Things That Matter

Two Weeks After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Still Needs Lots Of Help

While Donald Trump went on to attack San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz via Twitter this weekend, the situation in Puerto Rico continues to be a desperate one, despite some improvement.

USA Today reports that obtaining food, water, or gas is a daylong goal. Each mission to get any of these things can take several hours.

Ricardo Arduengo / Getty

“Tomorrow we’re going to try to find gasoline,” Michelle Rebollo told USA Today. “Then, we’ll try to get money. Each one is a whole day.”

Various reporters and celebrities on the ground in Puerto Rico are saying that people remain without running water and basic necessities.

“I haven’t seen any help and we’re running out of water,” Pedro Gonzalez, told a local ABC news affiliate, adding that he has a daughter with Down syndrome and has decided to move to Louisiana. “We’re getting out of here.”

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said that 714 gas stations now have fuel, but USA Today reports that several gas stations they have seen are either closed or say “No hay gasolina.”

Rosselló also said that 47 percent of water and sewer service is working, but added that the number isn’t a certain because 1,400 generators are powering the water services. And because they’re without power, the generators can stop working from time to time, but Rosselló says “general progress is being made.”

Rosselló also said that a quarter of the island should regain power next month.

While there is food and water finally in Puerto Rico, after Trump waived the Jones Act (for now), the items are not being distributed to areas in need.

Yulín Cruz tweeted that they have supplies coming in, but can’t distribute because the roads are not clear.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, who is working in Puerto Rico along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), says one of the worst problems is the roads. “The roads are not clear on the outside of the island, and we’re slowly working our way in,” Buchanan said to PBS. “But we obviously need to get all the roads cleared so we can get supplies to people who desperately need them. Sometimes we don’t know what’s going to happen until the storm actually hits, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen.”

President Trump falsely said that all buildings had now been inspected and cleared.

The president and First Lady Melania are expected to be in Puerto Rico tomorrow.

Click here for a list of charities and crowdfunding campaigns that are helping people in Puerto Rico.

READ: The Mayor Of San Juan Let The Trump Administration Have It In A Press Conference

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Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Entertainment

Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Prediction: You will want to check out Walter Mercado’s house in Puerto Rico, and maybe even buy it up and call it home. And what perfect timing, because the stars have aligned to bring you his Puerto Rico pad at an unbeatable price.

That’s right! Walter Mercado’s home in San Juan is up for sale!

Located in an “exclusive area” of San Juan, according to the property listing, the six-bedroom, five-bathroom estate is on sale for just $395,000.

Since you likely won’t fly to San Juan right now (thanks, COVID), you can check out the flamboyant cape aficionados sweet, two story tropical oasis on Realtor.com.

The listing photos show the home’s vibrant interior, which appears in the documentary, with yellow, red and green walls. The first floor boasts a large living room, kitchen and dining room. Tile-work leads up the stairs to the second level, where there’s yet another living room, dining room and a smaller kitchen — plus two balconies.

Outside, there’s a pool area with a gazebo and a patio, as well as a covered carport for at least four cars.

The home seems to be having trouble finding a buyer.

The estate originally hit the market for $495,000 in September 2020 but with no buyer in the cards, it then had its price slashed to $430,000 in December, according to Realtor.com. It’s now asking just $395,000.

Mercado already sold his Miami property in 2017 to cover financial difficulties.

While in Miami, Mercado maintained an apartment at The Grand in downtown for many years until 2017 when he decamped part time to New York.

Many in his family had hoped to turn his Puerto Rico home into a museum to the late icon, but due to zoning issues the family decided the best step forward was to list the home for sale. Regarding Mercado’s belongings that were contained within the home (so many of which we came to see in the Netflix documentary), one of his nieces told Pledge Times, that though family members have each kept some items, many were given to the Miami History Museum, and some items will go to Mexico. However, his cape with the Puerto Rican flag is being sent to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

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Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

Entertainment

Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

As you probably know by now, a new season of the never-ending reality series “The Bachelor” has just started.

And this season is destined to be especially exciting–not just because of the promise of non-stop drama, but because the franchise has finally hired its first Black male lead, Matt James, after 18 years on the air.

And with the first Black “Bachelor” comes the most diverse group of contestants competing for the lead’s heart that they’ve ever had.

And one of the contestants that is capturing the hearts of both fans and Matt James alike is 24-year-old Puerto Rican-born pageant queen Mariela “Mari” Pepin.

On this season’s premiere episode of “The Bachelor”, Mari was immediately clocked by viewers as one of the front runners by the way that Matt reacted to meeting her. The former Wake Forest wide receiver was struck speechless by her beauty and couldn’t keep his eyes off her when she parted ways with him. It was obvious that Mari had made quite the first impression on him.

And because we love to see #representation on screen (and especially on reality TV), we decided to do our due diligence and find out as much as we could about this gorgeous and accomplished Latina. Here’s everything you need to know about Mari Pepin.

She’s Boricua–and proud of it!

Something that immediately endeared Mari to fans was the fact that she is so vocally proud of being Puerto Rican. In her first sit-down conversation with Matt, she opened up about how hard its been for her family to live through the relentless natural disasters that the island is going through.

She’s a military brat.

According to Mari’s personal blog, she spent the first few years of her life in PR before relocating to Germany because of her father’s military career. According to Mari, her unique childhood contributed to her love of traveling as an adult.

She was 2019’s Miss Maryland USA.

According to Mari’s official “Bachelor” bio, she began competing in pageants when she moved to Maryland as a teenager. She won Miss Teen Maryland and then went on to win the title of Miss Maryland. After that, she placed in the Top 10 of the Miss USA competition.

She’s wicked smart.

According to Mari’s LinkedIn page, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Towson University and she’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marketing Intelligence from the same institution. It’s safe to say she values education.

She’s multilingual.

Not only does Mari speak both Spanish and English flawlessly, but she’s also fluent in French and American Sign Language.

Based on all this info alone, we can’t wait to see Mari Pepin crush this season of “The Bachelor”. Hopefully, this Boricua beauty will be popping up a lot on our screens for years to come!

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