State congressional candidate takes a break from campaigning to help earthquake victims in Puerto Rico


(WTNH) — The 5th District Congressional seat in Connecticut – currently held by Jahana Hayes (D) – is up for grabs this year. But despite the fact that the election is less than a year away, one candidate is taking a break from campaigning to help residents living in earthquake-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Less than a month after a magnitude 6 earthquake rocked Puerto Rico, recovery assistance is still desperately needed.

Ruban Rodriquez, the Director of Connecticut’s American Latino Coalition, and a Republican candidate for Connecticut’s 5th District, recently visited the island and says “when you go there personally and you see with your own eyes what is going on there, it is heartbreaking.”

Rodriquez told News 8 the most difficult part is seeing families and knowing they lost everything. Not in one day – but in ten seconds.

On his visit to the island, Rodriquez worked with the non-profit ‘Helping Hands’ to bring 16 pallets of water, food, baby diapers, and clothes for families affected, including his own.

Rodriquez says earthquake after-shocks continue and are fast and furious.

“It just happens so fast that you don’t even have time to run outside.”

– Ruben Rodriquez/Director of CT American Latino Coalition

Rodriquez says the focus now is making sure the kids get a proper education.

The schools down there are destroyed completely. Rodriquez and his group brought 27 domes for teachers to use as classrooms so the children don’t lose the entire school year.

Engineers have reportedly inspected a majority of the island’s more than 850 public schools. At least 50 were declared not safe.

Rodriquez says there is no greater calling then helping your community – even if its thousands of miles away.

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