November 20 marked the end of the Atlantic hurricane season, but for the Caribbean it's only the beginning of a painful recovery process.
In early September, Hurricane Irma largely destroyed Barbuda and several neighboring Lesser Antilles islands. Two weeks later, Maria took a final fatal stab at Barbuda and entirely knocked out Puerto Rico.
According to The Economist, damage from Irma alone tallies up to $13 billion. Totals for the entire 2017 hurricane season remain unclear, but Puerto Rico Gov. Roberto Rosello's recent request for $94.4 billion in aid gives some sense of Maria's toll.
No matter the final price tag, recovery is sure to be unpayable in a region where 30 percent of people live in poverty and the per capita gross domestic product averages under $9,000 a year versus $57,000 in the United States.
And while France, Holland and the UK have come to the assistance of their territories in the region, independent Caribbean nations like Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and Cuba have no such obvious sponsors. Their economies shattered by storms — and in some cases shackled by debt — some Caribbean nations fear they may never recover.
But behind the scenes, numerous international players are actually racing to rebuild the Caribbean, from tech companies and wealthy individuals to far-flung countries.