Puerto Rican Parade: New photo exhibit connects community to Hurricane Maria’s devastation


“I was surprised at what I saw,” explains Hartford Courant photo journalist, Patrick Raycraft, who traveled to Puerto Rico two months after Hurricane Maria to document the storm’s devastation and Connecticut’s commitment to help. 

“Immediately from the airport it was like a scene from a science fiction movie..” 

Twisted trees, downed power lines and people with no water.  He snapped a picture of a village elder and a small girl surrounded by donations of water bottles.

“She sits on the stoop of a de facto food bank, water bank for the small village of 15 families,” he says.

Two of Raycraft’s photos are now part of a new display. 

“The name of the exhibit is ‘8 Months in the Life of Puerto Rico’,” says Graciela Rivera, manager of the Hartford Public Library branch on Park Street where the photos are being shown. 

She hopes the area’s Hispanic community feels connected to the exhibit. 

“It’s to teach, it’s to inform.  With the parade coming-up, we thought it was the perfect time to have something like this available,” says Rivera.  “People are moved, they’re surprised, there were people crying the day of the opening.” 

Photographers capture moments…moments that inspire understanding and action.  The exhibit shows that the rebuilding of Puerto Rico is far from over. 

“Hopefully it’s a good reminder of what’s happening there still,” says Raycraft.

Join us this Saturday for the Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Parade in Downtown Hartford.  Our live coverage begins at noon on News 8.

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