PORTLAND, Ore. -- Karlo Prado is chef and owner of Carlito’s Cocina, a food cart at the Portland Mercado on Southeast Foster Road.
He has family in Puerto Rico and says, thankfully, that they are okay after Hurricane Maria battered the island.
Lately, he’s seen an outpouring of support from the tight-knit Puerto Rican community in Portland, and says he’s even taking donations of cash at his cart to help pay to ship supplies to families in need.
“It’s devastating, it’s a humanitarian crisis, so we all can pull together,” Prado said. “I know the island is strong and resilient even though two hurricanes it will be strong, at the end of it, but we all need to pull together as a family and a community.”
He also wants people to donate to a supply drive, hosted by local Puerto Rican families in Southeast Portland. You can find information about that here.
Red Cross volunteers from Oregon, like Eugene's Carisa Hettich, are in Puerto Rico right now or headed that way. Right now she is in Texas helping with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
“They sent us a packing list, they said bring your own toilet paper, and put everything into a backpack, because the roads can be bad to walk on,” said Hettich. “You can’t rely on gasoline and cars.”
Julia Bishop is another Red Cross volunteer who helped for weeks during Oregon’s wildfires. She just left Puerto Rico, and is now in St. Thomas helping coordinate supplies to send to Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico is in desperate need of water and food they need a lot of help,” Bishop said, as she talked about long gas lines, and no phone or internet service. “They’re trying to do what they can to get back on their feet but it’s pretty rough.”