Mark Mendez stands in Lake City, filled with a mix of pride and concern.
“My Dad he's my hero,” said Mendez, about his father who once called Seattle home.
Carlos Mendez spent years running a small business in Seattle before attending college, and he says, later the University of Washington.
Mendez moved to Puerto Rico in the mid-90’s, and ran for Mayor of Aguadilla He’s been there ever since, including as Hurricane Maria devastated the Island Nation.
Mark Mendez acknowledges “the last couple of weeks has probably been some of the most difficult times of my life.” It’s been difficult to see or hear any news, except when his father appeared on CNN, yelling at the President and the need for basic needs.
“I have one truck full of water for 60,000 people, not enough,” he told Anderson Cooper.
Now the situation hasn’t changed much.
He said by phone on Tuesday, “we have one tank of water, the lines are horrendous, long, one tank for 60,000 people.”
The Mayor says his city is in dire need of water and “something to eat.” That’s where Mark Mendez comes in, who is a city employee by day. He’s put together a fundraiser later this month, and is trying to get local corporate support for supplies.
They are also trying to be optimistic.
“The rain forest lost all its leaves, but in two to three years the rain forest will come back - like the Puerto Rican people,” Carlos Mendez said.
“I know people are good, and I know we're going to get up again,” he added.
How you can help
An account has been established for Hurricane Relief:
Aguadilla City Hurricane Relief Fund (to send money directly):
Bank: BANCO POPULAR
Account number: 383261601
Supplies can be shipped directly to Aguadilla City. Carlos Mendez says water and canned food are most important, and UPS shipments are getting through.
Aguadilla City Hall
Ave. San Carlos #11
Aguadilla, Puerto Rico 00603
The Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fundraiser Halloween Event, is scheduled for October 28, from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Hellbent Brewing Company, 13035 Lake City Way.