After three months of hard work on Mr. Julio Bonilla Rios´ home, the blind elder he was able to come home last April 17. The residence is located in Sabana Grande's El Bosque alleyway. The resident was temporary lodged at a nearby home for the elderly while his home was being repaired. He was welcomed with a cheerful round of applause from SACED's Disaster Case Managers. The effort was part of an alliance between SACED and the Lions Club.


SACED receives grant, provisions for humanitarian aid
SABANA GRANDE (SACED MEDIA) -- A local non-profit organization signed an agreement with the Puerto Rico Lions Clubs, while receiving thousands of personal items for Hurricane Maria victims who still have special needs. Ariel R. Cruz, Puerto Rico Council of Lions Governors President, and Jose D. Pietri, Sabana Grande Corporation for Economic and Community Development (SACED) President, signed the agreement at a ceremony while presenting the first portion of $104,395 raised by the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). The signing...




Case Managers Santos Rodriguez and Carmen Negron, workers of FEMA´s Disaster Case Management Program, represent SACED at the health and resources fair "The House in Your Community". Sponsored by the House of Representatives, the municipal government and other territorial agencies and corporations, the fair was held February 13 at Lisandro Lugo Recreation Area in San German. Our representatives offered information about resources available to individuals and families whose homes are still damaged by Huricane Maria in the Southwest area -- an effort SACED has carried on for the past six months, already managing 644 cases.


SACED achieves 400th milestone in home repair cases in progress

Last Friday, December 7, SACED's workers achieved the 400th mark in the number of homes officially in the organization's process of home repair after Hurricane Maria.

"There have been many obstacles in the process, but we are pushing forward with the tools we have", said Jose D. Pietri, SACED Program Manager. "As different situations arise, we adjust our processes to continue on without interruption".

Working under the federal Disaster Case Management Program, SACED's case managers are canvassing the municipalities of Sabana Grande, Yauco, Hormigueros, San German, and Lajas identifying homes still needing repairs.

SACED is also working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Program to provide to the disabled and elderly population home improvements not covered by the DCMP, such as wheel-chair ramps, roof sealant, and appliances damaged by the hurricane.

"We continue searching for partners that could help us provide the needed repairs and home appliances lost by the poorest families", Pietri said.

SACED supports coffee plants delivery in Yauco

SACED present at Washington D.C. Summit
For the second year in a row, the Puerto Rican Diaspora Summit-Washington D.C. created a space for the discussion of policy issues impacting Puerto Rico and the articulation of responses by Puerto Ricans in the Washington, D.C. region, as well as other diasporic stakeholders and allies. The Summit is fashioned after the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College/CUNY successful Puerto Rico/Puerto Ricans Conference series. In addition to Centro, the Summit counts on the support of BoricuActivatEd, Boricuas Unidos en la Diáspora, Cenadores PR, Friends of Puerto Rico, National Puerto Rican Agenda, Washington DC Mayor's Office of Latino Affairs, the Latino Law Student Association of the University of the District of Columbia, and countless volunteers.

USDA trains SACED's case managers for additional aid

Personnel from U.S. Department of Agriculture visited SACED's operations center October 23 to present information about financial aid programs available for repair, rebuild, or improve homes damaged by Hurricane Maria or for home purchases.

Although SACED in presently focused on roof repairs under FEMA's Disaster case Management Program, its case managers also offer referrals to additional aid programs based on the individual needs of the families they visit as part of their field work serving Sabana Grande, San German, Yauco, Maricao, Lajas and Hormigueros municipalities.

Hector Nunez, USDA's Rural Development Program director for the Caguas, Camuy and Mayaguez regions, led the presentation aided by Jessica Estremera y Marilyn Feliciano before about two dozen SACED case managers. The presentation focused on USDA's 502 and 504 programs, available to low income families through low interest loans for their housing needs. USDA personnel covered the process' tecnical aspects and qualifying minimum requirements.

As pointed out, USDA's program 504 is the main one for home restoration and repairs. On the other hand, program 502 offers loans for home purchase, construction, acquiring or resale.

