"Today we make history by opening the first Starbucks in a higher education institution in Puerto Rico," said José F. Méndez Méndez, president of SUAGM. "The economic development of the country is everyone's responsibility and SUAGM will be present in any initiative that improves the quality of life of our people."Supporting Long-Term Relief and Recovery Efforts In the wake of the devastating impacts of Hurricane Maria in September, Starbucks Puerto Rican partners, like the rest of the citizens on the Island, faced a long and difficult road to recovery. Many are still assessing damages to their homes and their communities, a task made much tougher due to the lack of power, limited connectivity, and long lines for necessities like water, ice, gas and food. In response, Baristas del Caribe created the Tacita Verde Fund - its first-ever employee assistance fund dedicated to help Starbucks Puerto Rican partners and their families in need. Through an initial contribution of $50,000 from Starbucks Coffee Company, the Tacita Verde Fund is helping provide financial grants to partners with critical needs ranging from urgent home repairs to food or medical needs. The Fonalledas Foundation is also supporting the partners with donations. In addition to the Starbucks Puerto Rico Tacita Verde Fund, Starbucks Coffee Company, Baristas Del Caribe, and its parent company Empressas Fonalledas Inc., have made the following contributions to support urgent and long-term rebuilding efforts in communities across Puerto Rico:
- $125,000 from Starbucks Coffee Company to Unidos por Puerto Rico
- $75,000 from The Starbucks Foundation to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy
- $20,000 from The Starbucks Foundation to match donations by customers across the U.S. through the Starbucks mobile app. These funds will also support the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
- $27,000 from The Starbucks Foundation to World Coffee Research to support rebuilding of the Island's coffee industry
- Product/in-kind donations from the business, including bottled water and emergency supplies
- $1 million from Empresas Fonalledas Inc. to various nonprofit organizations working on relief and recovery efforts across the Island, as well as assistance to employees. Among the nonprofit organizations are Red Cross, Para la Naturaleza, Habitat for Humanity, World Central Kitchen, Ricky Martin Foundation, Boys & Girls Club, Centros Sor Isolina Ferré, Centro para Puerto Rico and Unidos por Puerto Rico.