PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Pittsburgh organization is still working to restore power to parts of Peurto Rico more than a year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island country.
Ron Alvarado, CEO of Novus Group and a board member of Brother’s Brother, along with Brother’s Brother President Luke Hingson are thankful for the continued support of Pittsburghers for the island of Peurto Rico.
“We’ve been working with the people of Pittsburgh and KDKA, going back over 40 years, so we have a long history of helping people together,”
It’s been more than a year since Hurricane Maria badly damaged the island and utility workers are still trying to get power back on in several neighborhoods.
“They haven’t fully recovered from what was the strongest hurricane in the western hemisphere to hit the U.S. land in decades,”
While Brother’s Brother has helped out with various forms of aid for Peurto Rico, Alvarado is quite proud of one thing in particular.
“The only solar-powered emergency room in Puerto Rico, we put it there,” “It’s in Jayuya. We did it, through the funding of our brothers and sisters here in Pittsburgh.
The solar power will allow doctors to help patients, even though the hospital still has an antiquated x-ray machine and a birthing room that is not currently able to be used.
“She shows me their birthing room ok, which is closed because they don’t have an air conditioner,”
The lack of air conditioning is also making it difficult for students to make it through a school day.
“This is Puerto Rico and it was November and I’m sweating like a dog,” “They’re dealing with it, you know, they’re dealing with it probably better than I am as an outsider coming in.”
Despite the heat, storm damage and everything else they’ve endured, the Puerto Rican people refuse to let it get them down.
“These kids, the resilience of the Puerto Rican people even when we went in January,”
Even though the progress has been made to bring Puerto Rico back to the way it was, Alavardo says there’s still plenty of work to be done.
“I can’t accept that as the new normal,” “I can’t. So I’m going to do everything I can to help because I can not sit back and not, not do anything.”