Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico and its people and sadly exposed the neo-colonial structures that remain in American society that represent a disconnect between the mainland and the Caribbean archipelago. Without the damaging effects of a natural disaster added to the equation, the inequities Puerto Ricans experience on a daily basis are obvious to any conscientious observer. Manifestations of a long and tumultuous history of harmful colonial structures under both Spain and the United States pose threats to the lives and wellbeing of Puerto Ricans when disaster strikes. A choking grasp on economic development reduces the possibility of investments aimed at increasing resiliency to storms which is coupled with an unjust administration of government action directed towards relief effort. Ultimately, hurricanes, among other natural disasters, may bring to the surface underlying societal inequities and further exacerbated natural disasters into full-scale catastrophes. [From Introduction]
Capstone; [FULL-TEXT RESTRICTED TO WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY LOGIN]Corey J. Connelly is a member of the Class of 2018 of Washington and Lee University.