FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Puerto Rico is still facing an uphill battle after Hurricanes Jose and Maria devastated the island, and one local man has witnessed that devastation first hand.
"There was a lot of debris. A lot of destruction. Poles down and things like that."
That's how local business owner David Hernandez described the scene when he and his friend, and Puerto Rico native, Juan Caldaron, landed on the island two weeks ago to help with hurricane relief efforts.
He says people there are really struggling.
"Supplies aren't really getting to people inside the island, in the center of the island. It's hard to get to them. So there are some helicopters dropping some things off, but some of the government officials there are keeping things to themselves so the people themselves aren't getting everything they should."
The two men provided supplies such as food, flashlights and car chargers so the Puerto Ricans could have some form of electricity.
David heard many stories, including one of a man being turned away from two hospitals who later died because he drank tainted water.
"They couldn't get to him in enough time that he ended up dying. You know, what it would have been to give him some penicillin or something like that to clear his body out, but, they're just not getting to everybody," said Hernandez of the the hospital situation in the American territory.
He saw all types of destruction and even witnessed citizens fleeing from their homeland, permanently.
"The people I was sitting next to on both sides were from there and they were leaving because they couldn't take it anymore and I asked her 'so what are you doing with your house?' She said 'Well, it's just going to sit there."
Hernandez believes that, despite his efforts, there was still more he could have done.
"I really felt like I didn't do enough and I don't think it would have mattered how much I would have done, I still don't think it would have been enough because there is so much to be done."
If you want to help David in the relief efforts, here is how
- Donate on a GoFundMe page he set up (click here)
- Take supplies to Sud'n Impact Gym at the following address: 2429 W Main St, Fort Wayne, IN 46808
- Call the gym at (260) 602-7039 and ask David directly what they need