In Puerto Rico, frustrated parents wonder when schools will reopen. It may be a while

Tim Johnson, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in Weather News

One of its students, Leonardo Rivera, 17, a senior, voiced angst about how he would complete his final year of high school and get to university.

"We're going to get really behind," he said. "It's not good. It's frustrating."

He and his 16-year-old sister, Gabriela, live in a sturdy concrete home that suffered little damage. Their mother, Wanda Alvarez de Jesus, is a member of the Yabucoa municipal council. Their fate is far better than that of many families.

They have a generator that they turn on for periods throughout the day and night, four hours on, four hours off, to power a refrigerator and some lights.

But the two spoke of cabin fever and the disruption of their lives.

"You get used to a routine, and with something like this it changes drastically," Leonardo said.


Gabriela fidgeted with her smart phone. "There's no 3G," she said. No signal meant no reception, no texts to friends, no fun. "We're suffering, it's true."

As he waited to fill a jerry can at a local gas station, a government employee who works for Medicare, Humberto Piovanetti, said he had already paid for the placement of his 10-year-old daughter, Angelisse, in a private school.

"The school is completely destroyed. We don't know when it will reopen," Piovanetti said.

With no phone service, no electricity other than generators, and daily struggles to buy food, Piovanetti said he had little news of how his family would endure the coming weeks and months.


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