While the images of a devastated Puerto Rico are tough to see, it's even more difficult for the Puerto Rican community in San Antonio as they have family members dealing with tragedy.
“Being able for me to know where this place is at and see all the devastation, it’s insane,” said Rafael Rios as a scrolled through images on his phone.
Rafael's friends and family sent those images from Puerto Rico. Rios calls San Antonio home, but his heart is back on the island. He’s able to keep his spirits up by working at a warehouse collecting relief goods that will eventually be sent to the island. It’s an effort being done by the group Puerto Rico Rises – San Antonio.
“There’s no food, there’s no water, right now there’s no electricity, no water resources," Francheska Rios noted.
Francheska moved to San Antonio from Puerto Rico about four years ago and pretty much all of her family still lives in Puerto Rico. It’s just one of the many things everyone with Puerto Rico Rises has in common.
“Right now, I’ve got my grandma, my aunt, my mother, my cousins,” Rafael said.
And for some, getting in touch with loved ones has been next to impossible.
“It’s very difficult because, for example, my mom is not in that good of health," Carmen Sanchez said. "So I’m worried you know?”
Thankfully, they all said that the Puerto Rican community in San Antonio is strong, and having each other helps them get through the tragedy one day at a time.
“Things are going to get better because we believe in God, and things are going to get better, because we are Puerto Ricans and we're raised with a strong character and will,” Sanchez said.
Puerto Rico Rises will be collecting donations through October 1. You can drop off donations from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 14886 Tradesman. The group says that the biggest items they need now are over-the-counter medications, mosquito repellent, and batteries.