Five days ago, we created this post about the damage done in Vieques after Hurricane Maria. Little did we know that it would be relied on as one of the few ways to get into touch with the island community of approximately 9,000 people. Shared over 2,000 times, we didn’t realized this small blog post would get so many visitors inquiring and pleading for more information about their loved ones.
How to Contact Loved Ones in Vieques After Hurricane Maria?
The fact that our post went viral highlights the extreme lack of media coverage about the damage done to Vieques (and Puerto Rico) after Hurricane Maria. That coupled with the island’s inability to communicate with the mainland only served to compound the issues.
With all that going on, we wanted to create a separate resource as another way for family and friends to connect with their loved ones on Vieques, or to communicate with friends and neighbors that are safe in Vieques whom might be able to connect with or look for them. Here’s a handful of different resources, forums, and contact information that we’ve been made aware of in the last five days. We organized the options in order of how you check them.
1. Check Vieques Safe List
This publicly-shared Google Sheet is the first resource you should click on. Called the “Vieques Safe List”, it’s a basic spreadsheet that lists the first and last names of those that have been supposedly been confirmed safe. Sorted by FIRST NAME, the title of the spreadsheet displays the day (not exact time) it was last updated. We’re not sure whom created it, but it feels like a grassroots effort with those on the ground updating it.
2. Email Puerto Rico’s Disaster Relief Team
As mentioned by the Miami Herald, if you haven’t made contact with your loved one(s) in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, the territory’s Federal Affairs Administration is asking people to email the island’s disaster relief team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the high volume of requests, the officials are asking to only send ONE email. Sending another email only serves to slow the process down for everyone. You may send a follow-up email only if the status of your loved one(s) has changed.
3. The “Vieques Peeps” Facebook Group
You can also try to connect with those on the island via the Facebook page called Vieques Peeps. It’s a private group that you can request to join as long as you have a Facebook profile. Once you’re accepted, you can post your questions on the group’s page and hopefully connect with someone that might have news on your loved one.
4. Carribbean Hurricane Network Forum
You may be able to find some information on loved ones at the Carribbean Hurricane Network forum for Vieques here: https://help.stormcarib.com/index.php?89. There is one forum completely dedicated to the information on people, properties and other questions regarding Vieques.
5. Comment Here
As many family and friends have already done, if you’re searching still, feel free to post a comment at the bottom of this post and we’ll add their names. The following is a list of names that loved ones are looking for and have commented on our post(s). We’ll further organize this list as the day goes on but wanted to get the names up as soon as possible.
|LAST NAME||FIRST NAME||ADDITIONAL INFO||SAFE?|
|Arbelo||Israel||de Barrio Monte Santo sector Pozo prieto|
|Ayala||Joaquin||Lives in EL Pilon area – Rte: 995|
|Carabot||Beto||Lives in Monte Santo in front of the Gallera|
|Castro||Ada||Wife of Jorge Castillo||Yes|
|Castro||David||Lives in Minte Santo|
|Castro||Chong (Maria)||Lives in Minte Santo|
|Chester (Butchie)||Has house in the Pueblo|
|Castillo||Jorge||Owner of the Crystal Dolphin on the Malecon||Needs Confirm|
|Dixon||Christina||she works at el Quenepo||Yes|
|Encarnación||Ana Luz||de Barrio Monte Santo sector Pozo prieto|
|Encarnación||Felicito (Felix)||de Barrio Monte Santo sector Pozo prieto|
|Encarnación||Joaquina||de Barrio Monte Santo sector Pozo prieto|
|Encarnación||Marciana||de Barrio Monte Santo sector Pozo prieto|
|Felix||Luis||lives in villa borinquen in Viequez|
|Felix||Sandra||lives in villa borinquen in Viequez|
|Fernandez||David||from Monte Santo|
|GARCIA||CRUZ M.||from Monte Carmelo|
|Griffin||Dorothy||Calla Sin Salida|
|Hatcher||Brian||also known as the "Tile Guy" or "Tile Brian"|
|Hendricks||Alex||lives in villa borinquen in Viequez|
|Hendricks||Norma||lives in villa borinquen in Viequez|
|Horta||Hector||Their family runs Hortas||Needs Confirm|
|Horta||PJ||Their family runs Hortas|
|Jackson||Shirley||SHORT BLOND WOMAN ABOUT 5′ TALL||Yes|
|Jones||Les||Former owners Sol Food||Yes|
|Marino||Nicholas||live on Flamboyan in Esperanza Beach|
|Marino||Robert||live on Flamboyan in Esperanza Beach|
|Martinez||Genovea||lives next to Taverna Rst.|
|Meacham||Bill||Lives at 325 Tintillos Esperanza and ham radio operator KP4SX|
|Miranda||Esther Altamirano||Lives in Monte Santo in front of the Gallera|
|Nieves||Wilda||from jardines de vieques te querio|
|Olivelli||Nicole||Former owners Sol Food||Yes|
|Perez||Miguel Angel “Titi”||N/A|
|Perez||Luis Marcial “Chequi”||N/A|
|RIVERA||EDDIE||from Monte Carmelo|
|RIVERA||Nauri||from Monte Carmelo|
|Robinson||Francisco||from Monte Carmelo|
|Ross||James||'Black' from Longview Texas, moved to vieques 3 months ago|
|Soukup||Kelly||Owners of Bananas||Yes|
|Soukup||Kurt||Owners of Bananas||Yes|
Other options that USA.gov is suggesting include
- Calling into the island’s local radio station WIPR at 787-777-0940
- You can also try to find family and friends via the American Red Cross.
- Listening to WKAQ radio station, which lost it’s roof during the storm, continues to broadcast news and can be listened to online.
We can’t confirm the authenticity of any of the above resources, but want to publish out as many different ways for those looking to contact their loved ones. We’ll continue to update this post as we become aware of any more ways to contact Vieques.