Before Hurricane Maria, Maria worked at a local restaurant. After it was destroyed in the hurricane, she was left unemployed, with a severely damaged home, and a daughter and grandchildren to care for.

Last Christmas, Maria was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was still looking for a job and, despite the small patches she had made herself, the structure of her home was still in dire condition. With fleeting hope, she prayed for help. She expressed to us that when we arrived at the beginning of the new year, she felt her prayers had finally been answered.

The atmosphere at Maria’s home is always lively. The children love to laugh and play with our volunteers, and often invite them to break from their work for impromptu dance parties. Most days Maria cooks lunch for our team which, until we provided her with a new stove, was always prepared over a wood flame.

Our team is grateful for the chance to become so close with Maria and her family, and for the warm, generous, and fun work environment they create every day.