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Destroyed home in Puerto Rico. Photo by Representative Amy Mercado
Local News

Intersection: An Update On Puerto Rico, 5 Months After Maria


Five months after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, knocking out power and crippling infrastructure on the island, power and access to basics like clean water remain an issue for residents there. Intersection takes a look at how far the recovery effort has come, and what life is like for Puerto Ricans who’ve moved to Florida.
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Photo: Erik Hersman, Flickr.
Puerto Rico

Intersection: How Will Newly Arrived Puerto Ricans Affect Battleground Florida?


More than 200,000 Puerto Ricans have fled the island since Hurricane Maria, with many choosing to call central Florida home. Welcome centers at the airport and beyond have been helping new arrivals with housing, health care and employment. Step one is rebuilding their lives. But already some community organizers, politicians and others are wondering how these new arrivals will affect Florida politics.
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Photo by Monivette Cordeiro, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

The Puerto Rican Exodus to Central Florida


Two years ago, Betsy Franceschini was getting at least 100 inquiries a day to her Kissimmee office from Puerto Ricans desperate for a better life. Thousands of families fled the U.S. territory in 2015 for the metro Orlando area because of its crushing financial crisis and $72 billion debt. As the director of Florida’s regional Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration office, Franceschini helped new arrivals connect with agencies that could provide help. It was overwhelming then – but Franceschini says it’s nothing compared to the “unprecedented” exodus of Puerto Ricans who are now trying to escape to places like Orlando in the face of deteriorating conditions on the demolished colony in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Florida is expected to …
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