The Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulin Cruz, is heading to Hartford to be honored at the 2018 Latinas & Power Symposium this week.
Cruz is set to receive the Latina Champion Award on Thursday at the sold-out annual event in Hartford.
She gained notoriety in the days following Hurricane Maria's landfall, criticizing President Trump and his administration's response to the devastation. During that time, she could be seen on the ground comforting residents and pleading for more aid during television appearances.
Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. It brought destruction to much of the island and affected the lives of 3.5 million Americans. Officials estimate the hurricane caused roughly $100 billion in damages.
The mayor will also recognize nine Puerto Rico relief warriors. They are described by the symposium as individuals and organizations in the northeast region who "went far beyond the call of duty, rolled up their sleeves and dove in to spearhead various Hurricane Maria relief drives."
“Our Hurricane Relief Warrior Award will honor the women, men and one little girl who rose above the chaos, threw caution to the wind, and provided lifesaving relief to the victims,” said Marilyn Alverio, creator and producer of the annual Latinas & Power Symposium. “They heard Mayor Carmen’s cry for help and arrived in droves with relief containers filled to capacity.”
The local Warrior Awards honorees include a 10-year-old girl from South Windsor who created a massive toy drive to send over a thousand gifts to children in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holiday. Also being honored will be 8 organizations which did things such as raising money, donating life-saving essentials, building houses and relocating families to help people on the island.
“We focus on strategies for success for this segment of the population and have done our best to fill the voids and lack of opportunities not available to Latinas in our region. This year and after the devastation Hurricane Maria left, we could not host this event without recognizing our amazing local warriors whose efforts help save many lives and are hands-on involved in the restoration of Puerto Rico,” Alverio said.