Puerto Rican flag raised outside City Hall highlights need for support, donations following Hurricane Fiona

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Puerto Rican flag was raised outside Philadelphia City Hall on Friday.

The event included live music, dance and acknowledgment of community members who have done special work for Puerto Rican community.

This flag-raising event is held every year, but this time, hearts are heavy as the U.S. territory is deals with the devastating effects of Hurricane Fiona.

“As we are reflecting and highlighting the cultural activities of being Latina and being Puerto Rican, we also have to remember what’s happening in Puerto Rico, said Adonis Banegas.

The flag is a symbol of pride and cultural preservation for many, this year it also represents the kick-off for big Puerto Rican Day parade this Sunday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

“Our last parade was in 2019, COVID-19 definitely took a hit on everything we’ve done. We are excited and proud to be back,” said Banegas.

But besides the festivities and excitement, Hurricane Fiona relief is top of mind for many who are using the platform and stage to not only raise awareness but raise funds for people in Puerto Rico.

“Everyone has to do their own small efforts. Combine them so impact is felt. It’s the only way we will be able to provide support they need,” said Quetcy Lozada. “I have a nice size amount of family over there. Many of them experience the same condition as others on the island. There is no water, there is no electricity.”

This comes days after more than 40 nonprofits announce they will work together to collect donations under the umbrella Unidos PA Puerto Rico.

It’s a similar to the response after Hurricane Maria which made landfall almost five years to the date.

“One thing that we saw five years ago that we are seeing now that the community on the island comes together, really supportive of each other. Sharing what they have in order to get to the next day,” said Lozada.

Unidos Pa Puerto Rico is collecting donations via text. You can text PRFIONA2022 to 44321 to donate.

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