GUEST ROOM | One Year Later: A Reflection on Hurricane Maria

Today marks one year since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. Maria immediately thrusted Puerto Rico into darkness as the electrical grid was devastated, cellular communication was rendered impossible and basic necessities such as food and water became scarce. Maria exacerbated the ongoing economic depression, with the poverty rate increasing to 52 percent (at least 3 times higher than the national average). Since then, the Trump Administration has displayed a blatant disregard for the needs of Puerto Ricans. For example, Trump praised how Hurricane Maria was not a “real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina, refused to extend Puerto Rico’s Jones Act waiver beyond ten days.