Lola’s POV: Puerto Rico Still Needs Help Rebuilding

Finally! I get to send in my P

Lola's POV: Heading Back to School After Hurricane Maria HipLatina

Photo: Courtesy of Lola Montilla

Finally! I get to send in my P.O.V for this week! It’s been a very hard couple of weeks for Puerto Rico and myself. The island is shifting and changing and not necessarily for the best. Yes, there has been some progress regarding rebuilding and taking care of the debris but we’re still waiting for our lives to be normalized again.

This week I started school again, only until half the day at least. But the situation in the school is still critical, there isn’t any electricity or water so we’re running on a power plant and a water tank. Starting school hasn’t been the hardest part. Because of the situation in the island, businesses and jobs have been destroyed, as well as homes. Some people cope by starting over here in Puerto Rico, and others have to leave because the situation is too grave. My dad is currently traveling for work and going back and forth for around 3-6 months, or until the situation normalizes back home. I think everybody knows how close I am with my dad and how heartbreaking it is to have to say goodbye to him and not know when he’s coming back to Puerto Rico. Now instead of hanging out on a Friday night, my mom and I are curled up in the same bed earlier than usual waiting for the night to go by quicker. Some of my closest friends have started to move away to continue their school life in the states and find homes outside of Puerto Rico because theirs is in terrible condition.

As I see these people leaving and finding new ways of life outside of Puerto Rico I feel so sad that there’s not much I can do to change the current situation. Yes, we can donate and volunteer but that’s not going to rebuild a family or a business after it’s been broken apart. I would love to be more hands-on and to be able to fix everything and have my life go back to what it was before but it’s going to be a long-time till’ then. I don’t even want to go into my house lately because it’s not the always cool and tidy place I remember, it’s a work in progress, with buckets and towels on the floor to pick up water falling from the ceiling and I can’t stand to see my forever home being broken down.

Little by little our lives will start falling back into place but I needed to report on the current situation for me, and don’t get me wrong- I’m very grateful for what I have and where I am currently. There are so many others whose situation is much worse than mine; they don’t have homes, they don’t have enough food, or water or jobs to go back to. We do need help, and we do need to create awareness on the situation in Puerto Rico because a couple of shares on Facebook and sad reactions on a post aren’t gonna do. We’re strong, and we will rise again, just gives us the proper tools to do so. We’re going to need more than paper towels to do that. Ahem.

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