The devastation across Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria has been described as “apocolyptic”, and right now the country is in dire need of basic necessities, such as food, water and modes of communication.
Puerto Rico was struck by back-to-back hurricanes in the form of Hurricane Irma and Maria. It is understood that much of the country remains without power, weeks after Maria tore through.
In response to the tragedy the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) has teamed up with Waves 4 Water (W4W) to raise money and bring water filters to the affected regions.
Now, those organisations are calling on support of the surfing community to rally around the stricken country, considering so many surfers visit the Caribbean.
Dylan Slater, President of the SIMA Humanitarian Fund said: “Surf culture and the surf industry have a long history with Puerto Rico, starting with the fourth World Surfing Championships held there in 1968.
“The people, the surfing community and the surfing industry has been significantly impacted by these storms, and we feel an obligation to do what we can to help them get back on their feet.”
It is hoped that by banding together, the surfing community can raise around $30,000 towards Waves for Water's filtration systems, which can provide clean water for those in need. Also on the ground assisting with relief is W4W’s founder, Jon Rose.
He said: “It’s really tough down here right now. Disaster response work is always a game of logistics, but the widespread scale of impact from this one is almost unprecedented. It's not just one place that was affected — island after island is wiped out. Our priority right now is focused around providing access to clean drinking water to help preserve life and prevent disease.”
Around 30 people are thought to have died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. To donate to the cause, go HERE.