Dear PUERTO RICO….
We have returned home after three weeks with you.
Drawn by the devastation from hurricane Maria, we brought a water purification technology, which produces large quantities of clean water.
The measure of our experience is not simply in our work in Quebradillas and Isabela along the Rio Guajataca or Utuado besides the Rio Grande de Arecibo (Rio Vivi). The inspiration we felt comes from those we met along the way: our hometown energy company who made the journey possible. The government officials who aided us when our Water Wagon first arrived at the port of San Juan; the volunteer who left his job as an auto worker in Michigan to help us, the clergyman who works with the needy from his church in San Juan, the officials from the municipalities who struggle to have clean water despite bureaucratic road blocks, the police chief who cried “muy bueno” when he tasted the water we produced from the brackish river water flowing near his town. And there are many more. They were our inspiration each day and have been in the days following our return home.
A slogan caught my attention on a can of your very popular Medalla beer: RESTART. To take this urging to heart, I wonder, “What will it take to succeed in this challenge” for all the people of your country and for those who want to help rebuild. When one restarts, there is a need for the right amount of energy to tip the scales as well as sufficient resources to carry on. It seems that certain resources may have been in short supply even before the titanic winds of Maria. Yet, we know the richness that is Puerto Rico from our visit to every corner of the island.
One thing, however, is abundantly clear: your strength of resolve is an inspiration. We also know that you, the 3 million who remain in Puerto Rico, hold to the conviction that you are resilient and, with your faith, have what it takes to successfully rebuild. The caring you evidence is a foundation but what is the impediment. It stares us in the face. It is every unreasonable condition, which yells, “You cannot.” Tolerance
for the negative is unacceptable; tolerance due to stifling requisites is unacceptable; tolerance of power for the sake of power is unacceptable, tolerance of less than what is human dignity is unacceptable.
We hope all Puerto Ricans will join in unison to create what matters toward achieving the best life has to offer. Make each day a step forward in reaching that goal.
With friendship and hope,
Marc K. Shaye
Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein, PLLC