Joyce Rivera-González

Location of experience:
North America, Caribbean

Type of disaster work:
Community; Grassroots disaster recovery; Vulnerability

Primary Interests: 
Youth; Disaster vulnerability; Recovery; Crisis; Livelihoods; Political participation; Community organization; Marginalization; Slow, environmental disasters; Political discourses of resilience

As a member of CADAN, I want to co-produce and amplify critical disaster knowledge with like-minded scholars and practitioners, to contribute to disaster relief that is timely, contextual, and relevant. My dissertation work explores the ways in which Puerto Rican youth imagine individual and collective futures as they navigate an elusive and ever-present “Puerto Rican crisis”, especially after Hurricanes Irma and María in 2017. I am interested in how la juventud conceptualizes disaster and crisis in a continuously precarious socio-political and economic landscape. As a member of CADAN, I am interested in understanding how to integrate these perspectives and reflections from the communities and individuals we collaborate with to co-create “solutions” to disaster mitigation, vulnerability, and recovery that stem from the inside, rather than external and decontextualized “interventions”. As anthropologists, we are particularly trained to comprehend that which oftentimes goes unsaid in contexts of disaster; the everyday “slippages” that can erase, disenfranchise, or silence many people’s narratives and lived experiences. Alongside CADAN’s team of practitioners, scholars, and scholar-practitioners, I want to learn and develop a balance between practical, critical, and analytical approaches to understanding disaster: to mobilize resources and facilitate relationships and collaborations that can lead to grassroots disaster management and mitigation.