It’s been more than three months since the powerful storm, Hurricane Maria, devastatingly struck Puerto Rico, and many still remain without power.
“From one day to the next we were left with nothing," says Arlene Rivera.
The holiday season for many in Puerto Rico is a reminder of the hardship that Hurricane Maria has caused to their homes and livelihood. However, despite this misfortune, the Christmas spirit was not lost in this Puerto Rican family in the Adjuntas region.
In an NBC News’ video documentary following the Rivera family, they show how their lives have changed in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. They have to cook their meals outside in a fire without a working electric stove, they go to sleep early because once it gets dark there’s no light and no T.V. to watch, and Arlene's mother doesn't sleep well because the darkness is too unnerving.
She says, “I haven’t left the island because I have a responsibility, I have my parents who are elderly, my siblings who have disabilities, but even more I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave, we have to lift our island up and leaving here won’t accomplish that.”
The Rivera family is looking at the bright side out of all this. They spend more time together, they pray more, and they sing more.
“I'm never going to lose the Christmas spirit. I believe that it’s inside us. We are alive and that is what is important.”
Watch the video below.