Puerto Rican Relief: Capital CC Responded To Humanitarian Crisis Throughout Fall Semester

The devastation of Hurricane Maria on the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico last September  20th brought  campus-wide, humanitarian responses from Capital Community College’s staff, faculty and students throughout the fall semester.  Members of the college community joined other organizations and individuals in Greater Hartford with helping hands and resources that are still needed for recovery from the Category 4 storm on the island and to aid displaced families coming to Connecticut from the hardest hit areas of Puerto Rico.

Led by Marisol Malave from the Dean of Administration’s office,  Early Childhood Lab School teacher Carmen Marrero, the Latin American Student Association (LASA) and Student Senate, the campus community supported a multi-faceted campaign in support of relief efforts.

The campaign was launched on October 4th at a meeting to discuss how Capital could assist with  humanitarian relief efforts.  Joe Rodriguez, Deputy State Director for U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, shared information on conditions in Puerto Rico and organizing began to respond to the humanitarian crisis.

Organizers immediately joined an online campaign encouraging donations to provide long-lasting solar lights to the people of Puerto Rico amid a loss of electricity that persists into 2018.

A November 10th Dinner Dance at Centinel Hill Hall raised more than $2,600 and counting.  Malave and Marrero mobilized a community-wide response for the fund raiser with help from CCC’s Hamish Lutris, Madeline Santiago, Miriam Mercado, Marcia Clark,  Marcelle Witten and William Mendoza. Malave thanked Musician Ray Gonzalez, Orquesta Calidad and DJ Carlos Montano for the dinner dance music.

Participating restaurants and caterers included Humacao, Mi Sabor,  The Rockin’ Chicken, Donde Julio, Panderia Pan Del Sinai, Sweet Harmony Cafe & Bakery, Tom Caraher’s Papa Tom’s Cookies, Evelyn Echevarria’s Eve’s Catering and Jen Acuna’s Loafing Around.  Volunteering additional support were Julio Velez’ JCV Photography and Karla Medina’s Sudor Taino Group Fitness.  Proceeds supported the Sudor Taino for Puerto Rico Strong GoFundMe drive.


Dinner Dance raised funds for Puerto Rico relief at Centinel Hall.


Hartford restaurants responded with food for the fund raiser. At left is State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez


Marisol Malave (holding flag), organizer of the college’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico, leads ceremony at the start of dinner dance

A group of students from Professor Hamish Lutris’ American Government class organized a month-long collection of coats, hats, gloves, shoes, diapers and basic necessities for Puerto Rican families displaced from the hurricane who have arrived in Hartford.  With LASA and the Student Senate helping, the students accepted donated items through December 19th at collection boxes for distribution to families through the Capitol Region Education Council.


 Lutris credited his students for leading the drive including Milagros Taveras, Joannie Castillo, Rajni Boodhram, Infinity Jemison, Letitia Lewis, Reyna Jusino, Keannu Barton, Eneidaliz Perez, Maria Resto, Claire Williamson and Alfred Easterling.

“On behalf of my students and the others who worked on this drive, thank you for your generosity. In giving so freely, you have shown that Capital is really this community’s college.” Lutris said. And Lutris praised Malave and Marrero for their leadership.  “The drive would never have gotten off the ground without the work of two people, Marisol Malavé and Carmen Marrero. They are experienced and cheerful to work with, and highly effective. They proved excellent mentors to the students, most of whom were engaged in an effort like this for the first time.”
Puerto Rico photo

Students in Hamish Lutris’ American Government class joined by organizers Marisol Malave and Carmen Marrero  led a collection drive for families and children arriving in Hartford displaced by Hurricane Maria. 






About @ Capital

A weblog for alumni and friends of the Capital Community College Foundation, Hartford, Connecticut active from 2009 to 2022, Comments and information pertaining to the College and College Foundation are welcome. John McNamara (Editor) Director of Institutional Advancement and Foundation Liaison Retired.
This entry was posted in Community Service, Events, Giving, Puerto Rico and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.