opinion | If Puerto Rico Has a Future, It Will Be Because of Its Young People

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I didn’t spend Maria in Puerto Rico. He was teaching the Puerto Rican team at a Mathematical Olympiad in Argentina. But as everything happened in Mayaguez and thought of my wife and daughter, I felt very sad. When we were finally able to return and I drove the competing boys to their families, I sadly gave Mayaguez the guide. sad panorama left by the storm,

The youth are doing what the state should do.  It is both optimistic and desperate, writes Arturo Portnoy.
The youth are doing what the state should do. It is both optimistic and desperate, writes Arturo Portnoy. (Vanessa Serra Diaz)

This time I had also planned a trip, but a few days ago, when it was clear that Fiona might be terrible, I canceled everything to spend with the family. The wait seemed long, endless, and then how long the wind and rain took. My daughter and wife had their moments of re-living experiences during Maria and feeling overwhelmed and saddened. At least being able to be together made me feel calmer, but there were times when I felt Frustration that the event was already over.

rain, immense, endless, Water leaked into our house and we had to map several hours until it passed. Our neighbor’s half mahogany collapsed at the entrance to our carport. The noise startled us all. If there was a car… it would have taken us several hours to clean that marquee. A large branch of an acacia tree fell on our solar panels, which fortunately did not break.

On the fifth day without lights, already with intermittent water and telecommunications. In a country where things normally work out well, everything will be predictable, very avoidable. But Puerto Rico has been plunged into a sea of ​​deep and deep corruption over the years., nothing has been done here since maria, And I think that’s the most frustrating feeling. Puerto Rico doesn’t wake up, He drags himself into a quagmire of looting and disorder. And when he wakes up, the suitcases have to be prepared and emigrated.

There is no doubt that many people can die due to lack of water and electricity: the weakest, the poorest, the abandoned, We are lucky, we are uncomfortable, but we are not short of shelter, food, essentials.

But to think about the future of Puerto Rico in the light of the experiences of recent years, and to see how they did not even include the West in the disaster declaration, is to plunge into a dark and uncertain abyss. It’s dark.

My daughter is out on the street, helping out in a solidarity brigade, as she has done since the program ended and it was possible to go down to 108. youth are doing what the state should do, It is both optimistic and desperate, because the state apparatus is fine for these moments. If Puerto Rico has a future, it will be because of its young people, who seek new paths and forms, and move away from cronyism, convenience, corruption and all the tricks that keep us where we are.

In short, I don’t see the future clearly. What I see is a thick, suffocating haze. I have seen vultures flying overhead. I see greed and excessive selfishness. I hope I am tired and wrong.

Read more:

Hurricane Fiona: Solidarity and Activism from the Diaspora, by Arlene Davila

Naked Government, Johnny F. by Rulan Schmidt

Beyond Resilience: A Country in Continuous Improvement by Lilium Pabon

The Destruction of Fiona: Another Consequence of Climate Change by Edwin Hernandez Delgados

Fiona and the Two Puerto Ricans by Leo Aldridge



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