Seven humanitarian groups from all over the country came together Sunday under the umbrella of the Puerto Rico Recovery Alliance to bring much-needed aid to the island.
Ever since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the groups of volunteers that make up the alliance have been making individual trips to the U.S. territory to help.
Their mission on Sunday was to deliver 30,000 pounds of medical supplies to hospitals in Puerto Rico — and evacuate about 80 people in need of medical assistance or other support they can’t get on the island.
For this trip, some college students left campus in the midst of finals.
Valerie Edmondson Bolaños, founder of the organization Warrior Angels Rescue, brought these teams together. To her it made sense to pool resources. "We can meet those needs much sooner and on a much larger scale," said Bolaños.
After the supplies were unloaded at the airport in Aguadilla, on the northwestern tip of the island, evacuees boarded the chartered plane. Crystal Ramos Morales made the trip to Florida with her 14-year-old daughter.
"My daughter has a tumor in her head. Before Maria, there was only three neurosurgeons in Puerto Rico. After Maria, there’s not much to say about that one," said Ramos.
Before the plane returned to Miami, Puerto Rican doctor Hector Aviles asked for a message to be sent back: "Please don’t forget about us. Many people are suffering from lack of food, lack of medication."
After landing, emotional reunions with family and friends awaited the passengers.