Temple Weighs in on the Relief Effort in Puerto Rico

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A month and a half after hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, the damage is still being felt by native Puerto Ricans on Temple’s campus.

“I lived through hurricanes when I lived in Puerto Rico, and I was expecting it be like how it was in the past,” said Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs, Sandra Suarez. “I didn’t expect the devastation to be at the level it is now.”

While relief efforts have been in place for just over a month, Suarez has spoken to family back home on the island and noted that even the people who do have power, are only getting a 50% output.

Suarez knows of the struggles in metropolitan areas and can only speculate as to the hardships that still face more rural parts of the territory.

Hiram Aldarondo, Ph.D., is the chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and not only has family in Puerto Rico, but has been to the island since the storm.

“After I was able to contact my family, they were the ones that told me how things were going. One thing is to hear from them, but it’s another to see it for yourself,” said Aldarondo.

After returning home and assessing the damage and relief efforts, be it too late or too little, Aldarondo is adamant that he does not want the country to forget that there are Americans in Puerto Rico that should not be forgotten and still need help.

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