For ten years, Penn State journalism students have traveled to Asia, Africa, and Latin America to report on the people, issues, and events that are shaping other countries and the world. In a break with tradition, this year’s international reporting class will focus on one of the United States’ own territories—the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The decision to report on the home front was an easy one. In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, heaping incalculable devastation on an island already battered by a decade-long economic crisis. So complete was the destruction, that the island’s governor has referred to Puerto Rico as a “blank slate” for rebuilding.
The questions Puerto Ricans are grappling with today are both sweeping, existential ones and heartbreakingly personal ones. Puerto Rico in the post-Maria era offers stories that speak to all of us—stories of suffering and relief, upheaval and transformation, death and rejuvenation, and above all, resiliency and innovation born of necessity.
We invite you to follow our journey and hear the stories of Puerto Rico.