When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, the storm damaged 45% of children’s homes, making life in Puerto Rico harder. Among those children were more than 2,000 in the care of the government. When shelters operated by the Department of Family Affairs were hit, they experienced a microcosm of the storm itself. One shelter for girls held a 'pajama party' the night of the storm, only to lose power along with 95% of the island; another, high up in the mountains, lost access to water for three weeks. In a shelter that was badly damaged by the storm, boys worried that the shelter would close and they would be separated from their friends, while others worried for the safety of the families members in other areas of the island.
Two years later, the shelters are rebuilt, and former residents say that it was faith and community that got them through the storm. Read more about the children of Hurricane Maria in News21's project State of Emergency.