Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Gutierrez Returns From Puerto Rico, Slams Relief Response From U.S.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Back from a trip to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, Congressman Luis Gutierrez called the situation “disgraceful,” living conditions “inhumane” and demanded more action from the U.S. government. Gutierrez did highlight the positive work that was done on the trip, however, saying “we delivered good stuff. Fresh fruit — things that really bring a little joy and a little smile to people’s faces.” The congressman spent most of his time showing the crowd at O’Hare International Airport Sunday morning videos and pictures of the devastated island. He did also blast the response from U.S. officials.

“You see that?” Gutierrez asked while showing one of several pictures. “That’s his neighbor coming to him to give him a sandwich and a cup of coffee. So first responders in Puerto Rico are your neighbors.” Gutierrez urged his colleagues in Congress to make similar visits. “We have to counteract this false narrative that is out there and is being promoted by the President of the United States. Just last week, he gave himself a 10 out of 10. But I’m telling you, I brought the pictures, I visited.” RELATEDGutierrez Returning To Puerto Rico To Send Hurricane Relief Supplies To Isolated Mountain Towns | 22 Chicago Firefighters Return From Puerto Rico For Hurricane Relief For Gutierrez’s departure last Wednesday, he had at least two suitcases and a large box of supplies he was personally bringing to his family in Puerto Rico. He also had $60,000 donated to help hurricane victims. “I’m paying for my own ticket, and the transportation. We’ve just got a car rental, and so we’re keeping the overhead to nothing. So every dollar that people have contributed is a dollar that’s going to be spent actually delivering food and medicine,” he said.

The congressman said he’ll use the entire $60,000 to purchase emergency supplies like water, nutritional drinks, diapers, and more; and have it trucked to two mountain towns. Gutierrez said he also had an additional $15,000 in cash to distribute to different towns. The congressman plans to visit the island for a third time with mattresses and clean water and for the Puerto Rican people. To donate, a list of organizations and charities can be found on the city’s website.

Chicago Center To Welcome Hurricane Maria Evacuees

CHICAGO (CBS) — One month after Hurricane Maria, the situation is still dire for many Puerto Ricans. Many are now homeless, living without food or water, and desperate to leave the island. CBS 2’s Sandra Torres reports that Chicago’s Humboldt Park Field House is preparing to welcome them. In the heart of the Puerto Rican community, the facility is a place that usually draws in youth. Soon, however, it will become a center to welcome evacuees from the island. “This is an open spot for Puerto Ricans that come from Puerto Rico,” said Orlando Cintron, who is a Humboldt Park resident. Cintron says he’s helping families who have already arrived in Chicago begin a new life, as the hurricane changed theirs forever. “I have seen families come from Puerto Rico — little kids with no shoes, just a bag over their shoulders, needing help.” As a result, city officials, such as 26th Ward Ald. Roberto Maldonado, are working with other agencies to setup a welcoming center at the field house. “The way that we envision is that we’re going to have a bunch of tables there with people that represent CHA [Chicago Housing Authority], that represent Airbnb, that represent the state of Illinois,” Maldonado said. It’s not yet clear when the center will begin it’s work, but Maldonado says the sooner the better, as his office has received more than 160 calls from Puerto Ricans wanting to come to Chicago. Maldonado says his team has already begun training people on how to help evacuees once they arrive. Furthermore, Ald. Maldonado is also working with Chicago Public School officials to make sure children arriving in Chicago are able to transition smoothly into schools here. They’re encouraging Puerto Ricans who need guidance to call 311.

U.S. Postal Service Urging Employees To Volunteer To Work In Puerto Rico

CHICAGO (CBS) — Among the many services still trying to get to normal in Puerto Rico is mail delivery, so the U.S. Postal Service has put out a call for volunteers from among its employees. Limited mail delivery has been restored on the island, and most people have to pick up their mail at a post office about after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria hit the island. To try and get delivery back to normal, the U.S. Postal Service has asked employees across the country to volunteer for 30-day stints working in Puerto Rico. “They’ll get paid the regular salary, overtime pay that’s applicable, and that sort of thing; but as far as getting there, and having per diem or housing costs paid for, that’ll be up to the employee,” spokesman Tim Norman said. “It’s strictly a voluntary thing, so they’ll need to make their own accommodations wherever they can stay.” Employees interested in working in Puerto Rico must submit letters of intent by Friday. Norman said the postal service will re-evaluate volunteer assignments every 30 days. He was not sure how many positions need to be filled, nor where the employees who used to fill them are now. While some postal employees assigned full-time to Puerto Rico have gone back to work, Norman said others might have left the island, or might not yet be in a position to work.

