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Spotlight on Puerto Rico with LS Spanish Teacher Omar Machado

How have you and your family been affected? 

My family in the island has been without electricity, water, [and] Internet communications for 11 days already. The lines to get gas or food are hours long (sometimes up to eight or 10 hours). I was not able to talk to my

son for over a week and had to find someone with an intermittent signal that walked over to my son’s house in order to finally speak to him. He will now be coming to live with me indefinitely along with my nephew and my wife’s nephew.

My wife has two elderly parents who had no access to food or clean water. Thanks to some other relatives, they are now “stable” with clean water and limited food supply. The worry that one goes through from the mainland is indescribable; there are simply no words. I am still yet to get in touch with some of the relatives that lived closer to the ocean and were probably even more affected by this catastrophe. My wife and I feel constantly impotent and unable to directly help those we love in a timely manner due to the lack of basic services like the postal service.


Have you tried to reach out and help?

We are trying to get a reliable place where we can send basic materials such as solar stoves, fans, [and] batteries. However, we want to make sure that these things reach people directly and don’t get stuck in a “container” that has to deal with a lot of red tape in order to reach the people who need it the most. I am also reaching out to an ex-student of mine from Puerto Rico who is doing her master’s here in Boston and is putting together materials and necessities together for the Puerto Ricans.

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