A year after Hurricane Maria the struggle continues in Puerto Rico.
Dozens marched through the streets of Hartford today to mark the anniversary of the devastating storm that claimed the lives of thousands.
Those who came out for the march said they wanted to send a message to lawmakers and everyday citizens that the island is still not back to normal, and to remember the thousands who lost their lives.
Demonstrators carried black Puerto Rican flags, symbolizing what they say is the lack of support for the American island.
After the official death count from Maria was raised to nearly 3,000, President Donald Trump praised the federal government’s response to the storm.
Leaders of the Latinas in the Resistance, co-organizers of the vigil, take except to Trump’s handling of the storm, and believe the government’s aid for its own citizens continues to be inadequate.
“I found that to be a highly offensive thing to say,” said Evelyn Mantilla of CT Latinas in the Resistance. "It’s really important that we raise our voices….We want change at the policy level and we know that change is necessary at the federal, state as well as the local level."
Hartford resident Luis Rodriguez has family is Puerto Rico and says even though it’s been a year, for many on the island, life is still very hard.
"I feel for my people of Puerto Rico because a year later, many communities still don’t have power, good running water," Rodriguez said. "They’re like… they’re forgotten."
There was another march by the same organizers in Bridgeport. By speaking up, they hope lawmakers will step up to help Puerto Rico recover.