PUERTO RICO RECOVERY: A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT

While visiting Puerto Rico recently, I felt such an array of emotions. I was immensely happy that I was able to finally embrace my family after the tragedy of Hurricane Maria. But, it was heartbreaking to see my island so destroyed. Hundreds of people still don’t have electricity or running water; the need is extreme. Blue tarps are everywhere over homes that had extensive damage or no roofs at all.

Hurricane Damage in Puerto RicoOne of the main roads I usually drive through while I am there is PR-111. Part of that road between the towns of Moca and San Sebastian caved in. I walked up to that opening in the road; it was something that I don’t think can even translate in pictures. To stand there and look down was overwhelming. A body of water is under that road. When the split in the road occurred, large rubber orange bucket barriers were placed on both sides of the split. On the evening of October 4th, an elderly 72-year-old man was driving along, and not seeing those bucket barriers, drove right into the split and died.

I had no WiFi in the area where I was staying. I was only there for three days, and the fact I was not able to freely communicate with my family back home was quite frustrating. I can’t imagine experiencing that reality for an undetermined amount of time.

I realize Puerto Rico is not front and center in the media and news reports anymore, but that does not mean the people are okay. It will take years for Puerto Rico to rebuild. Puerto Rico still needs everyone to continue praying and financially contributing towards the disaster relief efforts and helping the island to rebuild.

Yvette Morales
Assistant Manager, Donor Relations
Church of God World Missions

Project #020-0803