Nearly six months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, the island continues to struggle to find its footing. With power still not completely restored, increased suicide rates, and high unemployment, the commonwealth is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. As we remain critical of the Trump Administration’s gross mismanagement during its recovery efforts, it’s important that we also highlight the everyday heroes stepping in where the government failed. That’s exactly what Vogue did in its latest series, American Women: Transformers – a woman-focused series looking at the many ways that American women have made an impact. In a photo essay titled Puerto Rico Se Transforma, writer Mariel Cruz looks at the inspiring women rebuilding roads, raising money, and providing resources to their community.
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The article starts with Mariel landing in an unfamiliar Puerto Rico hoping to persuade her grandmother to return to the mainland immediately after the storm. But it goes on to feature Carmen Yulín Cruz, one of the strongest voices that emerged in the aftermath of the storm. And with its accompany pink-hued photos – taken by Richard Mosse – it also gives us an opportunity to meet the other women who are shaping the island post-Hurricane Maria, the ones whose contributions are hardly acknowledged.
Check out the spread here. For the first time, Vogue has also published a Spanish version of the piece, which you can read here. You can check out the entire series here (including Stefan Ruiz’s gorgeously shot portraits of eight women taking on the criminal justice system).