And the head of the Puerto Rico Labor Federation is blunt about the attitude of the U.S. government: "They want us to die". They spoke in an October 13 AFL-CIO-arranged conference call. In all, they took in 125,000 packages of diapers, 269,000 packages of baby wipes, 57,000 feminine products and other items.
A steady series of disasters could put 2017 on track to rival Hurricane Katrina and other 2005 storms as the most costly set of disasters ever.
"I wish I could talk to that guy", Morales said of Trump.
While the Trump administration has mostly blamed logistical challenges and existing deficiencies in Puerto Rico for any delays in getting the island back on its feet, Democrats have mostly argued the administration's response has been to blame. But three weeks after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, "This is a man-made disaster", retorts Dr. Jim Packard, a Service Employees member from Oakland, Calif.
Ryan said he was struck by the "widespread devastation" in the interior towns and accounts of mayors of communities where lost bridges have left them cut off from the rest of the island.
"It will be hard for us, and it will be hard for the kids as well, but they're kids, it will get easier", he said.
The union volunteers there described a number of dire scenes, especially outside San Juan. She lives alone and has no transportation.
Torres, 74, and her husband are too frail to leave their leave their homes for long stretches of time. But when he started asking specific questions, she confessed she hadn't eaten in three days, that the next relief package wasn't due for a week "and she started to break down".
"It's very difficult to uproot yourself and come here, but we see no choice", she said.
Besides food and potable water - the amounts limited by the carrying capacity of the volunteers' vans and the roads clogged with fallen trees - the medical volunteers from SEIU, National Nurses United and the American Federation of Teachers nurses' sector are also teaching people about methods to purify water and otherwise avoid potentially deadly diseases, such as cholera. Hurricane Maria ripped part of the roof away when it slammed into Yabucoa, Puerto Rico last month.
Union members unload relief supplies in Puerto Rico. "We are working to transition the kids into the South Florida community".
The Department of Education temporarily waived regulations to allow Puerto Rican students without access to their education records to enroll in public schools.
Cruz has had to repeatedly insist Puerto Rico is facing a humanitarian crisis in light of Trump understating the gravity of suffering facing the islanders.
"We had nurses, doctors, engineers, truck drivers".
"Central Florida, particularly Orlando, has become the mecca for migrants from the island", said Luis Martinez-Fernandez, a history professor at the University of Central Florida who has researched Puerto Rican migration to the state. That's a long-term project, unfortunately.
The food supply chain has emptied, and "resupplying it (will) take some time", Manuel Reyes, vice president of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Marketing, Industry and Distribution of Food, told the TV station.
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