Some encounters change you forever. This Puerto Rico trip was life changing, to say the least, but one person in particular made it more so.
I met 91 year-old Isidoro Torres in Vega Baja today. You’d never guess, seeing that big smile, the hardships he’s gone through.
After Hurricane Maria, volunteers began passing out food and other supplies to the Vega Baja community. That’s when they discovered that the 91 year-old was living in a shack. And I’m not talking about a dilapidated home— this couldn’t even be classified as a home. It was literally multiple pieces of broken wood nailed together, with a corrugated steel roof, dirt floors, and nothing else. No running water - just a broken, dirt covered toilet and a bucket for showers. It was unlivable. No one should have to live that way, let alone a 91 year old man with no family. He’d been living in there for roughly twenty years.
I started crying when we walked inside. It was just a lot to take in.
You’ll see it for yourself once the story airs. It’ll break your heart.
But for Isidoro, Hurricane Maria was a blessing in disguise.
Because of the hurricane, he was able to get much needed help. Volunteers started pouring in over the next few months, and they built him a cute little wooden house. It’s still not 100% done but he’s already moved in and is loving his new life.
You know what the craziest thing is? His upbeat and optimistic outlook, despite everything. This man literally had NOTHING, but his liveliness, faith, and gratitude (not to mention humor) just blew me away.
I think we could all be a little more like Isidoro.
And just like Isidoro, the dozens of people I met during this trip showed a resilience and positivity despite the struggles.
I can’t wait to share all these stories with you soon. The world needs to hear their voices. #puertorico#puertoricoselevanta 🇵🇷