Wait – STILL? Yep, still without power nine months later. This community in the municipality of Humacao is struggling to recover 9 months after Hurricane María. Try to imagine living without electricity for three quarters of a year. At this point, especially as most of the Island is seeing recovery, the frustration in the air in this little barrio is palpable. People are wondering if it’ll ever come back.
Humacao is no far-off mountain town. In fact, this eastern coastal town it is one of the major economic centers of the island. From here, the ferries supply the islands of Culebra and Vieques, which are key drivers of our tourist economy. There are several hotels and major golf resorts, and also lots of small local guesthouses, or paradores, where people stay to visit the world famous El Yunque Rainforest. (Which is closed until further notice due to hurricane damage.) Also, the Humacao airport is a major hub of transportation for Puerto Rico and adjoining islands, while the marina is filled with luxury yachts for the millionaires and billionaires who drop in year round. So it is sobering to consider how severe the damage from María was, that even now, whole neighborhoods away from the glitz and glamor are going without power in this easily-accessible municipality.
We came to the neighborhood as we always do, finding local leaders who help us distribute the goods to those in genuine need. Our own David Hernández led the effort to distribute solar lanterns, lots of flashlights, batteries, beans and rice, and Jesus Christ. The electric power may still be out, but the light of the Gospel shone bright.
Please pray for this community. Nine months without power is too long. Pray that the Lord gets the lights on soon.
Story submitted by Brian Poirier