November 19th, 1493: Christopher Columbus “discovered” the island of Puerto Rico. Today, 524 years later from when Columbus set his eyes on our beautiful island: We marched in unity.
From a meteorological standpoint, Maria was nearly a worst-case scenario for the territory: The center of a huge, nearly Category 5 hurricane made a direct hit on Puerto Rico, lashing the island with wind and rain for longer than 30 hours. “It was as if a 50- to 60-mile-wide tornado raged across Puerto Rico, like a buzz saw,” Jeff Weber, a meteorologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The Hurricane roared straight across the center of the island, a behemoth totally covering the entire land, it’s force destroying the power grid and within hours the island went dark. The winds howled and uprooted centuries old trees and decimated crops. Roofs were completely torn off. Flooding destroyed homes, wiped out roads and bridges. To a place that was no stranger to Hurricanes, this was a monster.
Today, nearly 60 days after and many people are still without power, food, clean water, medicine and essentials. Their homes only a pile of rubble, their jobs and schools no longer functioning. Their money running out as water, food and gas are being sold for 2-3 times the normal amount. Not only has it been a devastating event to the landscape of the island, the economy, the ecosystem, and the people are in a very delicate condition. Hundreds of thousands of residents have had to leave the island in order to receive medical care and continue with their education or to find a job in order to support themselves and rebuild their lives. Others, cant afford to leave and others can’t afford to stay. Some are staying to rebuild. Some are arriving to provide aid. One step at a time.
Not all is hopeless. The people of Puerto Rico are resilient and have a very strong will. During times like these, they really need a hand. There are many ways to help. From organizations accepting donations, churches on the island that are distributing aid, and individuals directly helping the people. We have family in Puerto Rico and after hearing they had gone two weeks without food or water, my husband and I started a donation to help them and their neighbors. We have been so blessed to have received a good amount of money from our donors. Because of them, we were able to send packages full of food, water, medicine, batteries, mosquito repellent, camping gear and baby essentials to the neighbors of Aguirre in Salinas, Puerto Rico. We have been sending packages since October and will continue our efforts during Thanksgiving and Christmas, to help in any way we can.
No more than ever, it is important to be the voice for our fellow Boricuas. Whatever we can do to help is exactly what is needed. Even if you do not have a dollar to spare, simply talking about Puerto Rico and keeping others informed can work miracles for someone on the island.
We will not forget Puerto Rico
Would you like to help a family in Puerto Rico? Send a care package!
With the Holidays fast approaching, please think of those in Puerto Rico who are in need. USPS: Flat rate boxes are free. You can walk right in the post office and grab them. The large Flat Rate box ships for $18.85 regardless of the weight. You will be surprised at how much food and how much hope a little box can hold. Contact me for more information.