Follow us on a photographic journey through the island of Puerto Rico
By Bareerah Zafar
Photos by Lupe Partida and Bareerah Zafar, UO Ethnic Studies students, November 2017
Due to the unavailability of electricity, traffic lights in San Juan do not work. Traffic jams are hours long.
Damage done to houses in San Juan.
The floods produced by the hurricanes damaged furniture, and at times even emptied houses of all of their inhabitants’ personal belongings. Isla de Cabra, San Juan.
Torn down power lines restrict communication between family and friends in Cataño.
Artwork in Santurce, nearby Centro de la Mujer Dominicana.
With Corillo 100 x 35, UO student delegation delivered donations to a church in Utuado that acts as a distribution hub for clothes, food, and baby products.
The church also provides shelter to those in need.
Mudslides throughout the highlands of Morovis, Utuado, Jayuya and Orocovis make the roads leading to rural towns inaccessible and dangerous, discouraging families from taking their children to school or going to work, and making communication and relief efforts difficult.
Bridges in rural communities were destroyed in Morovis and Utuado, and alternate routes consist of 2-hour detours, making the transportation of people and supplies difficult, at times impossible.
These families lost everything in Utuado.
Professor Reyes-Santos and her students team up with the Brigada Solidaria del Oeste to distribute food, water, and baby products at Escuela De La Comunidad Mariana Bracetti in Maricao.
Brigada Solidaria demonstrates how to use water filtration systems. Clean drinking water is a scarce resource.
This family had to walk for two hours through a mountain road full of debris a month ago to get water and food supplies the one time FEMA appeared in the region. Neighbors opened the road recently. And whoever can drive brings donations and aid from a local church and individual donors to those who need it the most: those who lost everything, children, the elderly, chronically ill people, and people with disabilities, such as a deaf and hard of hearing family without barely any ASL education and no interpretation services.
In Utuado, their grandmother lost her house and all her personal belongings. Now she stays with them and their parents, with their chronically ill grandfather who uses a wheelchair for mobility in a house with stairs and two small bedrooms. Their neighbors help bring medicines and other staples. No government official has visited them.
An elderly woman lived in her small house in Maricao for decades. When the hurricane hit, it tore apart her roof, allowing rain to flood her house, and forcing her to move out. The Brigada Solidaria del Oeste brought her tarps to patch up her roof and keep the rain out. Her neighbors have collaborated to provide her with food and other basic supplies.
When newborn Isaac’s mom’s water broke in the midst of the hurricane, all her neighbors came together to clear the roads as quickly as they could to ensure a safe child birth at the closest hospital.