Residents face obstacles in navigating almost every step toward a normal life, with little hope of dramatic progress anytime soon.
At Petroamerica Pagán de Colón, an independent living apartment building in San Juan for people over 62, residents have made do with limited water and 14 floors of stairs to climb for crucial goods. Those who are disabled or too sick to climb depend on neighbors to get them food and water. Some have not been able to bathe.
“People were abandoned for seven days,” said Alejandro Melendez, a resident. “There were sick people on the floor, thrown there.”
In the coastal city of Arecibo, where water remains in short supply, residents gather around spouts to collect rain as they peer anxiously down streets for water deliveries. “They are not giving us anything, not even hope,” said Cannabis Angel Nebot, 43. “At least, come around and give us hope, even if it’s a lie.”