Puerto Ricans migrate to Delmarva

Puerto Ricans have arrived to Delmarva since Hurricane Maria last year in September.

They are part of a large exodus of migrants who are escaping from shortages of water, electricity and food happening on the island.

Some families are seeking for refuge and job opportunities for a better life.

It's a different experience and sometimes leaving behind those you love is very hard, especially knowing that the island is still struggling,” said Alana Paduea.

Paduea is a new resident from Puerto Rico who arrived to Dover earlier this year to live with her mother.

She says the hurricane damaged roads and bridges that were connected to her town.

My sister and I had to look for different places to get water to drink and take a bath because there just wasn't any,” said Paduea.

A local restaurant in Dover called El Coqui also felt the impact of the hurricane after the owner had to bring her brother and his family from Puerto Rico.

The owner, Alexandra Torres, said she had to wait for three weeks to hear back from her brother. When her brother finally reached her, he immediately asked her to help him leave the island.

“I was so worried,” said Torres.

“Many brothers and many mothers and fathers experienced so much pain – it’s something nobody should ever experience,” she says.

Her brother, Wilfredo, said that he worked as a chef in Puerto Rico, but he now has to work different jobs like construction to help pay bills.

Wilfredo also says he would love to return to the island, but he does not think of returning any time soon.

Instead, he looks forward to making a better life for him and his family on Delmarva.

"Of course I would love to return to Puerto Rico, but because of money, I can't," said Wilfredo. 

Categories: Delaware, Local News