Puerto Rico Trip 'Eye-Opening' For ORU Student

Thursday, October 26th 2017, 10:08 pm
By: Justin Shrair

Many people in Puerto Rico are still without food, water and power as people continue to recover from Hurricane Maria.

Last month we told you about an ORU student whose family rode out the storm.

She returned from visiting her family just days ago.

9/26/2017 Related Story: Tulsa Student Miles Away As Family Rides Out Tropical Storm Maria

Joanirie Font said although she saw a lot of destruction on the island, she also saw hope and courage, and an unbreakable spirit from everyday people.

"You see a lot of destruction all around no matter where you look. I went to pretty areas that used to be pretty, and now they're just areas," she said.

Font, a junior at ORU, has called Puerto Rico home for much of her life.

She said returning after the storm was an eye-opening experience. And although her family is safe, her house and the church her grandfather built tell another story.

"They're going to have to clean out my whole house, and try to fix some things that got affected but my church is going to be demolished," Font said.

She said even simple acts such as going to a supermarket or eating out are tough.

"Instead of asking for a menu, you would ask what do you have available, and sometimes in restaurants sometimes they don't have water," she said.

But amid all the damage, Font said her family along with other Puerto Ricans are resilient. And instead of just sitting on the sidelines, she her family and many others have joined forces.

"They help us cook food or they're giving, out lunch or they're calling people to come in," Font said.

Font said the people of Puerto Rico are thankful for all the help, but many still need food, water and electricity. She said even just the smallest donation, no matter the size, makes a big difference. 

"They're very hopeful right now, and they're very thankful for everything they've gotten and I've just seen them fighting," Font said.