A Puerto Rico Story: Chicagoan Sonia Negrón Bell’s Race Against Time To Save Her Parents

A toy car sits among items destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Maria, waiting to be picked up by the garbage service in the street in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

Steve Bynum

Days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Chicagoan Sonia Negrón Bell received word from her brother of a cryptic text he received from their always proud and hopeful father, “Things are bad down here.” Negrón Bell then embarked on a race against time to rescue her chronically ill and elderly parents.

Negrón Bell, a graduate student and intern at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, is leaving Chicago on a one way ticket to further help her family and all Puerto Ricans. Before she leaves, Negrón Bell will share with us her harrowing story.