Lurian’s family was hit by both Hurricane Irma and Maria in 2017. When Irma hit first, it took out the electricity and water supply. When Maria hit a few weeks later, water began entering her home from everywhere, even blowing through windows and doors. Although Lurian made a makeshift channel of towels and sheets to guide the water outside, the water level eventually reached 18 inches high in the house. For the next six months, Lurian and her family had no water or electricity, and the families difficulties worsened. All of their belongings were destroyed, furniture was ruined, and the roof continued to leak. Both of her daughters needed surgery for their scoliosis, but there was no money left. Then, Lurian lost her job. After that, Lurian fell into a depression, but she persevered.
Last year, Lurian managed to find part-time, and then full-time work at “Jovenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo,” a non-profit for at-risk youth living in Puerto Rico. In her time of need, all Lurian could think to do was give. Her compassion is endless.
In what spare time she has left, Lurian runs the non-profit “Educa sin Limite,” (Education Without Limit). This organization runs programs to provide resources, guidance, and food for the needy; particularly for the elderly community who can’t prepare or afford their own food. They also lead families in activities to help them overcome their difficulties. These programs include family dance workshops, educational talks, support groups, community initiatives, family reading and nutrition activities, sports festivals, family cinema, and summer activities for children and youth.
Despite fighting her own battles, Lurian has been a constant champion for her family and her community. Lurian began the recovery process for her family by finding new solutions to the continuing problems. She washed clothes by hand, collected rainwater to flush the toilet, and went to a family’s house for drinking water and showers. Last week, both the water and the electricity went out for several days due to storms. The electrical wiring she now has is a temporary, jury-rigged setup. She cannot repair it until water stops coming through her roof.
NECHAMA has been working on her roof for over a week in an effort to stop the leaks permanently so that her family can finally move forward. We have been so humbled by Lurian’s courage and persistence, and amazed by what she is able to accomplish every day even with few resources, little money, and disabled children. She has inspired our staff and volunteers, and she continues to teach others to never stop giving — even if there is not much to give. At NECHAMA we always say there are many ways of giving, and Lurian manages to give in every way she can.