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Current Efforts and Projects

This page will contain various way to support Puerto Rico in its recovery efforts. If you have an idea, a current project or are interested in getting involved, please contact Elsie Otero by email: elsie_otero@uml.edu. Thank you.

UMass Lowell Puerto Rico Seed Campaign

UHaul Loading of donations for Puerto Rico: Picture of the loading of 50 boxes collected for Puerto Rico Relief at UMass Lowell onto a UHaul truck.

This past fall 50 boxes of supplies were collected and sent to Puerto Rico.

We are currently collecting seeds for the UMass Lowell Puerto Rico Seed Campaign through March 1, 2018.

Drop-off location: Office of Multicultural Affairs University Crossing Suite 366.

Donate Funds Online To Purchase Seeds

What Is It?

Hurricane Maria damage to Puerto Rico. Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture

Officials say Hurricane Maria destroyed about 80% of the crop value in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Seed Project

The Office of Multicultural Affairs will be collecting non-gmo seeds and donations from student, staff, and alumni to support the rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s agriculture. Prior to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico imported 80-85% of food despite having a tropical climate and the ability to grow food year round. Over the last few years Puerto Rico had been experiencing a resurgence in the agricultural sector and these efforts have been drastically set back by the devastation of Hurricane Maria. After the storm, the agricultural sector lost 80% of crops.

The seeds collected by the Office of Multicultural Affairs will be sent to the Puerto Rico Resiliency Fund which is working on re-growing Puerto Rico’s food supply through collaborative efforts.

Donate Funds Online To Purchase Seeds

The Seeds

The Office of Multicultural Affairs will be collecting non-gmo seeds and donations from student, staff, and alumni to support the rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s agriculture. Prior to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico imported 80-85% of food despite having a tropical climate and the ability to grow food year round. Over the last few years Puerto Rico had been experiencing a resurgence in the agricultural sector and these efforts have been drastically set back by the devastation of Hurricane Maria. After the storm, the agricultural sector lost 80% of crops. Photo by Elsie Otero

View the list of seeds on the Fondo de Resiliencia Puerto Rico website.

Your seed donations should be non-gmo, heat tolerant, nutritionally dense crops, fast growing, low maintenance, pest or disease resistant, and easy to save, in order to guarantee their continuous production.

The Puerto Rico Resiliency Fund is urgently looking for the following seeds (preferably “fast crops”):

  • Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Squash
  • Radishes
  • Turnip
  • Bok choi
  • Okra
  • Kale

Other Seeds

  • Amaranth (use leaf amaranth like spinach)
  • Arugula (rocket)
  • Asian Greens
  • Beans (Snake beans & winged beans for the tropics)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers
  • Cassava
  • Ceylon Spinach
  • Chard
  • Chinese Cabbages
  • Chilli Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Endive
  • Kang Kong (Water spinach)
  • Lettuce
  • Luffa
  • Pumpkins
  • Radish
  • Silverbeet
  • Squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Zucchini

Where to buy Seeds

Below are some online retailers that sell organic, non-gmo seeds.

Goals

The Office of Multicultural Affairs will be collecting non-gmo seeds and donations from student, staff, and alumni to support the rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s agriculture. Prior to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico imported 80-85% of food despite having a tropical climate and the ability to grow food year round. Over the last few years Puerto Rico had been experiencing a resurgence in the agricultural sector and these efforts have been drastically set back by the devastation of Hurricane Maria. After the storm, the agricultural sector lost 80% of crops. Photo by Elsie Otero

Puerto Rico Resiliency Fund

  1. This projects’ mission is to provide seeds for more than 200 “siembras” (rural and urban farms and/or growing spaces, community and school gardens).
  2. These seed packets contain a variety of non-GMO, Non-treated, Organic, and wild foraged seed by agro-ecological experts on the island.
  3. These seeds are distributed for food production in communities, schools and small-scale market farm production. We aim to provide technical support for people who want to learn how to save seeds,by visiting projects such as farms, schools and community organizations to teach them how to cultivate, gather and store seeds promoting food sovereignty through seed sovereignty

More Information

Flooded area in Carolina, Puerto Rico, after the path of Hurricane Maria in the island. Photo by Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos Photo by Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos

A flooded area in Carolina, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria hit the island.

For more information on the Puerto Rico Resiliency Fund visit these websites:

Your Gift Matters!

Want to help but don't know where to start? Your online donation will be used to purchase seeds for the Puerto Rico Seed Project.

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