The work was part of the CUNY Service Corps - Puerto Rico effort and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative. The San Juan mayor has noted that the island has seen only a fraction of nearly $50 billion in recovery funds Congress approved for Puerto Rico, including $20 billion in HUD funds.
"Hurricane Maria may be a year old, but the effects of the storm compounded with intentional negligence from Congress, FEMA and other agencies have spent the last year turning it into a man-made disaster impacting thousands of lives", Marin said in a written statement.
Puerto Ricans are USA citizens, but since the island is a U.S. territory they can not vote in national elections, and are represented in Congress only by a non-voting representative.
"One year (after the event) is quite good for what we generally do", U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson said.
Now, the White House said, power and water systems have been restored for almost all of the island's 3.3 million residents, and all but 640 of Puerto Rico's 27,000 kilometers of roadways have been repaired.
Engineer Jose Ortiz, the new director of Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority, said on Thursday about 20 percent of the repairs that were made to the power grid needed to be redone because they were rushed and temporary. Instead, it seems like FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is ignoring the FCC's continued role in standing up Puerto Rico's communications at all. It's just one of many resources around the state that have helped about 8,000 people who left Puerto Rico find a job.
"I think it's inexplicable", Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International's secretary general, told The Associated Press during a visit to the island Thursday.
Cruz-Torres added those in the coastal areas, fishermen in particular, were among the hardest hit because of the gear and boats they lost. It made her hopeful for the future. Since the storm, that has shot up to 98 percent, she said.
But others felt that Maria's tragic legacy still needs to be acknowledged, long after the anniversary has passed. "It's something that affected all of us and keeps affecting us", he said.
Valentin is an art teacher at Lehigh Elementary and said the new job could not have come at a better time. Rosario, who is incapacitated by diabetes and a blood disease, took a loan to upgrade her home before the storm hit, and lost everything. But if it's not possible, I'll make a room with the wood I have under the structure and live there until I can finish it.
A familiar face in the crowd was Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez who said it has been extremely frustrating to see her own people get treated this way.