Our work in Puerto Rico has led us to meet amazing people of all ages and backgrounds. Their lives were forever marked by Hurricane María but their spirits are as strong as ever. We will write some of their stories. This is Don Hansel.

Hansel Arroyo was born in New York in 1928. For decades he has lived in Santurce. He is beloved by his community. After graduating from Central High School in Santurce he dedicated his life to writing and telling people’s stories. He also wrote a few songs including Colobó, a hit interpreted by the great Ismael Rivera, who lived in his same neighbourhood of Machuchal in Santurce.

His life is narrated in the book: Hansel: Un puertorriqueño para recordar by Olga María Poueymirou. Hansel lost part of his roof to Hurricane María. The hurricane left half of his apartment exposed to rain and sun. And he was, like millions of people, without power for months.

A tarp was installed by his neighbors and a group or volunteers. The tarp was one of hundreds provided by the efforts of Acacia Network and Ayuda Puerto Rico. A lot still needs to be done.