Locals are transforming homes and lives in Puerto Rico
(CBS 12) —
Right now communities all over Puerto Rico are struggling to recover.
Many people rely on outside help to get back on their feet.
Our cameras captured how people from Palm Beach County are transforming homes and lives.
“We are in Toa Baja,” said Maria Celeste Pedrosa.
Pedrosa takes a break from cleaning up her mother's home that was inundated with water and mud.
“At least she is alive. That’s the important thing,” Pedrosa said.
Like many houses on the island, the sun shines through the few pieces of the roof still intact.
Depressed from the devastation, her mom Carmen Marrero contemplated suicide time and time again.
Now, she lives in this small part of the home.
“I am struggling but at least I am in my house. making my coffee, cooking and doing what I want,” Marrero said.
Marrero uses a solar generator because she can’t afford to rewire her home.
“At least god sent me some people to help,” Pedrosa said.
“We have picked people like her to help them with their homes and clean them out so they can have normal living circumstances again,” said Astrid Anduze-Melendez, President of Puerto Rico Relief Flight.
Melendez traveled from Palm Beach County to assist with the recovery process.
Along with the help of another group called Puerto Rico One by One, they swept up mud, peeled off paint and scraped tile off the floor.
Just a short drive away in a nearby town of Dorado, both volunteer groups are helping hurricane survivor Ramonita Colon.
Her house blew away during the storm. Now all that remains is a small concrete shed she's using as her living space.
Ramonita is using a makeshift shower to bath every day.
“They never expected to lose everything they way they did,” Melendez said.
But now life is finally looking up, Ramonita is getting a new house and Pedrosa's mother home is getting a facelift.
“I see my mom’s face and it is priceless,” Peedrosa said.