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Mayor Lovely Warren joins Ibero and faith leaders in call to help Rochester's Puerto Rican community

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Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News
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People stand in prayer at City Hall in Rochester, NY, for Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican community

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is joining a call to offer spiritual and social support to local Puerto Ricans impacted by recent natural disasters on that island. That includes a Magnitude 5.0 earthquake on Tuesday.

The mayor was joined by officials from the Ibero-American Action league and local faith leaders at City Hall on Wednesday.

Angelica Perez-Delgado with Ibero said that Puerto Ricans displaced by recent earthquakes have come to Rochester with urgent needs.

“A lot of families are coming in. We had a lady who actually arrived from a plane with an injured hip from the earthquake and she had to be taken straight to Rochester Regional from the hospital," Perez-Delgado said. "So people are coming in with a very diverse set of needs." 

Mayor Warren said that she feels that the city has a responsibility to help Puerto Ricans displaced by the natural disasters.

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Credit Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News
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Ibero president Angelica Perez-Delgado (right) addresses the audience in Spanish alongside interpreter Raquel Serrano (left), also of Ibero, at Rochester City Hall.

"We need each and every member of our community to join hands to wrap our arms around the people who are coming into our community," she said.  

Religious leaders offered prayers in City Hall, calling for spiritual healing. Rochester has one of the largest concentrations of Puerto Ricans in the state.

Perez-Delgado added that after helping thousands of Puerto Ricans relocate in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017, the organization is better prepared to help those in need now.

“I think the biggest lessons that we learned is that we need the entire community to wrap around these families," she said. "And the hand off process is very important, a direct line to access services where language doesn’t become a barrier.”

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