Sisters Sofia Westmeyer and Astrid Piccolo founded the Paloma del Carmen Fund in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the deadliest natural disaster in the United States in a century. On September 20, 2017, the hurricane plunged the sister's beloved Puerto Rico into a humanitarian and environmental crisis its people, businesses, and public institutions will be grappling with for decades to come.
As natives of Puerto Rico with family still living on the island, Sofia and Astrid felt compelled to provide immediate disaster relief and long-term development aid. They wanted to do more than give people a handout — they wanted to give people back their livelihoods and help rebuild the island for a more sustainable future.
At the Paloma del Carmen fund, we are fighting to re-establish and nurture Puerto Rico's small farms and fishing associations, because we believe supporting the island's local food movement is essential to sustaining its economy, quality of life, and vibrant culture.
We believe supporting Puerto Rico's local food movement is essential to sustaining its economy, quality of life, and vibrant culture.
Founders Sofia Westmeyer and Astrid Piccolo
We envision a Puerto Rico where locally produced food makes up 50% of the food economy; where small farmers and fishermen are mindful entrepreneurs empowered by microlending, education, and a technology-driven supply and demand network; where people lead healthier, higher-quality lives because of increased access to nutritious foods and living wages; and where local traditions and food sources are preserved on land and at sea, not destroyed by outside mega-corporations.