NEWBERG, Ore. — A Newberg couple has one message for these questioning how Puerto Ricans are faring within the mild of Hurricane Maria.
“Individuals have to comprehend it’s not OK.”
These phrases got here from Sherri Colo’n and her husband Nicky following a private aid journey to Puerto Rico final week.
4 months in the past, Hurricane Maria slammed the island and left a path of destruction. Almost half one million individuals stay with out energy, based on studies.
“It was completely horrible,” Sherri stated about watching the hurricane unfold on TV in September. “We’ve household over in Puerto Rico. And we didn’t hear from them for a month and a half.”
Nicky’s grandmother and cousins are nonetheless in Puerto Rico. His mother can also be from the island.
“It was devastating. We have been simply involved,” he stated. “We watched the information all day and night time. A few occasions I didn’t sleep, frightened about them.”
Photographs and tales of Maria’s aftermath drove the Colo’ns to take issues into their very own palms when it got here to serving to these affected.
“As an alternative of ready, we simply began gathering donations,” stated Sherri.
On Jan. 23, the couple departed from Portland to Puerto Rico to go to Nicky’s kin and distribute provides to residents in rural areas of the island.
“As soon as we acquired there, we went up into the hills. However as soon as we acquired up in to the hills, it was greater than you can think about,” Sherri stated of a number of the outlying areas of Puerto Rico. “There’s mud up there. Individuals dwelling in huts. There’s no houses. They’ve been leveled.”
“The individuals we met had no houses, no meals, and no water,” Nicky stated.
The Colo’ns famous that many Puerto Ricans they encountered informed them they have been unable to obtain catastrophe help from FEMA.
After returning to Newberg final week, the Colo’ns say they’re already planning one other assist journey to the island. In June, they plan to return with a doctor, a dentist, and a psychologist to offer medical assist to these in want. They’re additionally in search of volunteers who’re fascinated by becoming a member of.
“The individuals are simply fantastic. They’re giving. Their hearts are real. And their spirits are nice,” stated Sherri.
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