Mara Liz Meinhofer share on Facebook…
A day like today, exactly a year ago, I woke up like every Puerto Rican to see the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
Frankly, the memories trigger me. I feel resistance to write about it. I sat glued to my computer for 20 hours straight in shock and awe. Feeling helpless, watching the news, hoping that by an act of magic a call would come in, a text would pop up, or a social media post would show up. News from anyone saying they were ok! Crickets. Nada. Puerto Ricans went uncommunicated for days.
My feed was full but of desperate Puerto Ricans outside of the island looking for their loved ones. About 5 million of us on the same boat.
By age 28 I was appointed Deputy Secretary of Commerce of Puerto Rico. By age 33 I was the Executive Director of the Commercial Office of Puerto Rico in the United States. After nine years in the public service, I was no longer a Government Official, but my heart remained with my people…
From my apartment in NYC, I made calls, sent emails, collected money, connected people, identified flights, found planes, facilitated cargo, and helped get medicines, electric generators, food, and emergency items into Puerto Rico.
The good news though… I was SPECK OF DUST. The diaspora and the many friends of Puerto Rico rose up to the occasion and did even more
So this post is a THANK YOU. Thank you for your kindness, for your concern, for your resources, and for your help. Food and emergency items made it to Puerto Rico, but the damage was massive… A year after, communities and infrastructure still need to be rebuilt.
If you can donate and want an organization you can trust, give to my family’s NGO (Fundacion Bendecidos para Bendecir PR). If you have influence in the U.S Government, forget about politics and speak up for us.
Photos by: Omar Z. Robles