Twenty-five years before Capuchin missionaries were sent to Papua New Guinea, missions were established in Puerto Rico. Some missionaries labored in remote mountain outstations and parishes; others worked in the tough barrios of San Juan and other major urban areas. Until recently, great poverty existed in almost every region of the island. Though conditions have improved for most people, still some are in pockets of despair. Periodically hurricanes ravage the island, leaving many stranded and in need of housing, healthcare and food. The missionaries have always been some of the first responders, especially to those in far-away villages and towns. Many Puerto Ricans are only nominally Catholic, but there are many who are devout, faithful and loving Catholics. The Seraphic Mass Association helps support schools, seminaries and outreach services. And the SMA is always ready to help when disaster strikes, funding emergency food, water and housing services when needed the most.