This 103-year-old Puerto Rican woman survived Hurricane Maria and has been living without power.
Angela Parrilla has been reunited with her family in Florida after weeks of living in Vieques, Puerto Rico without power or running water. The 103-year-old woman rarely left Puerto Rico, according to her family, but the aftermath of Hurricane Maria left them scrambling to get her off the island as quickly as possible. Parrilla wasn’t the only person the family wanted to retrieve. NBC 6 reports that the elderly woman cares for her special needs granddaughter while dealing with her own medical issues, which include visual impairment, a blood disorder and a heart condition. Zandra Velez, Parrilla’s grandniece, told NBC 6 it was very difficult to rescue her family members.
“I needed to get them off the island,” Velez told NBC 6. “It was totally impossible to get a flight out. I called and pleaded.”
It was Senator Marco Rubio getting involved that changed everything. Rubio reportedly chartered a helicopter from Vieques to San Juan, according to NBC 6. Then, Parrilla and her granddaughter were flown to Miami thanks to the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund. Parrilla will be staying with her family in Orlando, Fla., as recovery efforts continue on the Caribbean island she calls home.
Scenes of her traumatic deportation made headlines around the world as she was forced to say goodbye to her husband (a U.S. veteran) and children back in 2018. Now, Alejandra Juarez is headed back to the United States just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day with her family.
Alejandra Juarez is back with her family three years after her very public and traumatic deportation to Mexico.
The wife of a U.S. Marine veteran, Alejandra Juarez’s deportation to Mexico made international headlines as she was forced to say goodbye to her husband and daughters at Orlando International Airport back in 2018. Many Americans found her story to be so powerful since she was married to a retired U.S. Marine, Cuauthemoc ‘Temo’ Juarez and each of her children are U.S. citizens. Not to mention Juarez had been living in the United States since she was 18 years old.
Since her deportation in 2018, Juarez has been living in Mexico but will be allowed to return to Florida – where her family is located – within the next couple of days. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted Juarez humanitarian parole
Juarez is the wife of a U.S. Marine veteran whose traumatic deportation scene at Orlando International Airport in 2018 made headlines worldwide. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted her a temporary reprieve known as humanitarian parole. Humanitarian parole allows entry to the country “due to an emergency” for someone who is otherwise not allowed to be in the country.
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for,” Juarez told the Orlando Sentinel in an exclusive interview. “Once inside, I’m going to keep fighting and hopefully there’s a way I can find a permanent solution, but this is great!”
The emergency order allows Juarez to remain in the country until she finds a solution.
Florida Rep. Darren Soto (D) has been an advocate on behalf of the Juarez family and even joined Alejandra during her tearful goodbye to her family at the Orlando Airport.
According to report by the Orlando Sun-Sentinel, Soto said that his staff had sent a letter to his contacts at the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and ICE officials, hoping they would reopen her case.
Around the same time, President Biden entered office and overturned the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy which had led to Alejandra’s deportation order. It’s also worth mentioning that Alejandra’s husband had voted for Donald Trump during the 2016 election without ever thinking that his wife could be targeted for deportation.
Congressman Soto has been a fighter for Alejandra while she’s been more than 700 miles away in Mexico and is proud to see justice for the Juarez family.
“When President Biden was elected, we knew there was a new hope of bringing her back,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “But it was Alejandra overall, who showed the tenacity and determination to stop at nothing to get back to her family.”
Juarez’s story further captured our hearts and minds as part of a Netflix series.
Despite being hundreds of miles apart, the Juarez family has not remained silent. In fact, Alejandra’s story was told as part of the Netflix documentary series Living Undocumented. Juarez, along with seven other immigrants, clips of interviews with Juarez and Estela, 10, who talks about President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on deporting those in the country without permission.
“He was going to deport criminals, but my mom is not a criminal,” Estela says. “She’s a military wife.”
And daughter Estela even took her mother’s case to the presidential campaign, when she read a powerful letter to then-President Donald Trump detailing her mother’s case and the agony her family has suffered. Thankfully, now, the family will soon be reunited just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day together.
As the Puerto Rican government is debating a bill on conversion therapy, Kany García is speaking out against the controversial practice. The Boricua singer-songwriter wrote an open letter to the senators in favor of Senate Bill 184, which would help end conversion therapy on the island.
Kany is one of Puerto Rico’s most-decorated artists.
García is one of the Puerto Rico’s top artists. She’s won six Latin Grammy out of a career 20 nominations. In March, she was also nominated for her third Grammy Award for her latest album Mesa Para Dos.
This year Kany celebrated five years since coming out.
On Valentine’s Day 2016, García revealed that she was in a relationship with her partner, Jocelyn Troche. The couple is still going strong with Troche appearing in last year’s “Lo Que En Ti Veo.” She and García share beautiful moments in the video. At November’s Latin Grammy Awards, there was a big wave of artists in the LGBTQ+ community in the major categories, including García, Ricky Martin, Pablo Alborán, and Jesse y Joy’s Joy Huerta.
She’s telling Puerto Rican senators to pass Senate Bill 184 in her letter.
Since coming out, García has remained at the forefront of queer issues in Puerto Rico. The passage of Senate Bill 184 seeks to prohibit conversion therapy. The controversial practice has long harmed LGBTQ+ communities. It’s thought of as a way to rid them of their queer gender or sexual identities.
“Puerto Rico deserves that every girl and boy, every young woman and young man can be who they want to be and love who they want to love,” García wrote in her letter. “This measure has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the protection of Puerto Rican children and youth.”
García speaks from her own experience. “I am an example of how to be faithful to who you are. I am a woman who deeply loves her partner and who is loved by her family and by our people. There is nothing to change. There is nothing to repair. There’s nothing to heal. We have to give the same opportunity that I have had, to be who I am, to all our children and youth.”
García further writes that the bill should be passed as-is without any amendments. According to Al Día news, Popular Democratic Party Senators Gretchen Hau, Elizabeth Rosa Velez, and Migdalia Gonzalez have filed several amendments to Senate Bill 184 as of Wednesday. Puerto Rico’s governor Pedro Pierluisi has indicated that he’s ready to override the senators if necessary.