Puerto Rican student finishing senior year in Louisville because of Hurricane Maria
LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Starting at a new school in the middle of the year is tough, but Alfonzo Hernandez has it a little harder.
A hurricane is the reason he's finishing his senior year at Louisville Collegiate. Alfonzo and his brother Sergio are from Puerto Rico and lost nearly everything after Hurricane Maria hit the island
“I left one day before Hurricane Maria struck,” Alfonzo said.
His school Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola in San Juan, Puerto Rico was heavily damaged. Alonfonzo's pictures show empty desks and a flooded music room. Outside, uprooted trees and pieces of the school in its courtyard.
“Basically most of the city and schools are pretty destroyed, pretty damaged, especially in my community, in my school,” Alfonzo said.
Alfonzo is from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico near San Juan.
Alfonzo says he's heard from his classmates and knows everyone's safe. His father, Alberto Hernandez, says about 3% of students did not return to the school. Luckily, the school has since been able to re-open and is running in the best way it can with recovery efforts still underway in Puerto Rico.
Alfonzo's family though thought it would be best if he and his brother Sergio, who's in 7th grade, finish the year in Louisville. He says he's heard from his classmates and knows everyone's safe.
“We decided in Puerto Rico conditions were too bad,” Alfonzo said.
They choose Louisville because their aunt lives here. He's thankful to be here, but wishes he could help and comfort people still in Puerto Rico.
“Obviously I feel grief over it because like I appreciate every moment I am here. Although yeah it might be a hard transition but like you know you just make what you have because there’s people in Puerto Rico who don’t have power, water, food,” Alfonzo said.
Alfonzo says gas stations are becoming a hang out because people are waiting in line for hours to get gas.
Alfonzo's mother had to go back to Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, his dad is looking for a job in Louisville so he can stay and take care of him and his brother.
Louisville Collegiate is providing full tuition for the two. Collegiate is also collecting items that are desperately needed by those affected by the recent hurricanes across the United States and the wildfires in California. For more information about Louisville Collegiate School visit www.loucol.com or call them at 502-479-0371.