Nicole Hernandez was supposed to reunite with her dad and other family in Puerto Rico this week for a family cruise. Then the hurricanes hit -- first Irma at the start of September and then a crushing blow from Maria last week. Her dad is OK.
"He said, 'We wants to stay, we wants to help rebuild.' But he said if gas doesn't become more available, things are going to get worse,” says Hernandez.
She is the founder of Puerto Ricans in Action, an L.A. nonprofit that formed just last year to raise the profile of Puerto Ricans across the Southland. The group established a GoFundMe account that as of Tuesday already had raised nearly $26,000.
The group is also mobilizing a small but close-knit network of Puerto Rican restaurants, shops and other businesses to raise money and gather donations for residents. Like most everyone else on the island, Hernandez’ dad has no electricity, limited water and a finite supply of food. Stores are reopening but basic supplies are tight.