Puerto Rico devastated, Phoenix restaurant steps up to help

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The Puerto Rico Latin Bar and Grill in Phoenix opened their doors as a donation hub and the restaurant was jammed packed with the community coming together to help the victims of Puerto Rico.

“I don't know who's alive,” says Zulema Rodriguez who helped coordinate this donation hub and fundraiser. 

The devastation is shocking.

“It's very crushing,” says Yadi Cotto who is from Puerto Rico and still has much of her family there.

When Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico it left the island in shambles. Most of the island is without electricity and some parts without water. 

“It hurts not being able to be there to help them,” says Cotto.

The Puerto Rico Latin Bar & Grill saw the need and wanted to help their Puerto Rican community.

“Folks have been coming from all over the state to drop off donations to just be in community,” says Rodriguez.

They held a fundraiser Sunday and have opened as a donation hub

“This restaurant is full of folks, some who have not heard from their families like me. We have no idea, we know our towns are underwater and that's all we know.”

Their hands have been full, accepting donations of supplies.

Supplies like diapers, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dog food, water and other canned supplies. Almost anything and everything is needed and appreciated. 

A room in the restaurant that has been stocked with the supplies has already been emptied six times in one day and loaded into trucks that will eventually be shipped to Puerto Rico.

“The response has been overwhelming,” says Rodriguez. 

Part of Sunday’s sales at the restaurant will also be going straight to help Puerto Rico, an island that's been devastated, but one that folks say will rise again.

“We're trying to do our part for the people in Puerto Rico and just let them know we're thinking about them, we love them and we know Puerto Ricans will rebuild again,” says Cotto.

“We understand that our island is devastated, but we're resilient, but we're gonna rebuild,” says Rodriguez.

The restaurant will be accepting donations for a month. They will then be shipped periodically to Puerto Rico.

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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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