Hurricane Maria is the latest in a series of disastrous storms to pass through the Caribbean and lower United States. The storm has done a great deal of damage to Puerto Rico, leaving the U.S. commonwealth without power on the entire island. While President Donald Trump recently approved federal assistance to help the island recover, regular people also helped in the form of a hashtag: #MeUnoAyudar.
The hashtag, loosely translated as “I join to help,” helps those living in Puerto Rico find individuals willing to help them connect with loved ones. The rallying cry has a few variations, but most posts read like this:
“Si estás en #PuertoRico y tienes internet pero no llamadas, me ofrezco para llamar a tu familia y avisar que estás bien.” Translated to English, it reads: “If you’re in #PuertoRico, and have internet, but no phone access, I can call your family and let them know that you’re OK.”
The refrain reminds residents of Puerto Rico that if they have access to the internet but can’t call out, those tweeting #MeUnoAyudar will help them contact family. While many have noted Puerto Rico’s loss of power, no one reports that the country is without internet access. #MeUnoAyudar should prove helpful in areas with “spotty cell service” as NYDailyNews puts it. The hashtag has seen strong support.
Maria has inflicted monumental damage on Puerto Rico and could have lasting effects on the United States territory. In addition to the hashtag and the U.S.’s recent funding, the Puerto Rican people have other options for finding help. For example, the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration has opened its phone line, according to Orlando Sentinel, so people can check on loved ones. That number is (202) 778-0710. Pix 11 notes that the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is also offering its phone lines to let people do the same, using the number (877) 976-2400.
Efforts like #MeUnoAyudar prove that individuals, not just large organizations, can help those in need. The worst may be over for Puerto Rico, but Hurricane Maria continues to make its way north, luckily away from land.