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Anniversary Reflection

Many people have issues dealing with emotion in their everyday lives. Puerto Ricans mental health is higher than ever before because of Hurricane Maria. The mental health of Puerto Ricans is negatively affected after the tragedy of Hurricane Maria. Living in bad conditions, months of living without power, in damaged homes without enough food, left many suffering from anxiety, stress and depression. Having to travel long distances to get food is depressing.

After the disaster, Puerto Ricans have been going through mental health issues in relation to emotion, physical, economic and other matters. I choose to talk about individual and family experience living in such a dysfunctional environment. This is a trauma and psychological issue to the community. As a territory of the United States, Puerto Ricans were supposed to received a total resilience from the United States government. Going thought this disaster and not having the support from the people expected to support them, have an effect on people’s lives. People are forced to adapt to the environment they live in. This situation leaves them with no hope for the future of Puerto Rico. Everyone affected by the hurricane, did not recover. The wealthy people did not have to struggle with the lack of electricity or water. Whereas the poorest are suffering to have water or electricity. Homelessness rate increased because it was hard for them to survive where everything was inaccessible to them.

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As today we are celebrating Maria’s anniversary, Puerto Ricans are living a catastrophic disaster. Hurricane Maria did not only destroy homes but also increased the issue of homelessness which was already an issue. As their community totally changes as they adapt to a new environment and survive with what they have access to, for example, people were using natural resources to provide for themselves. Puerto Ricans had already been in crisis way before Maria and after Maria. Negative events happening chronically to this community, like having hurricane every season. Hurricane Maria hit the island two weeks after Hurricane Irma, the back to back disasters cause mental illnesses. These people have lost close relatives, which have a huge impact in their emotional stability. The Hurricane itself left the community with a higher mental health crisis. Should this be considerate as an American disaster?

Every family and individual was dealing with a psychological distress due to their own experience and what people around them were experiencing. The idea of normalcy is missing in this community, because they lost everything. Which can make you forget about yourself to make others feel better. Puerto Ricans wanted to hold each other up in a certain way, as they did not want their family members to break down emotionally. The stage of mind that these people are experiencing is not imaginable. Socialization was their strongest weapon, the community was dead and were trying to live again on their island. Some people did not want to leave their home. Others do not have an opportunity of leaving because they do not have nowhere to go, neither they can not build their houses again. They cannot have access to resources to recover.


Thinking of the children and parents relationship after the disaster. I can relate to these parents, sisters, and brothers. These adults have to hold on to their emotional feelings. They have to pretend that they are well to make the younger feel better, loved and safe. Puerto Ricans have to give up a lot of stuff for their relatives. People have half of their family on the other side of the world, because there were no jobs and migration was separating families. Some parents have to send their children to migrate, where they stay in the island, because they could not afford to send the whole family. In the aspects of what sacrifices parents make for the well being of their children, giving up to their personal desire to seek a better life for their children, even if they are away from them. Parents overall goals is to save their children even though they are not safe. This has to deal with their emotions of fear, afraid to not offer the best life for their children.

After the hurricane their community seen to be strong and also got weaker in different ways. The depression level have gone higher, because people have gone through a huge disaster that affect their mental health. This has an indirect impact on the death rate in Puerto Rico. Even people who needed help the most was hard to research out to because they could not move around the island, traveling was challenging. These people are still waiting for the government to help. Out of personal experience, you can also feel for others, who were dealing with worse things than you. You might be helping others, when you need held at the same moments, because they need mental support more than you do. Over all Puerto Ricans have negative thoughts about being able to overcome this disaster. Most Puerto Ricans might develop some kind of mental health. Hurricane Maria tragedy have chance a lot of these people’s lives. The trauma in this community has gotten worse after Maria.


  1. Mental health is an important topic more now a days than ever before and Hurricane Maria caused many issues to arise just as you mentioned. Like you said not knowing when you are going to get power back or where your next meal is going to come from is extremely traumatic. In the grand scope of things mental health can be over looked for the more in your face aspects of the disaster like loss of homes and deaths but it is important and more help is needed to help people suffering.

  2. The inequality of suffering based whether you were rich or poor on the island is an important aspect of the disaster of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. This along with the mental health aspect of recovery on the population is important to consider.

  3. I think this topic is an incredibly important one when discussing natural disasters. I appreciated that you brought up the issue of homelessness too, because that can often be tied to issues with mental health, and I believe it is widely overlooked, especially in relation to these disasters.

  4. I really appreciate you speaking on mental health, especially the mental health of the disaster survivors. This was a great piece, highlighting the mental health and the recovery in Puerto Rico.

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