Hurricane Maria Brings In Students From Puerto Rico

Mackens Mitil, Staff Writer

Citizens from Puerto Rico are making their way to the United States. Those who are coming here are searching for a suitable environment after Hurricane Maria took that away from them.

“It was horrible and difficult there. My dad is here and the rest of my family is in Puerto Rico,” Natalie Bonilla said in her native language, Spanish.

Children and adults come to the United States from Puerto Rico speaking little to no English.  School counselors enroll most of the students from Puerto Rico in the school’s Developmental Language Arts through ESOL classes, which help students learn English.

“Some schools are closed down in Puerto Rico. Kids come here in order to continue their education,” said Katherine Montes, the teacher who runs DLA. Montes teaches students how to speak English in order to attend school and understand others in their daily life.

Luis Rivera, a student who enrolled in DLA, moved to America before the hurricane. “I moved to the United States before the hurricane and lived with my mother,” Rivera said. “My father is still in Puerto Rico. We’ve contacted him before and after the hurricane, but we [have not] called him ever since. Our house was flooded and destroyed.”