Once there, they repaired and replaced roofs, windows and doors, in addition to sanitizing and removing mold from homes.
Police paved the way for several proud Puerto Ricans as they waved their flag while marching from El Mercado to Barnard Park.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, left, greets Puerto Rico Secretary of the Department of Public Security Hector Pesquera, right, during a remembrance ceremony convened by Governor Ricardo Rossello at the San Cristobal Castle, on the anniversary of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. According to the New York Times, out of 1.1 million families who requested support from FEMA, 58% were denied, while those who were approved were given an average of $1,800 in home fix funds - more than $7,000 less than the average FEMA insurance payment for Texans hit by Hurricane Harvey the same year. Despite blue tarps still covering missing roofs on thousands of homes, and citizens living with unstable access to electricity or clean drinking water, little help has arrived from cash-strapped local governments or the Trump administration.
Cuomo also says a memorial to the victims of Maria is being planned.
Secretary Carson said his agency plans to set aside $1.5 billion as relief efforts continue in Puerto Rico. "This hit us hard". The San Juan mayor has noted that the island has seen only a fraction of nearly $50 billion in recovery funds Congress approved for Puerto Rico, including $20 billion in HUD funds.
For Carson, the disbursement of HUD funds "paves the way for a speedy, long-term recovery", but he warned that the "path forward is challenging, and will be measured not in months, but rather in years".More news: "Small Men Who Lack Vision": Imran Khan Slams India Over Cancelled Talks
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Nivia Rodriguez, a 60-year-old retiree whose uncle died a week after Maria, is among those disgruntled by Trump's comments, as well as by videos of rescue crews responding to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.
Though they feel camaraderie together gathered at a park in Allentown, they feel the government turned its back on Puerto Rico.
Like many, Rodriguez hoped that after Thursday, she would no longer be bombarded by photos and videos that make her feel like she's reliving Hurricane Maria.
"It's too much", she said.
Artist Omar Banuchi, who organized the exhibit, said he was reluctant at first, in part because he didn't know how to approach the subject.
It's against this background that the most widespread, controversial education reform efforts in Puerto Rico are playing out. There also will be live music that will incorporate sounds of the hurricane hitting the island. "But there will be certain uncomfortable moments".