Rebuilding Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria 

My role: Producer; Campaign Manager

In April 2018, I traveled to Puerto Rico to produce a short documentary capturing the state of the island after Hurricane Maria and the rebuilding and recovery efforts championed by local community leaders and architects.

During my eight days on the island, I learned that - facing the minimal aid by the US government - grassroots mobilization for social change and decision making from community members in the Caño Martin Peña are non-negotiable. 

Leaders of the community group called G8 - which includes the eight surrounding neighborhoods of CMP - lead the charge in identifying what issues to solve within their community, and they take part in the design and implementation of building initiatives, meeting with civic organizations like Enlace and architects regularly to ensure that both all initiatives are fair and beneficial to the community. 

And this model seems to be working. The G8 initiative has won several humanitarian awards, including the UN World Habitat Award, proving they are a source for social good and an example of successful Community-Civic Leader partnerships - one that can inspire the world. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing home owners in the Caño whose homes were thoroughly damages during Maria. Thanks to the partnership between the G8, Enlace, and a team of architects, they now have new roofs on their homes and solar panels on their community centers. No more roaming rats or leaking ceilings.

Here's to a world where we can provide essential resources to all. 


The documentary kicked off a national film challenge where we invited architects from the AIA and creatives to partner and share their Blueprint for Better stories. You can see the winning films here. A proven campaign success, the AIA is about to launch the 5th annual film challenge.

See this Wired piece for more info on the campaign.


Producer: Angie Gontaruk

Journalist: Angie Gontaruk & John Munyan

Photographer: Scott Lahn

DP & Filmmaker: Riley Engemoen 

Sound: Curtis Henderson

Creative Director: John Munyan