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Local Red Cross volunteers set to help Puerto Rico in wake of Hurricane Fiona

Posted at 6:25 AM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 07:25:09-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Yet again, Puerto Ricans have to start picking up the pieces after a devastating hurricane.

The whole island of Puerto Rico was without electricity when tropical storm turned Hurricane Fiona devastated the country.

Even with a quarter of the country now with electricity, help is still needed.

Danny Robles is working as a contractor here in Corpus Christi, but his family is in Puerto Rico.

“They are still trying to recuperate from Hurricane Maria and now Fiona came," Robles said the Puerto Rican native. "They don't have any lights or water. It's real hard to get food from the stores. They're having a hard time."

Robles' cousin was going to check on their grandmother who lives alone. But the storm has given him hurdles to overcome at each turn.

"When I went to go to my grandmother's house, which is like 5 minutes away, I looked outside and the road to get to my grandma's house, there was a big tree in the middle of the street," said Robles cousin Isaac Melendez from Puerto Rico.

Luckily there is a brave couple that will be traveling to Puerto Rico as volunteers for the American Red Cross.

Navidad Luna and Jessie Garcia-Luna have dozens of Red Cross deployments under their belt. Navidad has volunteered for over eight years while Jessie has served seven years.

“Were real excited to get there and put ourselves to work there, to help them because they need a lot of help down there,” said Jessie.

“I’ve been there before for the earthquakes," Navidad said. "I found out these people, they are beautiful there. They are so humble, so caring and they welcomed us with open arms.”

The couple said their primary duty will be to act as translators. But the two of them have experience across the board from case work, feeding and anything that’s asked of them.

“It might be that they’ll say oh you know what, they really need y'all over here right now instead of going to go translate for anyone," Jessie said. "Might say you know what, we need you to go and talk to these people and see what they need. Or we can be feeding people, it just depends.”

Jessie added when their service time is up, it’s hard to leave because those people are now part of their lives.

The volunteers will leave at noon on Thursday.

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