• Full FrameEducation Week's Photo Blog

    Puerto Rico’s Schools, Communities Fight to Recover From Storm Devastation

    by Charles Borst posted October 10, 2017

    Less than a month ago, Hurricane Maria slammed the island of Puerto Rico, swamping towns and displacing residents from their homes. Most schools are still closed to students, but many are now being used as shelters for displaced families. Education Week photographer Swikar Patel and reporter Andrew Ujifusa recently visited Puerto Rico to document the island’s efforts to reopen their schools and how residents are working to put their lives back together.

    Norberto Collazo maneuvers his horse on a highway near a washed-out bridge in Utuado, Puerto Rico. --Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Norberto Collazo maneuvers his horse on a highway near a washed-out bridge in Utuado, Puerto Rico. –Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Gloria E. Colon, and from left, Glenda Ruiz, her mother, Rosa Rodriguez, back, and Ruiz's two sons, Josh Rivera, 6, and Abdiel Rivera, 8, are using a classroom at Judith Avivas Elementary School in Utuado, Puerto Rico, as their temporary home after Hurricane Maria destroyed their house last month. —Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Gloria E. Colon, and from left, Glenda Ruiz, her mother, Rosa Rodriguez, and Ruiz’s two sons, Josh Rivera, 6, and Abdiel Rivera, 8, are using a classroom at Judith Avivas Elementary School in Utuado as their temporary home after Hurricane Maria destroyed their house last month. —Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Located in the in the middle of Puerto Rico’s mountains, Utuado, Puerto Rico, was devastated by Hurricane Maria last month. Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Located in the in the middle of Puerto Rico’s mountains, Utuado, Puerto Rico, was devastated by Hurricane Maria last month. –Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Juanita Negrón Reyes, director Escuela Bernardo Gonzalez, back, works on prepping food for the community with cafeteria workers on Sunday Oct. 8, 2017 in Utuado, Puerto Rico. --Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Juanita Negrón Reyes, center, at back, principal of the Bernardo Gonzalez Colon School in Utuado, Puerto Rico, works with cafeteria workers to prep food that will be distributed to residents of the hurricane-ravaged town. Closed to students, the school’s kitchen is being used to feed displaced residents. –Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Jeremy Vasquez holds his nephew Jamdry Salsado, 2, as he waits in line for water at Ramon Luis Cabanas baseball stadium in the San Jose neighborhood of Utuado, Puerto Rico on Oct. 8, 2017. --Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Jeremy Vasquez collects water at a relief station set up at the Ramon Luis Cabanas baseball stadium in the San Jose neighborhood of Utuado, Puerto Rico. –Swikar Patel/Education Week

    A helicopter takes off from near the Puerto Rico Convention Center on Monday Oct. 9, 2017. --Swikar Patel/Education Week

    A relief helicopter takes off from near the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. –Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Mariano Ramis de Ayreflor, 18, uses one of his downed palm trees as a bridge over a crevasse in his yard after running an extension chord to his neighbor so they can share in electricity from his family's generator on Oct. 8, 2017 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. --Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Mariano Ramis de Ayreflor, 18, uses a downed palm tree as a bridge over a crevasse in his yard after running an extension cord to his neighbor so they can share electricity from his family’s generator in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. –Swikar Patel/Education Week

    A "Read to Hope" event at Maria Vasquez de Umpierre School in Bayamon. Puerto Rican actress Mariana Quiles read, "The Day the Dog Said 'iQuiquiriqui!" (the last word is the Spanish equivalent of a rooster's crow). School principal Jessica Hernandez and others organized the event to help students reorient themselves, although not all the children there normally attended Maria Vasquez de Umpierre. --Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Students participate in a “From Reading to Hope” event at Maria Vasquez de Umpierre School in Bayamon. School principal Jessica Hernandez and others organized the event to help students re-orient themselves. –Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Aliancy Arana, 13. attends another school Escuela Especializada En Bellas Artes Pablo Casals in Bayamon.

    Aliancy Arana, 13, passes by the flag of Puerto Rico at the “From Reading to Hope” event at Maria Vasquez de Umpierre School in Bayamon. –Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Jose Andres speaks with ----- on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. ---reacts as Andres told her that he would pay for her daughter, -----'s education. --Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Xoimar Manning, center, reacts as chef José Andrés, right, tells her he will take care of her daughter’s future education expenses. Andrés was visiting the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as part of his effort to organize school cafeterias to feed those displaced by Hurricane Maria. —Swikar Patel/Education Week

    Click on links below to read more Education Week coverage on Puerto Rico’s efforts:

    Here’s How Teachers Can Help With Disaster Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico
    ‘This Is My Island. My Students Need Me’
    Boredom, Makeshift Lessons at Puerto Rican School Turned Shelter
    In Puerto Rico, Chef José Andrés Heralds School Cooks Feeding Those in Need

     

    Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
    Commenting temporarily disabled due to scheduled maintenance. Check back soon.
    Ground Rules for Posting
    We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
    All comments are public.