NYU DC DIALOGUES: Puerto Rico’s Earthquake Response: Food, Family, and FEMA


Following the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico, the John Brademas Center and NYU Washington, DC hosted a discussion with the CEO of José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen Nate Mook and Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico Maria “Mayita” Meléndez. Ponce was the region hit hardest by the earthquakes, the strongest registering a magnitude of 6.4, leaving large-scale structural damage and psychological trauma accompanied by severe aftershocks. The event focused on relief efforts involving FEMA, food, and the extended community. Speakers shared poignant stories of hope and hospitality. The event also covered how a celebrity chef became an unofficial humanitarian envoy for disaster management. Public affairs advisor Gregorio J Igartúa joined the conversation, which was moderated by CNN’s Geovanny Vicente Romero.