Our Initiatives

Javier E. Zapata-Rodriguez

“I want to give voice to the many people in Puerto Rico who haven’t been heard in the wake of Hurricane María. And I want us to better understand the process of disaster recovery so we can become more efficient and effective in helping residents restore their communities in the wake of catastrophes.”

Javier E. Zapata-Rodríguez is passionate about creating new opportunities for people in Puerto Rico to thrive. As deputy director for economic development at Pathstone Corporation in PR, he leads the organization’s economic development activities on the island, which include a revolving loan fund that helps local entrepreneurs access capital. He has forged relationships with stakeholders ranging from government agencies and foundations to banks and community organizations and advocates for economic stability and growth.

Zapata-Rodríguez has a long history in this work. For more than 15 years, he has managed programs and projects in the economic development field, including micro-finance, entrepreneurship, job creation and placement activities, business support through technical assistance and financial support and community economic development, among others. From the non-profit sector, Javier Zapata has developed, managed and directed programs and projects receiving federal, state and private funding including TANF, EDA, HHS (JOLI and CED), SBA, USDA, private foundations and banks, and coordinated efforts between academic institutions and low-income communities to help improve the quality of life for thousands of residents.

Zapata-Rodríguez also volunteers with organizations like the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Rotary International (of which he is a member) as well as being a board member for the economic development non-profit “Movimento Integral para el Desarollo del Oeste Inc.” (MIDO), and was appointed by the former Governor of Puerto Rico to the Governance Board of “Bosque Modelo de Puerto Rico” . He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus with a degree in business administration and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP by the National Development Council NDC).


Pathstone Corporation 

Area of Focus: 

Disaster response / community resilience (Puerto Rico) 

Fellowship Project:

Research the local response to Hurricane María, assembling data and stories that will become part of a documentary film to help better inform disaster recovery efforts in the future. 

Constructing Resilience, Two Years After María: Q&A with Javier Zapata-Rodríguez
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