2017-11-08 / Front Page

Three Astorians Fly To And From Puerto Rico To Deliver Aid & Supplies

Millennials took it upon themselves to help on a mission trip to the United States territory of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Joselynn Cortes flew to Puerto Rico on October 6 to document the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, and to a lesser extent, Hurricane Irma, while simultaneously providing aid and supplies to families in need.

Cortes, a 26-year-old Queens-based photographer, returned to New York a week later and held three fundraisers, one of which included a photography exhibit, showcasing the island’s current state of emergency. Over $3,000 was raised and 100 percent of the proceeds were used to buy additional supplies for families affected by the hurricane. Supplies included; three generators, a chain saw, gasoline canisters, tarps, baby formula, non-perishable canned goods, mosquito repellant, batteries, adult and children's underclothing etc.

“The first time I went, I rented a car, drove around the island and filmed. Everyone who I encountered thought I was FEMA or the Red Cross. In most cases, I was the first person they had seen from the states – the first person to deliver help since the hurricane. I knew I had to go back,” stated Cortes.

On Nov 2, Cortes returned with a friend and was joined by a third this week to help rebuild homes and deliver aid. The trio will continue to collect funds and donations through this week. To follow the story, go to their GoFundMe page where they will regularly post updates regarding their trip: www.gofundme.com/SupportFamiliesinPuertoRico.


The destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria is apparent as Puerto Rico remains in limbo, without basic necessities, such as electricity, clean drinking water, homes and passable roads. “Everyone who I encountered thought I was FEMA or the Red Cross. In most cases, I was the first person they had seen from the states – the first person to deliver help since the hurricane,” stated Joselynn Cortes. Photos Joselynn Cortes

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