Mayor of San Juan speaks in Holyoke about transformation of Puer - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Mayor of San Juan speaks in Holyoke about transformation of Puerto Rico

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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

The Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico visited Holyoke Wednesday night to talk about the day when Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is in western Massachusetts for a short trip.

She has been instrumental in making sure San Juan received the support and funding they needed after Hurricane Maria.

Mayor Cruz was brought to western Massachusetts by Holyoke City Councilor Jossie Valentin and Mount Holyoke..............

"We're truly are dying here and I keep saying it. If anyone can hear us, if Mr. Trump can hear us, get the boll rolling," said 
 
San Juan's mayor in the days following Hurricane Maria, pleaded for the U.S. government to help the people of the island who were stranded without food and water.
 
Mayor Cruz said September 20, 2017 was one of the hardest nights of her life.

She was at a shelter meeting with people who evacuated when she realized life would be changing.
 
"I grabbed my microphone and I'm literally shaking and I told people, we have to move to the lateral part of the coliseum. When I looked outside, that's when it hit me that there was going to be nothing left of the San Juan, the Puerto Rico that I knew," said Mayor Cruz. 
 
Cruz was very outspoken after Hurricane Maria hit the island, asking for relief money from President Trump, and asking for Puerto Rico to be treated the same as the continental United States. 
 
"I look at her as a hero, I look up to her. She was deep in sewage trying to help people and I wanted to know what she has to say about how we can move forward and help our people," said Valez. 
 
Mayor Cruz said San Juan and the island will never be the same. 

Thousands are still without power, houses and roads and completely gone.

"The more we said help us, the more the American people did and non-governmental organizations did. So I will forever know the difference between those who did and those who did not want to," said Mayor Cruz. 
 
Mayor Cruz will continue her tour of western Massachusetts on Thursday where she will be at Mt. Holyoke College talking to students and staff.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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