Berks

Puerto Rican community gathers to raise awareness post-storm

READING, Pa. - Even among those who came to show their support, the size of the turnout caught many by surprise, but for Jeannette Ruiz of Reading, it was very much appreciated.

"I got emotional. My eyes started watering, because it was just really good to see that, as a community, we can come together," Ruiz said.  

The Puerto Rican community in Reading came together Tuesday to hoist flags and offer hope to relatives still suffering nearly 1,700 miles away.

"Actually, my grandmother is there," said Gardner Mojics. "She lives in Yauco. I spoke with her yesterday and she told me she almost drowned."

Many are dealing with a litany of logistical issues, nearly two weeks since Hurricane Maria hit the island.

"When flights are coming in and out, who can send food, who can we donate to send food, so everybody is working together to do that," Mojics explained.  

One young girl, Mydelis Leon, 13, part of Reading's softball program, is participating in an upcoming charity game to help get Puerto Rico what it needs.

"They need medicine, water, food. They need light, shelter," Leon said.

Some in the crowd said they feel that the unincorporated U.S. territory and its troubles are still being largely ignored.

"We're Spanish, and they forget that we are part of the U.S," said Jeannette Ruiz.


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