Rock Steady Crew B-Boy Crazy Legs Is Providing Clean Drinking Water In Puerto Rico
When Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico on September 20th, it decimated most of the island’s 3 million-plus residents’ homes and left them without electricity, food, clean water. The aftermath is the prospect of the majority of the island to possibly being without power and clean water for an estimated six months, leaving many to wonder how to move forward.
Legendary Rock Steady Crew breakdancer Richard Colón (b/k/a Crazy Legs) is a native New Yorker who has been a prominent member of the crew since the late 1970s. As a Puerto Rican, he is very proud of his heritage, and owns a house in the island’s northwestern town of Isabela. Crazy Legs is now on a mission from his surprisingly undamaged home to supply fellow Puerto Ricans with clean drinking water.
Crazy Legs burgeoned a relief effort with his fellow Rock Steady Crew cohorts called “Rock Steady For Life,” a non-profit campaign to assist Puerto Ricans in the recovery effort following the hurricane. During an interview with NPR, Red Bull’s world ambassador of Hip-Hop explained why he is helping others without access to natural resources in the recovery effort in his family’s homeland. “That affects me. Because then it’s like you’re sitting here, watching everything that your DNA’s about go through a struggle.”
Since Crazy Legs has arrived, he also has teamed up with another non-profit organization called Waves For Water to bring 300 water filtration systems and buckets to Puerto Rico’s isolated areas in the northwest, near his home. Their mutual initiative with local leaders is to teach residents how to use the filtration systems and to help reduce the mortality rate among residents forced to use water from contaminated creeks. Crazy Legs stated about the effort, “We need to empower ourselves. We need to self-sustain.”
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of its capital city San Juan, has been pleading for the U.S. government’s help in its disaster relief to save them. The death count of 16 hasn’t been updated in one week due to the flooding that has presumedly has left additional casualties yet to be found. Today, during his visit to Puerto Rico, President Trump may have done more damage than good, with his remarks where he suggested the devastation in Puerto Rico wasn’t “a real catastrophe like [Hurricane] Katrina” and diminished the death count in Puerto Rico, comparatively speaking to that which occurred in New Orleans. President Trump also made a quip about the money the U.S. had spent in relief funds for the territory, saying “I hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack.”
Prior to the President’s visit, Crazy Legs spoke in anger about Trump’s statements regarding Puerto Rico’s status. “Trump’s lack of care or empathy or sympathy is just one of those things where, why are you even planning to come to PR? Me, just a b-boy from Bronx, how the hell is it that I’m able to get here before the president of the United States?” After today’s visit, Mayor Yulín Cruz told CNN she hoped “the President of the United States stops spouting out comments that hurt the Puerto Rican people.”
You can listen to the rest of the interview here.