My cousin Daniela is studying to be a veterinarian. Her parents’ home in the hills of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, is like a tiny animal sanctuary — two goats, some cats, several bunnies and birds, nine dogs (!) and a couple of horses. Her older sister Camila has been studying for the MCAT exam — she wants to be a doctor. Across the street is my Aunt Yamilla’s home, formerly the home of my grandparents, where my sister and I spent every summer as children. I remember when my grandfather Guisin was building it — at last, moving up to the peaceful hills after a life in town.
There’s no shortage of stories about the devastation experienced in my beloved Puerto Rico in the past week. From the children still searching for signs of their parents, to the families who’ve lost everything but one another, to those displaced from the only homes they’ve ever known — Hurricane Maria’s collision with Puerto Rico has been the most brutal in the island’s modern history, leaving a destroyed power grid and unprecedented destruction in its wake.
As Maria roared toward the island, my family in Puerto Rico braced for impact. They knew Abuelo Guisin’s wooden dream home — where I worked on new musicals during summer breaks from college — could not possibly withstand a major hurricane…Read More