As some of you may know over the past few months since early December 2017, I have spent time traveling to the Cordillera Central region of Puerto Rico to document the physical damage to areas in my family’s villages, in the "common-wealth" post-Hurricane Maria. What began as a way to cope with the devastation and loss to many of my family's history, has cultivated into a body of work that captures the optimistic and undeterred men and women, whose lives were changed on September 20, 2017, and who now brace for the approaching hurricane season. Now with another trip completed, I wait anxiously to have the dozens of rolls of newly shot film to be developed. These images will be the next chapter in a series, that capture the places that hold the memories of my youth and areas of countryside I explored since I was a child.
Thank you Borikén for sharing all your beauties and for opening the door to me after Hurricane Maria took over 4,000 lives; For always showing me that the culture I am apart of is full of love, optimism, and perseverance, even in times when it seems we face total abandonment.
Thank you to my loved ones, friends, family, and strangers who have shared their stories and let me document this very delicate and vulnerable time in their lives. For giving me the privilege of being their voice to others, abroad and on the island. My body is in New York once again but my heart will always be in the Cordillera Central. Stay tuned for the finished photo essay in the coming months.
- José Alvarado Jr.
“Que no perezca mi campo, porque el cemento no es vida” - by Anonymous