A lot of Teamsters made sacrifices to go to Puerto Rico to help out those affected by Hurricane Maria. For Local 631 member Marcos Cruz, that meant one of his most prized possessions.
“My employer, LV Paving, told me that my job would be waiting for me when I get back,” Cruz said. “Still, I’m going to be off of work for some time, so I sold my Harley Davidson. My son was okay with it, but my daughter? Not so happy. But I was born here. My family owns homes here. My brother runs a small business here.”
Cruz has been working sixteen-hour days to get Puerto Rico back on its feet, filling a multitude of roles as a relief worker.
“If they need me to shuttle electricians to the hospital at 11:30 at night, I’ll jump in a van and bring whoever they need to the hospital,” Cruz said. “If they need me to go to the airport, I do that. I’m taking a teacher to a small town and I’m delivering 16 pallets of water that were donated from Brooklyn Assemblywoman Maritza Davila – it’s been non-stop. My days go so fast, it’s like I blink and it’s already midnight. But every hour that goes by, it’s getting better.”
Despite the challenges he’s encountered, Cruz plans on staying for at least a month, and he says he will also be making several trips back and forth over the course of the next year.
“My heart is broken for my island; it’s going to take years for it to get back to where it needs to be,” Cruz said. “Six months, a year from now, I want Puerto Rico to be what it has always been called: the island of enchantment.”
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