Ivan Robles is a rising senior from Miami, Florida. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Political Science and International Comparative Studies, with an expressed interest in Latin American culture and politics. This summer Ivan will be working alongside Corporación ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña and other organizations in Puerto Rico in post-Hurricane Maria recovery efforts and studying how methods of community organizing have transformed in the wake of the disaster. Ivan is a committee vice president in Duke Student Government, a student organizer, and the co-founder of Duke’s first LGBTQIA+ and Ally Invitational program. Ivan feels most at home on an ice rink or with a bowl of rice and beans.

Many months have passed since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. Despite great strides made in most of the island’s more developed and touristic areas, many rural and underprivileged areas still struggle with power outages, displaced families continue to search for permanent homes, and a massive diaspora continues to funnel hundreds of thousands of people off the island. Inspired by his father’s childhood stories growing up in Puerto Rico and a desire to interact more intimately with his family roots, Ivan endeavors to construct an understanding of how Hurricane Maria as a disaster event has impacted frameworks for community organizing and development in Puerto Rico. Ivan hopes to interact with community members and grassroots organizations to learn and demonstrate how Puerto Ricans have joined to revitalize their own neighborhoods and compensate for an inadequate government response. Ivan ultimately aims to unearth the sociopolitical implications of these unique forms of movement-making and how they impact discourse regarding the island’s larger concerns of governance, debt, and political status. 



Getting to Know Puerto Rico and Myself

The Rhythm of Puerto Rico’s Revolution