Giving back has been the Bacardi way from the very beginning. After a devastating earthquake in 1852, company founder and BACARDÍ® rum creator Don Facundo Bacardí Massó volunteered as the chief organizer of disaster relief in his hometown of Santiago de Cuba.
So when tragedy struck at home again in 2017, this time in the form of debilitating Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the island of Puerto Rico, the Bacardí family and company was there to help.
Not only did the company donate $2 million toward relief efforts in Puerto Rico, where its largest production facility and popular Casa Bacardí visitor center are located, it also earmarked an additional $1 million to help affected areas in Florida, the rest of the Caribbean, and Mexico. Of course, the company’s efforts extended beyond donations.
Just days after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, knocking out power to more than 1 million citizens, Ignacio del Valle, a sixth-generation family member and regional president for Latin America and Caribbean, flew in an emergency response team to assess damage in San Juan and its surrounding communities.
Though the BACARDÍ plant and visitor center in Cataño experienced damage, the company got to work helping those living in the community. It paid the salaries of employees who were unable to work and opened two Emergency Stop & Go community relief centers, providing water, food and medical services for those in need.
In the difficult days and weeks that followed, Bacardi got to work on a mobile community relief center initiative that deployed 10 convoys to some of the most ravaged parts of the island. These helped bring everyday essentials, from bread and beans to mobile phone charging stations, to families that lost everything in the storm.
Back on the mainland, Bacardi has been instrumental in helping raise money for storm recovery. Last October, its BACARDÍ rum brand sponsored TIDAL X: Brooklyn, a concert featuring Jay Z, Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled and many other performers to raise money for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the earthquakes in Mexico.
And in December, the BACARDÍ rum campus hosted the United for Puerto Rico live concert and telethon. Together, the two events raised more than $7.5 million for those impacted by the disasters. But they’re just the first steps in an ongoing commitment by the brand that focus on rebuilding its community and island.
You can’t help but think Don Facundo would be proud.