After the Caribbean islands of San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina were hit by two devastating hurricanes in November 2020, the Seaflower Resilience Fund was created to mobilize resources toward urgent needs and a sustainable, community-led environmental and economic recovery.

Rise Again | song by Rudolph Gordon

Cuando vi la forma tan horrible que el huracán Iota golpeó nuestro archipiélago especialmente Providencia y Santa Catalina me quedé sin palabras y con el corazón destrozado, lo único que pude decir es: we will rise again (nos volveremos a levantar). Con una hoja, un lapicero y un instrumental se me hizo más fácil expresar lo que sentí… Espero esta canción aporte un granito de fortaleza emocional para todos.

When I saw the horrible way that Hurricane Iota hit our archipelago, especially Providencia and Santa Catalina, I was without words and with my heart completely destroyed. The only thing I could say was: we will rise again. With a sheet of paper, a pencil, and an instrument it was easier for me to express what I felt. I hope this song offers a grain of emotional strength to everyone.

Author: Rudolph Gordon Britton

Producer: Wayne Hooker Macariz (Wahm)

Graphic Designer: Estefania Benitez

Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota decimated 98% of the infrastructure in Providencia and Santa Catalina and caused hundreds of families in San Andrés to lose their homes, businesses, and all their belongings.

 

These back-to-back storms were a double whammy for a region that has gone more than 100 years without experiencing hurricanes of this magnitude. This crisis happened against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already harmed people’s health, eliminated their jobs, and stunted the islands’ tourism-based economy.

These islands are home to nearly 90,000 people, many of whom are of Indigenous Afro-Caribbean and Miskito Indian heritage, known locally as “Raizales.” Raizales are the islands’ original inhabitants from nearly four centuries ago and have a distinct history, Creole language, and culture that predate their current ties to mainland Colombia. Raizales consider the seas of the entire archipelago as their territory, including one of the world’s largest barrier reefs.

 

“As our people recover, we can bring back our environment to what it used to be,” says Arlin Bent Robinson, a member of the Raizal community in San Andrés.

 

As an island descendent, Panta Rhea Foundation CEO Connie Archbold Robinson Malloy understands that Indigenous and Afro-Caribbean people are often left out of decision making by governments that prioritize corporate and political interests over people’s safety and well-being. Yet, local leaders are best equipped with the power, knowledge, and experience to ensure a just and equitable recovery in the wake of these storms and others yet to come.

 

The Seaflower Resilience Fund catalyzes resources for immediate, basic needs — such as food, shelter, clean water, and healthcare — and aims to raise an initial $1 million to support rebuilding efforts that are driven by the community, now and for years to come.

 

The goals will evolve as consultation and partnership with local communities shape the  Seaflower Resilience Fund. At present, the priorities are to:

  • Support the Raizal people to remain on their ancestral land and rebuild the islands in climate-resilient ways
  • Preserve centuries-old Indigenous and Afro-Caribbean traditions and culture
  • Protect the critical Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-designated maritime ecosystem
  • Enable islanders to direct resources provided by governments, philanthropy, and private investors to a fair and equitable recovery

 

The Seaflower Resilience Fund is committed to moving swiftly, but with the knowledge that rebuilding requires our commitment and solidarity for the long-term. We are dedicated to acting responsively and with trust for the lived experience of Raizales communities.

We invite you to join this solidarity action by becoming a funder partner with the Seaflower Resilience Fund or by making a donation today.

 

Please direct all inquiries to: seaflowerfund@pantarhea.org.

 

If you prefer to donate by check, please make the check out to Amalgamated Foundation with “Seaflower Resilience Fund” in the memo line and mail the check to:

Amalgamated Foundation
1825 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

 

All contributions are tax deductible.

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The Seaflower Resilience Fund is administered by the Amalgamated Foundation, an independent nonprofit public charity. In addition to administering Combined Impact Funds like the Seaflower Resilience Fund, the Foundation also offers Advance Change Funds, donor advised funds uniquely committed to social change. Reflecting their shared commitment to positive social change, Amalgamated Foundation receives charitable contributions from and maintains service agreements with Amalgamated Bank, but is not a program or activity of Amalgamated Bank. For more information go to amalgamatedfoundation.org. Variance Power: All gifts and grants to projects are subject to the Amalgamated Foundation’s authority to vary the terms of the gift. As stated in Article III, Section 1 (B) (4) of the Bylaws, the Foundation adheres to Treasury Regulation 1.170A-9(e)(11)(v)(B)(1), commonly known as the Variance Power. This allows the Foundation to “modify any restriction or condition on the distribution of funds for any specified charitable purposes or to specified charitable purposes or to specified agencies if, in the sole judgment of the governing body (without the necessity of the approval of any participating trustee, custodian, or agent), such restriction or condition becomes, in effect, unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment, or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community or area served.”