Lin-Manuel Miranda on Trump and Puerto Rico: ‘I Don’t Run Well on Anger’

“Hamilton” mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda has been among the most vocal agitators raising awareness about the devastation Hurricane Maria has wreaked upon Puerto Rico. He’s been outspoken in the press and on social media to help raise funds for recovery, and he pulled together an all-star lineup of Latin artists from across genres and generations, including […]

Junior Chef’s Homemade Empanadas Raising Money For Hurricane Victims

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 12-year-old boy from the South Side is putting his passion for the culinary arts into an effort to raise money for victims of Hurricane Maria. After the storm last month, Evan Robinson, a 7th grader at Kenwood Academy, launched Pies for Puerto Rico, and began baking homemade empanadas to sell and raise money for hurricane relief efforts. Earlier this month, Robinson baked 400 empanadas over one weekend, and raised more than $1,000 for disaster relief. He hopes round two is equally successful, as he boxes up hundreds of sweet potato pecan, cookies-n-cream, and apple empanadas. He began baking the handheld pies this past weekend, and still has a few orders to fill. Robinson fell in love with cooking after finishing in 6th place on the fifth season of MasterChef Junior. He said it takes a lot of time after school to fill all those orders for his homemade empanadas, but it’s worth it. “It feels really great for me, because I’m putting a change in the world, and I am putting my mark on the world, and I am helping out those that need help,” he said.

You can donate to his Pies for Puerto Rico campaign through YouCaring.

Gutierrez Returning To Puerto Rico To Send Hurricane Relief Supplies To Isolated Mountain Towns

CHICAGO (CBS) — Congressman Luis Gutierrez was on his way back to Puerto Rico on Wednesday, on his second relief trip after Hurricane Irma, bringing money donated by Chicagoans for storm survivors. Gutierrez had at least two suitcases and a large box of supplies he was personally bringing to his family in Puerto Rico, but he also had $60,000 donated to help hurricane victims. “I’m paying for my own ticket, and the transportation. We’ve just got a car rental, and so we’re keeping the overhead to nothing. So every dollar that people have contributed is a dollar that’s going to be spent actually delivering food and medicine,” he said at O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday.
The congressman said he’ll use the entire $60,000 to purchase emergency supplies like water, nutritional drinks, diapers, and more; and have it trucked to two mountain towns. “I’m paying for my own ticket, and the transportation. We’ve just got a car rental, and so we’re keeping the overhead to nothing. So every dollar that people have contributed is a dollar that’s going to be spent actually delivering food and medicine,” he said at O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday. Gutierrez said he also had an additional $15,000 in cash to distribute to different towns. “People need cash,” he said. “People have really been isolated. Food isn’t getting there. Medicine isn’t getting there. Water isn’t getting there,” The congressman said power has been restored to only 20 percent of Puerto Rico in more than a month since Irma hit. Even that service is spotty, and fewer than half the island has drinkable water available on a regular basis. Gutierrez visited Puerto Rico for several days in September to survey the damage from Irma, visit family, and bring back his nieces and nephews so they can attend Chicago Public Schools while the island recovers. He also has organized a number of planeloads of supplies delivered to San Juan to be distributed on the island.

Watch Bruno Mars Perform ‘Just The Way You Are’ In Spanish

VIDEO: Check out Bruno’s performance here…
 
By Scott T. Sterling

(RADIO.COM) – Bruno Mars brought something special to the One Voice: Somos Live! benefit telethon over the weekend.

The pop star rolled out a stripped-down bilingual version of 2010 hit, “Just the Way You Are.”

All proceeds from the event will be shared among nine different organizations working to provide relief to the people of Puerto Rico, who are still suffering after the catastrophic Hurricane Maria. Donations to the One Voice: Somos Live! campaign can be made here.

©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved.
 

22 Chicago Firefighters Return From Puerto Rico For Hurricane Relief

CHICAGO (CBS) — 22 Chicago firefighters, along with 30th ward Ald. Ariel Reboyras, have returned from nine days of emergency duty in hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico. Their work day began before dawn and sometimes lasted into the night, and their job was to get supplies and preform well-being checks in places no one else could reach. Incident Commander Juan Hernandez says the devastation is several times worse than what you’re seeing on TV and the Internet. “Broken bridges, roads disconnected, there’s an area where there’s about 200 individuals that are totally disconnected from civilization.” Hernandez said the other way to get food and medical supplies to them was to use a zip line. Hernandez says power and cell phone service remains minimal, and delivery of supplies shipped from the states can be a problem.
  “It is emotional. You want to stay focused on what you’re doing. We have family members that are in trouble. I mean, I have family members that I haven’t been able to get in contact with, yet, and make sure they’re okay,” Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said before heading to Puerto Rico. “Members are going there concerned, but their mission first: help Puerto Rico fire department first.” Santiago said 20 of the 22 firefighters are bilingual. The commissioner said another 400 members of the department also volunteered to go, even offering to pay their own way. The men and women making the trip had to use their vacation time to go to Puerto Rico. To donate, a list of organizations and charities can be found on the city’s website.

Rev. Jackson Tours Puerto Rico, Brings Supplies From Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Rev. Jesse Jackson is in Puerto Rico, renewing calls for financial relief and mass evacuations as it tries to recover from Hurricane Maria. He described the situation in Puerto Rico as “astonishing devastation,” after seeing much of the island from an Army helicopter. Rev. Jackson said he was surprised at just how mountainous the island is, making the challenge of delivering supplies even greater. “I’m very impressed with what FEMA is doing, except FEMA is not enough — there’s not enough helicopters, they’re not covering enough territory.” Jackson said 158,000 pounds of food, water, hygiene products and school supplies were delivered by plane Saturday. The donations were gathered through Chicago churches; Jackson is working with churches in Puerto Rico to distribute them.