Local Puerto Ricans looking to help family members impacted by earthquakes


LANCASTER, Pa (WHTM) – Maryln Barbosa is one of thousands of Puerto Ricans living in Lancaster who still has family living on the island.

Puerto Rico is currently dealing with a series of earthquakes that left thousands without power.

“Last night I was talking with my sister because they don’t have electricity yet, so the little time we have, she’s telling me it’s so hard to sleep at night because you don’t know if you have to go outside the house,” Barbosa said.

With many in Puerto Rico suffering and it being so far away from Lancaster, there is a feeling of helplessness from those locally.

“I have seen some things that say we’re suffering an emotional earthquake because we’re in that situation,” Barbosa said.

Luckily, a Lancaster County-based service organization is planning on more help for Puerto Rico. Mennonite Disaster Service has sent more than 750 volunteers to the island since Hurricane Maria hit in 2017.

“We’ll somewhat switch modes,” said Kevin King, the executive director of Mennonite Disaster Service.

King promised they wouldn’t forget those who were impacted by Hurricane Maria. He said many of the homes Mennonite Disaster Service built after Hurricane Maria are okay.

Now, he said, it’s making sure others get help, too.

“This is more than just about structures,” King said. “This is really about stability and mindset.”

If you would like to donate to Mennonite Disaster Service, click here.

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