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Students gather support for Puerto Rico, Mexico

During the recent Marine-Estuarine Environmental Sciences Colloquium, two graduate students called on the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science community for support after two natural disasters devastated their communities. In eight days, they raised $3,455, surpassing their goal of $2,500.

Zoraida Perez Delgado of Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Ana Sosa of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, and Juan Alvarez of Horn Point Laboratory organized the fund.

During Colloquium, Perez Delgado spoke about the struggles that Puerto Ricans facing after Hurricane Maria engulfed the island as a Category 4 on Sept. 20, while Sosa spoke about the devastation left in Mexico in the wake of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake on Sept. 19.

"My fellow students and I are very touched by all the support we have received following both disasters," Delgado said. "I would like to say thank you to all of those who have helped and donated to the GoFundMe account, and I ask that everyone continue to spread the message about what has happened in Puerto Rico and Mexico. It will take months, if not years, for our homes to get back to what they once were."

"Every single effort is greatly appreciated," Sosa said.

The money raised will be equally divided between Puerto Rico and Mexico, and will go to vetted programs whose purpose are to help with disaster relief in these areas.

Other ways to donate

For Puerto Rico:

For Mexico City: