Chasing the Dream is partnering with WNYC to present episodes of Puerto Rico: The Future of Debt, a five-part series focusing on Puerto Rico and the financial impact that September 2017’s Hurricane Maria has had on the island. And what does it mean for the United States going forward?
Long before Hurricane Maria ripped Puerto Rico apart physically, a financial tsunami devastated the American territory, forcing it into bankruptcy in the face of a collapsing economy and $120 billion in debt and pension liabilities that it cannot pay back. This series takes listeners inside that fight, and why it matters not just for Puerto Ricans, but for the rest of America as well. Municipalities on the mainland — Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, to name a few — are facing some of the same problems: unfunded pensions, spiraling debt, a lack of political leadership. And some local leaders are watching Puerto Rico for hints about the storm that may come to them next.
The series is reported collaboratively by NYPR and Latino USA and was broadcast on WNYC. Puerto Rico: The Future of Debt is supported in part by The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, the Park Foundation, and Chasing the Dream, a WNET initiative on poverty, jobs and economic opportunity in America. Additional support is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of a collaboration between APM Reports, KCUR in Kansas City, KPCC in Southern California, WABE in Atlanta, and WNYC.