"The island is trying to survive, this is not living" quote by Joselynn Cortes, photographer and Queens native who has recently volunteered her time and much attention to the relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Along with starting a GoFundme page that has raised almost $5K in little over a month, Joselynn has spearheaded multiple hurricane relief drives for Puerto Rico.
Cortes, also of Puerto Rican descent, made her first trip to Puerto Rico on Friday, October 6th, 3 weeks after Hurricane Maria initially hit. She arrived into the capital of San Juan on a one-way ticket, with over 350 pounds of supplies to disperse. She rented a car, and with a simple map, and NO GPS, Joselynn drove the entirety of the island, visiting Quebradillas, Utuado, Lares, Aguadilla, Aguada, Rincon, Moca, Mayaguez, Guanica, Yauco, Maunabo, Yabucoa, Humacao, Trujillo Alto, La Perla, Guajataca Dam, Patillas, Caguas, and San Lorenzo.
Joselynn passed each town, not only dropping off items, but also taking inventory of relief items still needed from the mouths of the folks of the island. Joselynn also spend valuable time with the people of Puerto Rico, hearing their tales of survival and their stories of Puerto Rican orgullo, stories of strength under fire, all while documenting her journey for 7 days.
Her second go-round was on November 2nd, where she stayed for 2 weeks and saw the same families she saw on her first visit, with all the items she promised she would bring back to the island.
Tonight, Joselynn will host "Poco-A-Poco" a photo inspired fundraiser, where she will feature photos and raw footage of a hurricane devastated island at Hello Brooklyn located at 234 Union Ave, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Come out to hear her story, view her photos, and support a Puerto Rico still in dire need of help, 2 months after the storm.
Photo by Joselynn Cortes Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez