Silicon Valley group leading recovery efforts for Puerto Rico

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are still without power nearly five months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged the U.S. territory.

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"We are frustrated, but at the same time, frustration becomes your source of energy to keep moving forward," says Nelson Colon, President and CEO of the Puerto Rico Community Foundation.

Colon visited the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in Mountain View, Friday afternoon, as part of an island delegation in town to make a pitch to potential donors. Together, the two groups hope to raise $3 mil. to help with the production and installation of solar-powered generators in 100 hospitals, clinics, schools and community centers across the territory.

"It's fast, (and) it helps an immediate need," says Emmett Carson, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. "Think about the people right now who have no access to medical care."

Officials say 80% of the island's power grid was damaged during the hurricanes last fall. Many residents were also forced from their homes.

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"They are living with friends, with families, and in some occasions, in a little room, with 6 or 7 persons," says Julia Nazario Fuentes, who serves as mayor of Loira, a small town of approximately 29,000 residents.

Despite the devastation on the ground, delegation members say they're trying to stay strong for their people.

"We are survivors because of the devastation of Hurricane Maria," said Ramon Luis Nieves, former Puerto Rican senator.

Right now, more than one-third of Puerto Rican households have not had their electricity restored.

To learn more about how you can contribute to the recovery efforts, click here.
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