Aid from Chicago, local volunteers help Puerto Rican families rebuild after earthquake

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YAUCO, Puerto Rico — In Yauco on Puerto Rico's southern coast, there’s the tiny street of Anturios.

When the Puerto Rican flag went up on that street a day after the massive earthquake five weeks ago, it was meant to be a sign of the rebuilding effort they were about to begin. But cars are still buried beneath the rubble of houses, while other homes teeter on the brink of collapse.

Diana Rivera's entire family, including her five-year-old son with down syndrome, is living down the street in a temporary wooden home built by FEMA. Others are living under tents set up in a baseball stadium.

What they’ve noticed on Anturios Street is that help is not coming in the way they initially expected. It's coming from people like Aida Pereira, who travels there to help every weekend from a town an hour-and-a-half away.

"One lady said to me, 'people are saying that the government didn’t come through, but the people have,'" Pereira said.

Help is coming from all the corners of the island, as everyone waits for Washington to release aid to fix billions of dollars in damage.

The Rivera family is among those who have yet to get government help, but they did get assistance this weekend thanks to the Chicago-based Puerto Rican Agenda. The group hand-delivered funds to the Rivera family to help them rebuild.


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