We asked Puerto Ricans about their future plans. Many want to stay and rebuild.

The World
Water falls from a pipe onto the street. A woman in the background is bent at the waist and washes her hair in the running water, while a man holds a child and watches the woman.

A local resident washes her hair with water from a pipe on the side of a road near Ciales, Puerto Rico, about two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island. 

Carlos Barria/Reuters

As some Puerto Ricans fill flights to Miami, we asked a handful of people in San Juan their thoughts about leaving their homes for the mainland US. About 3.4 million people live in Puerto Rico, and some will choose to leave the island behind and move permanently.

The House passed a $36.5 billion aid package last week and on Sunday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricard Rosselló said he expected power to be restored to 95 percent of the island’s electric grid by Dec. 15. Currently, 85 percent of the island is still without electricity.

Most of the people we spoke to responded that they would not leave their families behind but planned to stay and rebuild.

Yolanda Prosper, teacher, San Juan resident

Yolanda Prosper, a woman with long dark, wavy hair, poses for a portrait.
Credit:

Jasmine Garsd/PRI

Gabriel Rodriguez, production and creative director at an advertising agency, San Juan resident

Gabriel Rodriguez leans on a balcony overlooking San Juan, Puerto Rico. HIs face is shadowed and he is wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses.
Credit:

Jasmine Garsd/PRI

Maria Olivero, acting public affairs officer at VA Caribbean Healthcare System

Maria Olivero, a woman with shoulder-length dark hair and eyeglasses, poses for a portrait.
Credit:

Jasmine Garsd/PRI

César Gutiérrez, Marine Corps veteran, San Juan resident

César Gutiérrez poses for a portrait.
Credit:

Jasmine Garsd/PRI