Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States recognizes the cultural impact of Americans who trace their family histories to Mexico, Central and South America, and throughout the Caribbean Basin – including Puerto Rico. The diversity of the Hispanic community is reflected in Puerto Rico’s history and development.
Colonized by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the following four hundred years of Spanish rule led to a blend of cultures from Spain, the Canary Islands, Sardinia, South America, and the Caribbean. Puerto Rico became a U.S. Commonwealth after the Spanish-American War in 1898, and Puerto Ricans gained U.S. citizenship in 1941, increasing the island’s influence on U.S. history and culture.
Puerto Rican identity has become intertwined with modern-day America. Today, more than 3.26 million Puerto Ricans live in the continental United States, with leaders from various walks of life, including Jennifer Lopez and Sonia Sotomayor. These influencers have helped shape our society and vision of the American dream.
While we highlight the island’s contributions during Hispanic Heritage Month, the two-way commitment between Puerto Rico and mainland U.S. runs all year long – and it has never been tested more nor proven to be stronger than over the last six years since Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island.
Since 2018, Tidal Basin Caribe has stood with Puerto Rico as a steadfast ally and partner. We are proud to have employed hundreds of local staff and partners in support of the island’s recovery from Irma and Maria. Our team has led numerous disaster recovery programs that help Puerto Rican communities rebuild and become more resilient to future disasters. In today’s unpredictable world, the ability to pre-emptively prepare for and efficiently respond to emergencies is paramount. We understand the intricacies and challenges that come with large-scale disasters in Puerto Rico and the nuances of federally funded disaster programs. We’ve partnered with Puerto Rican government agencies, organizations, and communities to weave a safety net of integrated disaster management solutions that empower them and allow them to recover and Be stronger than before™.
Here are just some of the ways Tidal Basin Caribe has contributed to Puerto Rico’s recovery from the catastrophic hurricanes:
- Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH) – Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) / “TU HOGAR RENACE” Program: Within 72 hours, we hired more than 700 local staff, and within one week, they were trained and deployed. We set up a bilingual call center within three days. At the program’s peak, we managed a team of 1,500 in-house and subcontracted staff who processed more than 215,000 applications and repaired 108,000 residences.
- Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH) – Home Repair, Reconstruction or Relocation Program (R3 Program): Tidal Basin Caribe serves as the Program Manager in the north-central area of Puerto Rico for the $2.4B HUD (Housing and Urban Development) CDBG-DR funded R3 Program. We opened two R3 applicant intake centers, performed an intake for 6,700 applicants, and assisted over 4,000 residences with repair, relocation, or reconstruction.
- Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH) – Economic Recovery Case Management and Implementation of Management Services Programs: Our team provided intake, eligibility, HUD income verification, award coordination, closeout services, and technical assistance on program requirements and application completion in both English and Spanish for 2,600 small businesses and 711 local rural farmers to restart or expand their businesses.
- Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH) – Community Energy and Water Resilience Installations (CEWRI) Program: Tidal Basin Caribe provides program management services for the $300M CEWRI program to address energy and water system vulnerabilities in Puerto Rico, including operational support, intake, eligibility, HUD income verification, inspections, awards coordination, and closeout services. To date, we have assisted 3,116 applicants and completed 298 installations.
- Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) – Infrastructure Grants Management Program: We managed the $11B FEMA-funded Infrastructure Grant program, helping PREPA secure the largest single FEMA-funded grant allocation, at the time, of $10B.
- Corporación del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martin Peña: In 2020, ENLACE selected Tidal Basin Caribe to oversee the development and submission of the grant application for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for the $36M Drainage Improvement Project for Israel-Bitumul, North, which was included in the Caño Martín Peña Special Planning District’s Comprehensive Development and Land Use Plan.
Every challenge is unique, and so should the solution. Collaborating closely with our Puerto Rican clients, Tidal Basin Caribe has molded our services to align with their distinct requirements, ensuring Puerto Rico has a partner who understands and caters to its every need. Together, we are building a resilient Puerto Rico, ready and robust for the challenges of today and the promises of tomorrow.
To learn more about our comprehensive emergency management, public program management and enterprise solutions, click HERE.