Editor’s Note: News 8 WROC reporter Josh Navarro is in Puerto Rico to witness the recovery efforts from devastating earthquakes first hand.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (WROC) — We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after a delay in our flight from Rochester. As soon as we landed, we got our rental car and went straight to a protest at the capitol building at 5 p.m. Thursday.
I have never seen so many locals come out to demonstrate. They were angry and it showed, protesting their current Governor, Wanda Vazquez. The protest comes after an abundance of relief supplies were found in a shared house in Ponce, a city on the southern part of the island and one of the hardest hit areas from the December earthquake.
People with T-shirts, signs, and painted faces showed their feelings toward the local government’s handle of the emergency response. Demonstrators had Vazquez jailed in props, puppets, and even brought in a guillotine. As you can see, these people have strong feelings toward their governor.
These types of protests, at times, are star-studded. At this particular one, Puerto Rican rap artist Residente showed up and led the march to the Torre la Fortaleza, the iconic fort in Viejo San Juan with views of the ocean.
It started to rain, but it didn’t stop the protesters and masses of local media, as well as some from Miami, huddled in front of the demonstration.
Friday I head to Guanica and Yauco, to view the disaster areas. We’re also going to meet parents from a family who lives in Rochester, whose neighborhood in the mountains, outside of Tent City, needs help.
Monday, a News 8 and Red Cross telethon helped raised nearly $14,000 for Puerto Rico earthquake relief. A big thank you to everyone who donated and to the volunteers for contributing their time to help.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we follow along with Josh’s recovery tour of Puerto Rico.