Sioux Falls/Puerto Rican Native Urging President Trump to Help the People of Puerto Rico

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- A Sioux Falls man and a native of Puerto Rico could soon be reunited with his family from Puerto Rico, after losing communication with them, when Hurricane Maria hit the island on September 20th. The impact of Hurricane Maria knocked out power lines, leaving thousands on the island without electricity, or communication with loved ones.

“We were talking before until everything stopped in the morning,” says Juan Bonilla, as he explains when he lost communication with his sister.

Nine days of silence, the toughest nine days of Juan Bonilla’s life. That’s how long it took until he finally heard from his sister, but still no word from his dad. 

“I only sent a friend of mine to go to his house, to see how he was there and he said he’s alive,” says Bonilla.

Bonilla says from the very moment he saw the news of Hurricane Maria, he was terrified for his family.

“They don’t have nothing, they don’t have any food, no water, no electricity, no communication,” says Bonilla.

However, the struggles continue to get worse for his family and thousands in the island, fighting to get food and water.

“6 o’clock in the morning to 4 o’clock in the afternoon to go inside the only supermarket to buy only a few things,” says Bonilla, as he describes how long it took his sister to get to the market.

He says what’s, even more, heartbreaking is the lack of help from the federal government.

“When things like this happen, they move immediately and the help is there. Why they are not doing the same thing with the U.S. territory, that is Puerto Rico,” says Bonilla.

As the cries of help from Puerto Ricans continue to echo, Bonilla can’t help but join them and he hopes the president is listening.

“You have to do the most you can do to save those lives today, not tomorrow, tomorrow will be late to save 3.5 million human beings in that island,” says Bonilla.

Bonilla says he is looking for a way to get his father from the western part of the island to the airport, so he and his sister can board their flight, which is expected to land in Omaha on October 10th.

Bonilla has lived in Sioux Falls for 15 years, the last time he was in Puerto Rico was last year. 

 

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