Reflections on the 1st Anniversary of Hurricane Maria
Today September 20, 2018, marks the first anniversary of Hurricane Maria.
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On September 20, 2017, five million Puerto Ricans in the diaspora were following the news on television and social media as Hurricane Maria battered the island of Puerto Rico. On what seemed like endless hours on a sleepless night, no one knew what was truly happening. Then reality hit. Puerto Rico was being destroyed by the most powerful hurricane in modern history. Anxiety and panic started setting in. The island went dark. No power. No communication. No word on our family and friends. Just silence. Ever so slowly we started receiving images and video feeds of a ravaged Puerto Rico. It was heartbreaking. Hurricane Maria not only tore into the island of Puerto Rico, it tore into the hearts of millions of Puerto Ricans across the world. This was the time to trust that God will protect our loved ones. This was the time to have faith in humanity, and mankind. This was the time to have faith that Puerto Rico will rise up.
Today on the first anniversary of Hurricane María I reflect on this past year. I am disappointed by the federal government’s response to help Puerto Rico. Although I’ve been to Puerto Rico three times after the hurricane (with one of the trips being a hurricane relief effort trip), and there’s still so much work to do. With a death toll of almost 3,000, I can’t fathom the president’s remarks that these numbers are not real! Disrespecting the memories of the thousands of Puerto Ricans that died due to the hurricane rips deep into our souls. Both the local and federal government failed its U.S. Citizens.
How can you help Puerto Rico?
We need to rise up and vote! Puerto Ricans on the island can’t vote, but I’m urging all the Puerto Ricans who fled to the mainland to register and vote! We are five million plus strong! Let them know that our vote counts! If you haven’t and don’t know how please click on this link: “How to Register to Vote or How to Vote.”
- Reach out to Congress by signing this petition in English, or if you prefer you can sign the petition in Spanish.
- Make noise, keep the conversation going on Puerto Rico so it won’t fall by the wayside of current news. Social media is a powerful tool, let’s use it! Use these hashtags: #1YearAfterMaria #BoricuasRemember #JustRecovery #PuertoRicoselevanta
- Donate to recovery efforts at legitimate organizations such as United for Puerto Rico, Save the Children and the Hispanic Federation.
- Lastly, if you can visit Puerto Rico please do! You don’t need a passport, and this will boost both tourism and the country’s economy.
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This upcoming Friday I will fly to Puerto Rico. This trip is like no other, and although my heart weighs heavy anticipating what lies ahead I am overjoyed with everyone’s kindness. I am eternally grateful for everyone’s contribution because I know it will bring happiness and joy to family and friends back home. For instance, today I was surprised with this box of battery operated fans! A blessing indeed, especially since in Puerto Rico the weather is usually in the upper 90’s. The heat is unbearable due to bare trees, no greenery in sight, and no electricity! Please continue to pray for everyone in Puerto Rico, and thank you so much for your contribution and/or donation. Thank you for being a blessing to those in need. May God bless you! . . . . . . . . #HurricaneMaria #puertorico #provisions #hurricanerelief #batteryoperatedfan #mkbkids #soymamalatina #kbnmoms #kidbloggersofig #mamasblogueras #huracanmaria #puertoricoselevanta #latinablogger #UnidosPorPuertoRico #UnitedForPuertoRico #PRstrong #PRactivate
Today I also want to thank again everyone who helped in last year’s recovery effort with your generous donations, and monetary contributions. On behalf, of my family and the other nine families that we helped during the aftermath of the hurricane: “¡Gracias! You were a beacon of hope in a time of desperation and loss.”