Since Hurricane Maria made landfall in September 2017, Puerto Rico has been devastated. It was the strongest storm to make landfall in Puerto Rico in 85 years. It came ashore with sustained winds of 155mph, knocking out power to the entire island. Trees were uprooted, homes were destroyed, and there was widespread flooding, leaving thousands of residents in need of assistance.
As soon as John Carluccio had heard of the devastation in Puerto Rico he knew that he wanted to help and decided he would be part of a mission trip.
“I remember watching news coverage of the Hurricane Maria devastation and the lack of proper aid the people of Puerto Rico were receiving. My heart broke for this country and especially the people who didn’t have the resources to bounce back. The church I attend, Hoboken Grace, just came out with their 2018 mission trips and Puerto Rico was one of them. I knew I had to go assist in any way I could. In the last week of February, a group of 10 people from Hoboken Grace and another group of 12 from another NJ church arrived in the city of Guaynabo, eager to spend the next week serving in any way possible. The city we stayed in was, for the most part, back to normal operations, but the mountainous and rural communities were still without electricity, five-plus months after the storm. The group spent half the week distributing food and water to these remote regions of the island, one day with the assistance of the Army National Guard. The other half of the trip we broke into smaller groups and assisted residents with repairing their homes. This consisted of roof and water system repair, building concrete block walls, installing new doors, clearing and cutting vegetation, and removal of debris and mold-filled belongings. Given our group’s various talents, there was no task we weren’t willing to take on. The trip was an invaluable experience and although we ended each day filthy and tired, it was well worth it. Only a handful of us were fluent in Spanish, so at times it was difficult to communicate, but in the end, we were there to love and everyone knows the language of love.”
Saratoga Associates is very proud of John and his team’s effort to help make a positive impact on a currently devastated territory.