PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Puerto Rican Heritage Week should be a time of celebration for those in Philadelphia with ties to the island. Instead, they’re filled with fear over what Hurricane Maria will bring back home.
As the Puerto Rican community here in the city has already started an aid effort.
“God have mercy on our people,” said Rev. Bonnie Camarda.
Camarda’s divine entreaty is bolstered by human help.
“The hurricane is going to be devastating,” said State Rep. Angel Cruz. “So we Latino leaders got together.”
The sign on the bucket carried by Cruz says “Dona ahora” — ‘Donate now.’
“The drinking water, the electricity, and everything else they’re going to need from us. We want to help by getting together,” Cruz said.
The collection bins will be as much a presence as the music, dancing, and food still to come as Puerto Ricans celebrate their heritage while confronting a challenge back home.