Founded in 2017 in response to the devastating Atlantic hurricane season across the Carribean, Sail Relief Team’s mission is to bring disaster relief and preparedness to remote, isolated, and under-served coastal communities. We address three core needs – Response, Recovery, and Resilience – to preserve life in times of emergency and rebuild communities in the aftermath. Sail Relief Team is a project of Community Through Colors, Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, operating on volunteer work, grants, and donations from supporters.

Community through Colors, Inc started as a group of people using art, volunteerism, and open dialogue to spread hope and awareness of the similarities between all humans, despite geographical or cultural boundaries. That initial project showed many of the values that run deep within the human species and make us all members of one community. 

Sail Relief Team initiated with disaster response in Puerto Rico after Category 5 storm Hurricane Maria devastated the islands and knocked out 100 percent of power. Raising emergency funds independently and working with other nonprofits and volunteers, we used support boats to respond to the immediate needs of disaster victims, including search and rescue, first-aid, clean drinking water, and communications. Using sailing vessels allows us to operate in places where fuel is scarce in a self-sufficient way that contributes resources to affected communities without straining damaged infrastructure.

Read more about our previous and current projects addressing Response, Recovery, and Resilience in times of crisis, including natural disaster response after hurricanes and earthquakes, clean-up and rehabilitation of homes and community buildings, and installing and maintaining solar panel systems.

With the increasingly destructive annual hurricane seasons, and often unreliable electrical grids, it is vital that we move quickly towards complete energy independence and stability. Particularly in the Caribbean, solar technology is the most efficient and reliable source of renewable energy. Sail Relief Team has installed and maintained solar panels, batteries, and inverters in homes, community buildings, and is in development of a locally owned solar panel microgrid in Vieques, Puerto Rico. For our most recent work, check Latest Updates.

Learn more about our volunteer house and farm in Vieques, Puerto Rico, where we are developing a small scale farm in preparation of food security, hosting educational seminars, and encouraging local food production.

Reach out to us here if you are interested in collaborating on work in the region, volunteering with us, or have press inquiries. Please leave us a message below, and interested volunteers can also contact us via WorkAway.

Sail Relief Team founder and president, Edgar Oscar Ruiz (left), with volunteers and newly constructed chicken palace made from upcycled materials.