Puerto Ricans migrate to U.S. after Maria, including to Northwest Arkansas

Posted: January 29, 2018 at 1:30 a.m.

Randy Serrano and his mom, Lucesita Torres-Sanchez of Bella Vista, were reunited last fall when Serrano left Puerto Rico after hurricanes.

Randy Serrano remembers his entire house shaking as Hurricane Maria roared outside. The wind, near 150 mph, pulled and pried at all of the doors and metal window shutters, invisible thieves on all sides trying to break in.

Puerto Rico

Status: A territory of the United States; its residents are U.S. citizens who can elect its own governor and other local officials but cannot vote in presidential elections and don’t get votes in Congress.

Population: More than 3 million, according to 2016 Census estimates. Many have left since Hurricane Maria struck in September.

Location: East of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic and more than 1,000 miles southeast of Florida.

History: Indigenous people, including the Taino, lived on the island and others nearby for centuries, but they were almost driven to extinction after Spain claimed it in 1493. It was ceded to the U.S. after the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Randy Serrano talks with his mom, Lucy Torres-Sanchez of Bella Vista, Saturday after Serrano took a test to become a Transportation Security Administr...

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