El Paso

Puerto Ricans in El Paso frantic to help island

Donation drive ending Sunday

Puerto Ricans in El Paso frantic to...

EL PASO, Texas - More than a week has passed since the strongest hurricane in a century hit the island of Puerto Rico, leaving nearly all the population without electricity and most without water.

"When I spoke with my sister, (she was) in tears," said Marializ Diaz. "She told me that Puerto Rico is no longer Puerto Rico. There's no Puerto Rico."

Diaz is one of many Puerto Ricans living in El Paso, frantic as they do what they can to help their families who are struggling on the island.

"Right now, my sister has no food. I can't fly over there. I can't ship anything to her. I can't do anything for her," said Diaz. "So, to be honest, I haven't been able to sleep. I haven't been able to do nothing."

Diaz, who lived her entire life in Puerto Rico, is now asking for donations to send to the island. She is working with her fellow Puerto Rican Jan Ayuso, the manager of the restaurant 787 in 915.

"We're trying to help, help. All we have on our minds is help," said Ayuso.

Ayuso told ABC-7 he spoke to his family immediately following the hurricane's landfall on Sept. 20. He said they were OK, but then things got worse once supplies of food, water and fuel began to dwindle.

"They said, this is horrible. We need to get out of here soon," said Ayuso. "I feel like I'm in jail and I can't do anything for them.  That's why this came up. (We're) trying to help, trying to do something to relieve the stress that they have over there."

Ayuso and Diaz are gathering up whatever they can, using 787 in 915 as a storage site until they can send the supplies to everyone else who needs them.

The weeklong donation drive ends on Sunday with a party outside the restaurant complete with music and a jumping balloon. The party runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In the meantime, they're asking everyone to take nonperishable food, baby formula, sanitary and hygienic items, flashlights, battery-powered radios and bottled water to 787 in 915 at 1651 N Zaragoza Drive.

comments powered by Disqus