Going forward in collaboration with USDA, SACED's case managers will be channeling aid requests directly to the federal agency.


Your help is still needed
SACED needs to recruit construction teams to meet its goal to repair as many homes as possible under FEMA's Voluntary Agencies Leading and Organizing Repair Program. We already have volunteers, case managers and materials. But we need funds to be able to hire construction workers. Many of the people in need are elderly or handicapped living in houses without permanent roofs, without some walls, or without public utilities. Please help us help them; call us at 787-804-3197.◼



Recently, SACED received the Million Dollar Roundtable Foundation a $10,000 donation for the contracting much-needed construction crews for damaged homes by Hurricane Maria. They join the SACED team composed also by FEMA's Voluntary Agencies Leading and Organizing Repair Program and Unidos por Puerto Rico.



SACED at full speed with DCMP
Entering the next reconstruction phase after Hurricane Maria, SACED has recruited 18 additional workers for FEMA's Disaster Case Management Program. After a week of training, the DCMP case managers will continue on to SACED's second phase of its relief effort. They have visited homes in Sabana Grande's rural areas identified by FEMA as still needing repairs.

Also, SACED's construction materials' warehousing has been moved to a larger faclity. DCMP's first phase is being used to fine-tune procedures and practices, and these initial experiences will be used to draft a Standard Operating Procedures Manual.

The final printed manual will be the field guide for the second phase, which includes relief aid to six other towns in Puerto Rico's southwest region.



SACED joins agreement with churches for home repairs

SACED representatives met August 6 with pastors from Puerto Rico's southwest region to formalize a joint project to continue repairing homes affected by Hurricane Maria. Sponsored by U.S. organization Samaritan's Purse, the project will focus specifically on roof repairs or construction. SACED will serve as "case manager agent" (as certified by FEMA) to identify homes in need in Sabana Grande, San German, Lajas, Maricao, Hormigueros, Guanica and Yauco.◼



Cafi-Cultura Puertorriqueña, Inc. joins SACED

The SACED group keeps growing. SACED recently signed a collaborative agreement with Cafi-Cultura Puertorriqueña, Inc. to act as its fiscal agent and jointly work on projects that benefit farmers and the environment.

Cafi-Cultura Puertorriqueña, Inc. is a private, non-profit, educational organization. It is also known by its brand name, Cafiesencia. It was founded in 2008 by Lisette Fas-Quiñones and incorporated under the Laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Cafiesencia received tax exemption in 2009 under Section 1101 of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code (Number 2008-1101 (4) 475.

Cafiesencia's board of directors is composed by members from various fields, including experts in agriculture, conservation, education, tourism and business.

Cafiesencia provides the rural communities opportunities to improve their quality of life and achieve social and economic justice through sustainable economic development of agriculture and tourism, conservation of historical and natural heritage, education and prevention. The organization collaborates in scientific studies, research, programs, university courses and other initiatives with sustainable economic development results.

Its volunteer base is Cafiesencia's most valuable asset, consisting of farmers, community leaders, professionals and academics from agriculture, tourism and sustainable affairs, and government employees. Some of our collaborators are the University of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez and Utuado campuses), Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Puerto Rico Historic Preservation Office, community groups, public and private schools, other non-governmental organizations, private companies and individuals, and the municipal governments of Yauco, Maricao, Las Marias, San German and Sabana Grande.

Fas-Quiñones originated Cafiesencia for the island´s coffee region following the principle of a sustainable holistic vision. Recently, this vision was extended to all rural communities.

For SACED the collaborative agreement with Cafiesencia greatly contributes to our mission to provide economic development for our community, especially among our farmers. Lisette, her work team, collaborators and volunteers, bring extraordinary experience that impacts positively our community. Welcome to SACED.◼




Sabana Grande Community and Economic Development, Inc.
Corporación para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Económico de Sabana Grande, Inc.
IRS 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization

31 Calle Ángel G. Martínez  |  P.O. Box 1119  |  Sabana Grande, PR 00634
787.804.3197  |  admin@saced.com