I met Anibal Mojica in November 2017 while bringing relief supplies in his neighborhood of Punta Santiago, Humacao. Anibal’s house was one of the many in the area that still had the belongings of the residents scattered all throughout the property.
I stopped to take a photo of the devastation caused by Maria, when I heard a man calling from across the street. It was Anibal. He was very welcoming and open to sharing his experiences of what he saw during and after the hurricane.
He shared that unfortunately he was sleeping across the street at a neighbors house, on a table on the front porch. As he walked us through his property showing us where his bedroom was, where his kitchen was … etc, I asked what was he going to do with all of his things that were scattered around? He said he was going to throw them away because the ocean water and rain caused too much water damage. Shortly after, as I was taking photos of his property and speaking with him. He shows me one of his film cameras that was damaged by the salt water. He shared that he also loved to take pictures. This was one of his belongings that he planned to throw away, along with his granddaughters toys, paperwork, and so much more. I humbly asked if I could take some of his things with me so he didn’t have to throw them away. So I may share his story and show his belongings to people that would never experience something like he did. To remind the world of what our people are going through, and that we will never be forgotten.
Anibal’s experience is just one of the millions of people that were thrown into a new normal way of living in Puerto Rico.