Valeria Meracado and Julian Rubio continue with every day life but they constantly wonder what is going on at home in Puerto Rico.
“It’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking. To sit here right now and talk about it, I still feel like — I don’t believe it. It’s surreal to know that the island I left a month ago is not the island i’m going back, if I get to go back in December.”
All of her family is on the island and communication with mother has been hard,
“I was out of contact with her for six days. I heard from her the Monday after the hurricane. And then I lost contact with her for two or three days. And then I recently talked to her — I think it was this morning — but it’s very brief 30 second calls telling me “Honey, I’m okay,” Meracado.
While Valeria was watching Hurricane Maria’s wrath from a distance, Julian experienced it first hand. But afterwards, his parents sent him state side to escape the danger.
“Trees were bending over pretty bad. We could feel…We could actually hear…The winds of the hurricane hitting the doors the windows,” Rubio, a University of Puerto Rico student, said.
Julian said his house was flooded, and pictures from Valeria’s mom show her house was also affected.
“My house, we had these beautiful palm trees in the entrance…and now they’re not there. The back yard ground is elevated because the roots of a tree…weren’t really cut, the wind blew them off,” Meracado.
With the island devastated, all they can do is help from afar and look to the future.
“I hope that the help that we are receiving now is continuous. That in a month, in two months, ya know, that same effort that the people are putting into it remains,” Meracado said.
“I hope…that things get better obviously, to receive as many help as we can, and to try to rebuild step-by-step what was Puerto Rico before,” Rubio said.
To donate to Puerto Rico relief CLICK HERE. To donate to the fund created by Penn State students for Puerto Rico and Mexico relief CLICK HERE.