Puerto Rican diaspora group in the SF Bay Area supports Proyecto Matria

by Aida Negrón, Bilingual Communications Coordinator at Esperanza United

In 2018, after Hurricane Maria, the number of women in Puerto Rico killed by their partners doubled. According to the ACLU, Puerto Rico currently has the highest per capita rate in the world of women over 14 killed by their partners. Today, a woman is murdered every week in Puerto Rico.

Numerous women-led organizations on the Island have been pressuring the government to take a more active role in supporting victims of gender-based violence and developing effective education and prevention programs. A State of Emergency was declared in January 2021.

Many members of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the US are also very concerned about this crisis. In the San Francisco Bay Area, a group of Boricua women of which I am a part, organized a fund-raising campaign to support Proyecto Matria. They’re a nonprofit organization in Puerto Rico, that works to advance gender equality by helping participants empower themselves and increase their capacity for self-sufficiency and economic independence.

My SF Bay Area group organized a series of activities, including “Miles for Matria”, a walk at Richmond’s Pinole Point Regional Park, and raised over $28,000. We are planning another walk this year too, this time in Puerto Rico.

I share this information because I hope you will join us – perhaps at one of our fundraising events but if not, by organizing your community to help end gender-based violence. Check out this video to learn more about “Miles for Matria”.