Photograph of Daniel R. with students from the University of Puerto Rico



Photograph of Daniel R. with students from the University of Puerto Rico


Puerto Rican youth
College students—United States
Hispanic American college students


This is a photograph of CCSU Airbridge students from the University of Puerto Rico taken in November of 2017 following the damage sustained to the island of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. The Airbridge program is designed to offer undergraduate students from the University of Puerto Rico fluidity in continuing their studies despite the condition of their home university. CCSU President Zulma R. Toro is a former graduate and chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico and aimed for the program to ensure students could continue their studies by obtaining financial aid from the government and the CCSU Ana-Grace Project Relief Effort. In partnership with local organizations and a faculty committed to academic success, seniors from the University of Puerto Rico continuing their studies at CCSU were able to graduate in May 2018. 

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in late September of 2018, two weeks after Hurricane Irma hit and left 800,000 people across the island without power. The damages caused by Hurricane Maria and Irma devastated Puerto Rico’s power grid and closed nearly all college campuses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency assisted in getting many citizens off of the island by offering temporary shelter through hotel vouchers and federal aid to rebuild or relocate after the storms. Yet, Puerto Rico’s electric grid was severely outdated and the losses sustained left much of the island without power until April of 2018. 

Since the Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917, residents of Puerto Rico are born as United States citizens. The Act coincided with World War I, making Puerto Rican citizens eligible for the draft. It is also during this time that Puerto Rican migration to United States metropolitan cities like New York increased due to the ongoing displacement caused by natural disasters. Puerto Rico has a long history of devastating hurricanes hitting the island, crippling citizen’s ability to maintain steady incomes. In 1929 Puerto Rico suffered from what is now its second deadliest hurricane in the island’s history. The San Felipe Segundo was a category five hurricane that destroyed hundreds of homes and coffee growers lost nearly all of their crop that year in what was a total estimate of $50 million in damages. Following the San Felipe Segundo hurricane of 1929, the Great Depression greatly affected the global economy including Puerto Rico’s and it is during this time that Puerto Rican migration to the United States increased expeditiously. In 1998, Hurricane Georges left 700,000 people without water and 1 million without electricity causing over $2 billion in damages. Before Hurricane Maria hit in 2017, Puerto Rico had a population of about 3.5 million people. According to the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City, an estimated 200,00 people have left since Hurricane Maria. Many of those residents that left after Hurricane Maria went to Florida and then upward into Northern States like Connecticut where family members are located and where institutions like CCSU offered programs like the Airbridge Program in an effort to assist their fellow citizens in their time of need.

Citations for Supplementary Sources and Context: 

“Estimates of Post-Hurricane Maria Exodus from Puerto Rico | Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños,” accessed May 9, 2018,

“Jones Act - The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War (Hispanic Division, Library of Congress),” accessed May 9, 2018,

“Maria Latest Threat to Puerto Rico After $1 Billion Irma Hit - Bloomberg,” accessed May 6, 2018,

Martinez and Klyberg, Latino History in Rhode Island: Nuestras Raices, 36.

M.V. Martinez and A.T. Klyberg, Latino History in Rhode Island: Nuestras Raices, American Heritage Series (History Press, 2014),

“Students From Puerto Rico To Start Classes At CCSU Wednesday - Hartford Courant,” accessed May 6, 2018,

“These Are the Worst Hurricanes in Puerto Rico’s History - The Washington Post,” accessed May 9, 2018,

Entry Author: Christina Volpe


Daniel R.


The Personal Collection of Daniel R.


Daniel R.


Creation Date:  November 6, 2017
Accession Date: April 29, 2018


Daniel R. and students from the University of Puerto Rico


Copyright to this resource is held by Daniel R. and is provided here by CCSU for educational purposes only.


.JPG Image file




Still Image


History Harvest 2018 Object #13


New Britain, CT; Connecticut; Puerto Rico; United States; 2017; 2018; 2010s; 21st century.

Original Format

JPG Digital Image file

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3,530 KB



Daniel R. , “Photograph of Daniel R. with students from the University of Puerto Rico,” Latino History Harvest, accessed April 18, 2024,

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