded governor Ricardo Roselló's immediate resignation. In the West, as in many other regions, popular assemblies were carried out to establish common demands and organize protests in support of the country's overarching claim: the removal of Ricky Roselló from office, which was achieved on July 24th 2019.

The brigade supported these assemblies through logistics and resources while also participating in them, in accordance with our commitment to social justice. 

BSO- RRRenuncia, Mayagz, 07-19.jpg
BSO Camps.jpg

January 2020

"Solo el pueblo salva al pueblo"

Since the start of 2020, the south and west of Puerto Rico have not stopped shaking. After the devastating earthquake on January 7, we mobilized ourselves to the Guánica-Yauco area to provide support and resources to the self-organized camps that had been established in different communities within these municipalities. There, we focused first on learning the needs of the different camps—medicine, portable bathrooms, cots, tents, creating or supplying  mess halls for some camps, and creating an art zone so that the youth could have a space in which to heal through art. 

In response to the pandemic, we have sought responsible ways to continue our solidary work. We supported communities in Mayagüez that were hit by floods caused by tropical storm Isaías. Currently, we are working in Guánica, where we are helping to meet the housing necessities of people who were affected by the earthquakes but have not received any help from FEMA, culminating in the construction of a housing module for an elderly couple in the Fuig community. 

Hurrricane Fiona 
September 2022

On September 18, in the context of the privatization of Puerto Rico's power grid, our archipelago was struck again by a hurricane. Even though it was not as powerful as María, Fiona brought historic amounts of rain, and its more direct passage through a southwest made vulnerable by the colonial crisis caused comparable and sometimes even worse damages than María in our region. 

As an immediate response, the brigade mobilized itself to get supplies to those who were affected by the storm and clear the debris left by the flooding. 


Seeing the dire need for food security that the hurricane unveiled, we launched the Fondita Solidaria from our space in San Germán, which operated for ten weeks thanks to the solidarity of farmers, fisherpeople and local companies, as well as the diaspora. We supported the community with hot meals five days a week, besides continuing to distribute groceries and basic supplies. On weekends, we offered art workshops sponsored by the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo; community health clinics with the solidarity of doctors from the area; and we facilitated psychosocial support sessions.


Currently, we are working on just reconstruction and special quality of life support for extremely vulnerable populations. 

Taller BSO.png

Rescuing the Amina
May 2023—

Rescate Amina

On May 30, 2023, we began the process of requesting municipal endorsement to rescue the Amina Tió de Malaret school, which had been closed by the government in 2018. While waiting for official endorsement, we surveyed neighbors in the surrounding community, who expressed concerns toward the school's state of abandonment and a desire to see the space become truly of the community for the community. 

By August, we started the difficult task of restoring the school to a more habitable state, clearing overgrowth and debris, cleaning layers of mud, dust and refuse, and installing a working kitchen in the cafeteria. Our vision for the space was to establish, alongside the community and other organizations, a center for culture and education within the school that can act as a shelter and oasis during natural emergencies. 

However, on March 7th, 2024, eight months later, the Municipality of San Germán sent six police officers to close down the rescued school, citing an interest in housing the government's historical records within. 

Since then, more than 70 local business owners and organizations have pledged their support for the Amina's rescue, and we are still striving to turn the school into the richly dynamic place that the community yearns for it to become. 


How can you help?

bottom of page