Provi Davila Torres, 63, Caretaker, Yabucoa

“I prayed to God and to Our Lady, I am Catholic. I looked for all my religious metals and virgin and the Heart of Jesus I put them on the windows, doors, and my cars. “Take care of us and of our things,” I prayed, “we don’t have much. When “the thing” started to blow, a sound so strong, hours and hours passed, like a drill, when you are making a hole in the wall. The sounds of the wind–we heard voices, my son felt the earth moving, we felt tornadoes, it was like a bomb, like many people were throwing bombs, and bombs, and bombs. It was very impressive. It was here for more than 20 hours — from 6 am on Sept 20th and at 6 am on September 21st we were still feeling those winds. We could hear the winds destroying the trees, we heard things crashing, We were aware that there was no water coming in the house. And we knew that at any time the doors and windows would fly off.”

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Ana Elisa Pérez Quintero, 28, Agroecologist, Monte Carmelo, Vieques

“When you work with the earth and plant what you consume you are literally liberating yourself from the most basic necessity which is to eat. If we produce our food we are also in the process liberating ourselves. With a little land, everyone can produce the most essential for daily living. It’s the most practical way of living especially in a nation where we have been taught to depend, to receive food from somewhere else, and we don’t even know where it’s coming from.”

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Gladys Nazario, 61, Ethnobotanist, Professor, Utuado

“The hurricane was terrible, just devastating, The trees disappeared. But it was also extremely magical too. The way nature behaved. The way trees behaved. There are people suffering, without food and water. But this was the best thing that happened–it was a necessary revolution. The hurricane was a necessary evil.We needed something like this to become aware of all the things that were happening and to stop it. I have hope in the students and in the youth of Puerto Rico– they are reacting in a marvelous way.”

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Pedro L. Tellado Perez, 53, Farmer, Peñuelas

“I had horses, geese, sheep, roosters, chickens, goats, corinas, a special kind of messenger pigeon, bees. I had over 300 farm animals. I have one hundred twenty five left. The goats left and came back after the storm. I had to bury my sheep and covered the carcasses of my chickens with the earth, The horses survived. My animals were traumatized.”

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