Hurricane Maria was a deadly Category 5 hurricane that ravaged Puerto Rico in September 2017. It’s considered the worst natural disaster in recorded history to affect the islands, as well as the deadliest in the Atlantic since Hurricane Mitch in 1998. As the island has slowly recovered and the resiliency of its people been tested, some light in the dark has shown through.
The Puerto Rican people went without power, shelter, and resources for months in the aftermath of Maria, the effects of which are still being felt. We came across a company named KONTi, born out of a brilliant idea to utilize old cargo shipping containers as base structures to create affordable and sustainable housing, schooling, and multi-purpose facilities that are resilient in the face of adverse weather conditions – including hurricanes!
KONTi was founded by Carla Gautier, a former FEMA Construction Inspector, who recognized that the primary difficulty with housing in Puerto Rico was the shortage of accessibility to proper construction. Ms. Gautier, an architect, notes that “When the median income in Puerto Rico is approximately $20,000 and the median house costs around $100,000, the math just does not add up.” Her experience and keen observation led to the founding of KONTi’s mission in finding affordable, sustainable solutions for the majority of Puerto Rico’s population.
Carla Gautier and her team have continued to aid in their community’s recovery and we can only wish them success in that endeavor. Her brief video tour is a reminder of the price we pay for living in some of the most beautiful places on Earth. We’re also reminded that innovative solutions are often born from disaster recovery and mitigation planning. Ultimately, our human ingenuity, compassion and cooperation can provide the world for us in the face of Mother Nature’s constant threat.
See you on the trail,