Starting Over: Life in the Midstate After Hurricane Maria

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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, April 2, 2018:

Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico late in September and into early October of last year.  Maria came two weeks after Hurricane Irma, which also hit Puerto Rico.  Some 150,000 homes and businesses in Puerto Rico are still without electricity – six months after the storms.

Thousands of Puerto Ricans left the island to escape the destruction.  Many of them came to Central Pennsylvania.  On Monday and Tuesday, Smart Talk looks at the challenges those displaced families face in housing, food, transportation, education and more in a project called Starting Over: Life in the Midstate After Hurricane Maria.

Our guests include Gloria Vasquez Merrick, Executive Director at the Latino Hispanic American Community Center of the Greater Harrisburg Region and Kenny Montijo, CEO, United Way of Lebanon County.

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Kenny Montijo

Also, Hurricane Maria and the power grid just added to the challenges facing Puerto Rico.  The island has been facing a long-standing debt crisis.  Many people living on the mainland don’t realize that Puerto Ricans are American citizens and often that has kept them from helping.

Joining us to discuss Puerto Rico’s history and challenges it faces is Professor Marisol Lebron, Assistant Professor of American Studies at Dickinson College and author of the soon-to-be-published book, Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence and Resistance in Puerto Rico.