Archivo de Respuestas Emergencias de Puerto Rico

Christina Boyles, College of Arts and Letters
Operation Blessing
Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico
El Puente - Latino Climate Action Network
Instituto Transdisciplinario de Investigación - Acción Social (ITIAS)
Universidad de Puerto Rico - Río Piedras
Universidad de Puerto Rico – Mayagüez
Digital Library of the Caribbean

The Archivo de Respuestas Emergencias de Puerto Rico (AREPR – Emergency Response Archive of Puerto Rico) is a cross-institutional project developing a digital open-access repository of Puerto Rican artifacts of disasters pertaining to Hurricane María (2017), the Guayanilla earthquakes (2020), and COVID-19 (2020). 

The project involves collaboration between MSU’s Dr. Christina Boyles, the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, and the Digital Library of the Caribbean. AREPR is grant-supported, allowing partnership with five community organizations across the main island of Puerto Rico: El Puente–Enlace Latino de Acción Climática, Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico, JunteGente, the Instituto Transdisciplinario de Investigación-Acción Social (ITIAS), and Operation Blessing.

By foregrounding the lived experiences of Puerto Ricans through oral history interviews and preserving archival documents and images, AREPR offers new ways of relating to impending climate catastrophes that are socially just.

Connecting community members with the web development and metadata capabilities of MSU has allowed collected materials to be assembled in a freely available site that highlights the innovative knowledge production of grassroots community organizations in Puerto Rico. Not only do these materials have the potential to save lives but are also imperative to developing future emergency protocols based on local knowledge and community action.