Sept 3. 2018

Posted by on Sep 3, 2018 in Puerto Rico | Comments Off on Sept 3. 2018

Downtown San Juan seems to have recovered from the damage of Hurricane Maria. Many of the buildings are old and worn, but have withstood the ravaging power of nature and continue to stand tall above the shoreline. What is more impressive is how the people have endured the suffering with resilience.

During the ride from the airport our taxi driver shared some of his experiences from last year. His home was without power for three months and for two months there was no opportunity for work. His neighbors shared the same struggles and he told us how his neighborhood came together.

People began gathering outside. He said he got to know his neighbors better, and met many for the first time. They grilled meals together and shared with one another. The children played outside. With no computers, television, or any handheld devices, which they had grown up with, they met together and played. They found new and simple ways to entertain themselves. Time was passed with games and bicycle riding. They survived together and grew closer to one another. They were neighbors.

Tuesday we travel across the island to Yabucoa. Puerto Rico is only 50 by 100 miles in size, with 3.5 million people. The median income is less than $20,000 and 45 percent live below the poverty line. We will begin to see how the people are doing in the smaller communities and outlying area. We will have the chance to be their neighbors.

Thom

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