Hurricane Maria 1 year later: Waterbury continues to send help to Puerto Rico

New Haven

Waterbury has a deep connection to the people of Puerto Rico and that’s why the community is still showing an outpouring of love to the people there who were slammed by Hurricane Maria on year ago and continue to experience hardships and problems trying to get back to normal.

Throughout the year, a group led by Waterbury Representative Geraldo Reyes, Jr. and others have traveled to Puerto Rico with shipments of donations of clothing, food, water, and medical supplies from the Greater Waterbury community. Today, to mark the 1st anniversary of the hurricane, volunteers were loading a truck with more donations — cases of bottled water that will be delivered to Puerto Rico next month.

It will mark the 5th truckload of donations and supplies from Waterbury to Puerto Rico.

“It’s an act of love and it’s coming from a great space,” Rep. Reyes said. “And people in Puerto Rico embrace us with open arms and they’re happy to see us and we’re happy to see them.”

Rep. Reyes has family in Puerto Rico who still don’t have water at home. He says their electricity still goes in and out, too.

Here in Connecticut, Waterbury is second — only to Hartford — in having the most number of people from Puerto Rico who escaped Maria. Community groups have helped some of them find apartments and jobs as they begin a new life here.

But, one year after the storm, the fact that volunteers are loading up a truck with more than a thousand cases of bottled water shows you after all this time, Maria is still wreaking havoc.

“Some people still need our help,” one volunteer said. “That’s why we’re here today.”

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