Interview with Maria Milagros Vazquez, Adjuntas, PR
Name: Maria Milagros Vazquez
Telephone: 787-312-2357 (cell)
Mailing & Physical Address: Carretera Lago Garza, Buzon HC35514, Adjuntas, PR 00601
Alternate Contact: Celedonia Ramos Torres (mother); Telephone 939-422-0347 (text message only). Interviewer: Myriam Morales Vega
When Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico, Maria Milagros Vazquez went to a shelter where she spent 6 days. She states that the conditions at the shelter were pretty bad — crowded and people didn’t want to help or cooperate. The facilities were dirty and she had to always be on alert. Her brother lives stateside and has a house there. He has allowed Maria to use his house with her son, Eric Joel Martinez, 18 years old and still in school. Her house is uninhabitable because the roof flew off and she lost everything. Her sister, who has two children, went to stay with their mother. Maria’s sister also lost the roof on her house, but her husband fixed it and she is now back home.
When asked what her immediate needs are, Maria says, “I need everything! I have nothing. My refrigerator was damaged. I was able to borrow one, but it’s not mine. I don’t have a bed. Nothing, I have absolutely nothing.” When asked if someone wants to send her items via mail, she answered, “I honestly don’t know how to answer that as I’m not thinking of that. I truly need the roof in my house fixed. I don’t have beds. I lost my job after Hurricane Maria and just got one 5 months ago at a factory in Adjuntas.” Maria is asthmatic. Asthma is triggered by environmental issues. She uses an OTC pump because she doesn’t have health insurance. Lost insurance when she lost her job.
Maria’s stated that local government gave her very little assistance because the road to her neighborhood is very dangerous to travel on. She never heard from FEMA and the only organization that helped them was CASA PUEBLO. They provided water, water filters, and food.
Prior to the hurricane, Maria loved to walk around her neighborhood. Her favorite thing about Puerto Rico is the town she lives in. She said, “I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything.”