Helping Puerto Rico

Earthquake Update

The South coast of Puerto Rico has suffered a series of ongoing earthquakes beginning on December 28th, 2019 and peaking in a 6.4 magnitude tremor early in the morning on January 7th which caused an island-wide power outage. 

SBP is currently supporting the disaster response to the earthquakes in the following ways:

  • We are deploying a team of trained team members in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity to conduct damage assessments in homes in the affected areas.
  • We've secured donations of urgent needs supplies, including 80 camping tents, 100 self-inflatable sleeping pads, 100 portable showers, 100 water filters, and 400 solar lanterns, and will be distributing them among affected communities. 
  • We've collaborated with disaster-response organizations to create a user-friendly database of volunteer needs with direct points of contact for efficient connections for individuals looking to help. You can find it here!

Due to the continued tremors and the nature of the damage, there are no rebuilding opportunities available right now. To be sure, SBP is committed to supporting the long-term recovery of families affected by the earthquakes once there is a better understanding of the permanent damage and we can identify the best way we can have an impact.

If you're interested in supporting or want to know more, please email us at prvolunteer@sbpusa.org or call 787-982-2190.


Hurricane Recovery for Families

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 155 mph. Immediate damage to the electrical grid and cellphone towers put Puerto Rico in an island-wide blackout. 

According to FEMA data, it is estimated that 53% of all structures on the Island were left with major damage after the storm. Families lost their home, place of work, and their sense of normalcy and safety. People were left with no clear path forward to recovery. 

Two years later, nearly 20,000 families are living with a leaking roof and a blue tarp covering their home. These families are still living Maria every day but nevertheless Puerto Ricans continue to show remarkable resilience. The families we work with have been strong; however, our hope is that through partnerships and service, we can provide them with that next step toward recovery. 

Our Work

SBP Puerto Rico shrinks the time between disaster and recovery first and foremost by repairing and rebuilding the damaged homes of families affected by Hurricane Maria. 

Every day our team works simultaneously in 6 to 10 homes, driving forward recovery construction work so that each client can return to a safe and dignified home. We do this through our construction model based on the Toyota Production System, trained AmeriCorps members, and passionate volunteers. This model enables us to rebuild at a fraction of the cost of regular private contractors, which helps us ensure that we can continue our work for more families for as long as there is need. 

From years of disaster recovery leadership, we have learned that the only way to succeed is to work together. Our partners support our operations here on the Island, as well the direct recovery of homes. Each unique partner ensures we can provide a clear path forward to a safe and dignified home. 

Carlos Beltrán Foundation - funding for rebuilding work across the Island
Habitat for Humanity - funding for rebuilding work and two-way sharing of best practices
Hilti - donation of tools and supplies
Mylan Pharmaceuticals - supporting SBP’s operational expenses
Ricky Martin Foundation - funding for rebuilding in Loíza

Our Impact

95+ families back home
120 organizations trained in disaster recovery best practices
1,500+ volunteers have served with us = $350,000+ in saved labor costs
52 AmeriCorps members have been a part of our team
9 municipalities served - Loíza, Yabucoa, Canóvanas, Carolina, San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Cataño, Bayamón and Guaynabo

Continued Need

Thousands of families have been waiting for more than 2 years to move back into their home
350+ families on our waitlist
Home rebuilding costs can range up to $75,000 

How YOU can get involved

Volunteer: Volunteers achieve our mission of shrinking the time between disaster and recovery six days a week. Over 1,500 volunteers have contributed nearly 26,000 hours of service since August of 2018. We need passionate people wanting to make a difference to bring families back home! Register here.

Donate: Rebuilding funds are always the biggest barrier to recovery for families. Donors make it possible for us to continue our service until each and every family has a secure roof over their heads and a healthy home to come back to. Click here for more information about becoming an SBP Donor or Fundraiser today! 

Become a Member of our Team: Apply to become an AmeriCorps member and learn new skills while directly impacting families’ recovery. You can find more information here!  

Share the story: People are moved to help families in need, but too many times they might not know how to help, or even that there is still a need! Follow us and share our posts on social media so you can be a voice for recovery in your network and inspire others to get involved!

We’re on Instagram and Facebook!  


If you're interested in more information you can also call us at 787-727-5544 or 787-982-2190. You can also email us at prvolunteer@sbpusa.org