The Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico visited San Antonio for the first time this weekend to receive an award for her dedication to her people.
On Saturday, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto was the keynote speaker for the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journists' 20th Annual Gala.
She is also this year's recipient of the Corazon de Oro Award.
"I'm quite humbled and I know this is not about me," Mayor Cruz said. "I'm the face, but this is about the thousands of Puerto Ricans that died. This is about the thousands of children that are not able to go to school."
Mayor Cruz Soto also addressed the recently released death toll following Hurricane Maria.
"The truth is that people died because the Trump administration did not pay attention and because most of the political class in Puerto Rico decided to be silent and look the other way. And in a humanitarian crisis, there are two things you can do, just two. You can either speak up or shut up and become an accomplice," Mayor Cruz said.
Officials estimate that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people, though an island official said Thursday that the confirmed toll remains frozen at 64 pending a scientific review due out soon.
"I'm sorry to say the Puerto Rican government continues to say the official death toll is 64. They continue to hide the fact that everyone could see," Mayor Cruz said.
The government, relying on updated statistics it first reported in June, said in a report to Congress detailing a $139 billion reconstruction plan, that there were 1,427 more deaths from September to December 2017 than the average for the same time period over the previous four years.
The territory's government said that the additional deaths resulted from the effects of a storm that led to "cascading failures" in infrastructure across the island of 3.3 million people.
"There is a financial crisis, there is an electrical grid crisis, there is a mental health crisis. But I have to say this: Where the American government failed the Puerto Rican people, the American people stepped up," Mayor Cruz said.
The Mayor of San Juan will also be meeting with DACA students, the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio, and RAICES during her visit to San Antonio. She said that she hopes to gain a perspective on the immigration issues Texas is facing, including the separation of families.