Puerto Ricans in the Valley use Social Media to Contact Love

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PHARR – As Puerto Rico continues on its long road to recovery, Puerto Ricans in the Rio Grande Valley are finally getting updates on their loved ones on the island.

We spoke with Brian Illas who was born in Puerto Rico. He currently owns the Puerto Rico House of Fades barbershop in Pharr. 

"I'm Puerto Rican representing my island where ever I go, I give them the best of us," said Illas.

He says social media is key when learning about what's going on over there.

"I feel bad, really bad not being able to be over there and help them," said Illas.

Illas makes frequent trips back to Puerto Rico.

As Hurricane Maria set eye on the island, he said he feared the worst, "My mom, my dad, my brothers, my aunt practically the rest of my family lives there."

The hurricane's landfall everything went dark, until days after.

"Thank god they are fine. I haven't been able to talk to them personally but through social media. My friends and relatives have been informing us of their situation," said Illas.

Illas says he's constantly checking social media to see how everyone is doing.

"The area where my mom lives there was bad flooding, they tell me she's fine," said Illas.

With everything going on right now, Illas said he felt useless, "They tell me they are fine but I don't know the conditions. Thank God they are physically OK. I could be helping them but I can't. I think about it all the time."

Illas says he's working on trying to get a flight over to Puerto Rico as soon as possible to help his family.

He worries the island where he grew up may never be the same.


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