Puerto Rico’s Precarious Resilience with Marla Perez Lugo

Photo by J. Amill Santiago on Unsplash

After taking a long Summer break, Shareable’s The Response Podcast is back for a fourth season, well kinda. We’re officially kicking things off at the end of the month with a new audio documentary focused on European Heatwaves and how their impact is exacerbated by energy poverty.

But for the next two weeks, we’ll be returning our focus to Puerto Rico.

Monday, September 20th marks the four-year anniversary of when Hurricane Maria slammed into the island causing thousands of deaths and knocking out power for almost an entire year, leading to what many consider to be the worst disaster in US History.

Tomorrow night our documentary, “The Response: How Puerto Ricans Are Restoring Power to the People,” will air once again on Free Speech TV and Film director Juan Carlos Dávila and I will be guests on their Just Solutions show on Friday to discuss the film in greater depth.

And on Monday, after 2 years of community screenings and a successful film festival run which resulted in us winning 12 awards, we’ll be premiering the film on Youtube for all to see.

In this episode, I interview environmental sociologist Marla Perez-Lugo. We discuss her experience during Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s power supply and energy grid before and after the storm, and the multitude of issues caused by precarious resilience.

When we talk about precarious resilience, what we mean is that this new romantic way of looking at the capacity to bounce back or forward. It focuses on the capacity of the individual or the group to change its internal conditions in response to something else. But it doesn’t do anything to question the existence of those conditions in the first place. When you glorify the resilience of a community. What you are actually saying is that community regardless of how hard you hit them, or how bad your treatment or how neglected they are from the state government or the municipal government, they are always going to survive. So you don’t have to worry about them because they are going to take care of themselves. – Professor Marla Perez-Lugo

Listen to “Puerto Rico’s Precarious Resilience” on The Response Podcast here (or on the app of your choice):

The Response is a podcast series from Shareable.net exploring how communities are building collective resilience in the wake of disasters

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Tom Llewellyn


Tom Llewellyn | |

Tom Llewellyn is the interim executive director for Shareable, a nonprofit news + action hub promoting people-powered solutions for the common good. As part of his role at Shareable,

Things I share: Food, Stories, Time, Skills, Tools, Cars, Bikes, Smiles, Clothes, Music, Knowledge, Home, Land, Water, and Stone Soup!