Latino History of RI

A collection of the voices of Rhode Island's Latino pioneers

Hurricane María

On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 the eye of Hurricane María cut a slash directly across the island of Puerto Rico, from the southeast to the northwest. It arrived shortly after six in the morning, near the harbor at Yabucoa. Wind gusts peaked at 155 miles an hour, bending palm trees like straws and snapping others off near the roots. The storm’s center was 50 to 60 miles across — more than half the length of the island. It rolled at the leisurely pace of about ten miles an hour and hovered above the island’s mountainous center well into the morning. The wind tore hundreds of electrical-transmission towers from the ground and carried some of them through the air. Sheets of earth fell from the hillsides, smashing houses and erasing roads.

Here’s what was happening in Rhode Island … And below that, hear what went down in Cayey, a section of Puerto Rico.
María Rivera
Yaritza Martínez Ortiz
History is not about the ancient past, or even about what took place 10 years ago.

History happens every day. With that thought in mind, we will be collecting the stories of the Puerto Rican community in Rhode Island, focusing on those who have made this state their home due to their displacement in PuertoRico during Hurricane María.

We feel it’s important to capture these personal stories and to educate and raise social awareness among our youth, so that this event will never be forgotten. If you are interested in collecting these stories with us, go here

If you know anyone who would like to tell their story, please leave a message below or contact Marta V. Martínez by email so we can set up an interview date/time.


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