Facebook page reconnects locals with loved ones in Puerto Rico

Facebook page reconnects locals with loved ones in Puerto Rico

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans resident Rolando Vega's entire family lives in Puerto Rico.

"My mom, my dad, my sister, my grandpa, my cousins are there. My entire family is down there," says Vega.

Vega spoke with them by phone the night before Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island.

"They already had an action plan, but I don't think they were ready for this. The entire island wasn't ready," says Vega.

As pictures and videos emerged of the devastation left behind, Vega's heart began to break.

"All the streets are destroyed. All the bridges collapsed. The hospital collapsed. It's hard," says Vega.

Vega, like so many other Puerto Ricans in the U.S., became desperate to reach his family. His fiance', Natalie Brassette, knew Vega was hurting.

"I saw the pain in his eyes, and I know the love he has for his family. I just said, 'Well, why don't we make a page we can let people post if they heard from their families or anything?'" says Brassette.

Together they created a Facebook page called, Comunicacion Con Puerto Rico. Less than 24 hours after the Facebook page was created, hundreds of people began posting.

"We did a Facebook live, and we told everybody why we did this. I said it in English and he said it in Spanish. We're over a thousand people now that's joined this page so far," says Broussette.

"They're adding information, and every little bit that they add to this website, it's helping me," says Vega.

People in the United States reached out to family members in Puerto Rico, and through the site, they've reconnected with loved ones.

"They already know what's going on in their towns, and I'm feeling so happy that they are getting that release in their minds," says Vega.

While Vega is happy that his Facebook page is helping others, he still has not been able to reach his own family.

"My worst fear right now is that somebody I know is not here anymore. I'm scared and worried about my family. I'm worried about the entire island," says Vega.

Vega says he knows in his heart that Puerto Rico will rise again. For now, he has a message for his loved ones back home.

"Lo material pasa pero las vidas nunca se remplancan. No estan solo. You're not alone. I miss you. I love you."

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