Mandalore Mission: Jur’akaan Clan, Puerto Rico

Mandalore Mission: Jur’akaan Clan, Puerto Rico

My first Mandalore Mission of 2018 was without a doubt one of the most important mission of my life. In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria passed directly over the island of Puerto Rico, virtually destroying the entire electrical and service infrastructure. From December 2017 to February 2018, MMCC members raised $3,000 to help the members of our local chapter recover from the storm. Along with Ken Applegate, MMCC’s Archivist, I made a special weekend trip to visit with our brothers and sisters in Jur’akaan Clan to let them know their global family was here for them.

Upon landing and driving through San Juan, I was shocked at the sheer amount of damage that remained 7 months after the storm. Stucco and block buildings with their walls blown in, skyscrapers with more than half their windows blown out, mountain roads washed out to one lane and a 200-foot sheer drop, and mountains lined with toothpicks where lush trees once stood. Even now, the damage is still hard to process.

A word of advice, if you leave Puerto Rico hungry…it’s your own fault. From the time I landed to the time I left, food was our constant companion! I make it a point every time I visit a clan, to always eat the local cuisine. You can often times tell more about a culture by the food they eat, and how often they offer it up, than anything else. Jur’akaan Clan welcomed me with open arms of food of all types, from the first plate of Mofongo to the final plate of BBQ ribs with all the “fixins”

The worst part of Puerto Rico, outside the storm damage, is the roads. The roads around San Juan keep vehicle suspension parts companies in business, and I thought the roads in Pennsylvania were bad…sheesh!

I was shocked that in 2018 we would have US citizens who could be without power for 7 months. We visited with one of our members, Alexis, who was still without power. He was having to spend around $20 a day in fuel just to keep the lights on in his home through the use of generators, and we were able to give him and his wife some of the funds we raised, which they used to replace storm-damaged furniture.

Along with visiting Jur’akaan Clan members, I was also able to carry the good word of brotherhood to the local 501st, Rebel Legion, and The Dark Empire chapters. We’re one big community, and it’s important that we support that thought world-wide. All the local Star Wars costume organizations work as a family, just like it should be everywhere.

Lets not forget those beautiful beaches, and sapphire-blue water that Puerto Rico boasts. Although I had to stay covered so I wouldn’t burst into flames from the sun, the ocean was still one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Not only must I thank Jur’akaan Clan for making this an awesome mission, but for being the example of hope that I have for our MMCC and global STAR WARS costume community.

OYA Jur’akaan!

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