17 January 2018
The residents of Río Abajo call themselves the “Community of the Forgotten.” Tucked away in a mountainous hamlet of Utuado, Puerto Rico, Río Abajo was particularly devastated by Hurricane María. As the category-five hurricane made landfall in the eastern municipality of Yabucoa, the strengthening wind and rain destroyed not only cars, homes, and businesses but also the bridge that connected Río Abajo to the central town of Utuado. Isolated and abandoned, twenty-five families waited for help. As hours turned to days, and days to weeks, the citizens of Río Abajo realized that they were on their own: here.