NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City’s Puerto Rican community marked its first Christmas Monday since Hurricane Maria devastated the homeland.
WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp talked with an East Harlem man who shared the spirit of giving as his family recovered.
Rafael Torres is a caretaker at the Pleasant Village Community Garden off East 119th Street.
“We like to help,” he said.
But this year, he is also busy helping 16 relatives who escaped Caguas, Puerto Rico, which still has no power. They are all staying at his mother’s place in Orlando, which meant getting creative.
“So we buy the little cabins at a Home Depot, and everybody got a little room,” he said. “It’s not a room, it’s a little shack. But it’s better than being in Puerto Rico.”
Many now live in the backyard while hoping to go home.
“So that’s my wish,” Torres said. “All people — we got to be united, be together and help each other.”