Hurricane Maria hit women in Puerto Rico the hardest. And they’re the ones building it back.

As Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria, women like Martínez-Román are doing double duty — leading community efforts to rebuild while managing households with fewer resources.

News Story (Puerto Rico)

Justine Calma
March 8, 2018

Tags: Disaster Recovery

Organizations mentioned/involved: Fundación Fondo de Acceso a la Justicia


After Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, Adi Martínez-Román’s morning routine went something like this: Wake up at 5 a.m., secure a water cistern on her roof to prevent it from leaking, fill her generator with gasoline and turn it on to power her refrigerator, get ready for work, turn the generator off to conserve gas. (Her fridge would have enough juice to keep food cold through the afternoon.) Then she could finally head to her job providing others affected by the storm with legal services. After work came the hunt to get more gasoline to power the generator.

Martínez-Román considers herself lucky to have had a generator and a cistern. She was also fortunate that power was restored to her home by Thanksgiving, before much of the rest of the island. But even now she says the smell of gasoline triggers strong feelings about what she and other women have endured since the hurricane.