It’s been four years since Hurricane Maria swept across Puerto Rico. The Category 4 hurricane destroyed homes, power lines and roads, and left many without access to basic necessities like food, medicine, electricity and clean water. The storm forced many puertorriqueños to leave their homelands to start new lives in New England. And while leaving Puerto Rico for the continental U.S. is not a new trend, Maria exacerbated it: an estimated 135,000 people left the island since the storm and roughly 26,000 of them came to Connecticut and Massachusetts — trading the beauty of beaches and mountains in the middle for cold winters and the promise of stability. Los de Maria — the people of Maria — stayed in hotels, their children enrolled in schools, and now they live between two places. The island’s recovery is still not complete. And families are not done asking themselves, should we stay? Should we go back? Is this home? "Los de Maria: For Years After The Hurricane" is a special production by CT Public with support from the New England News Collaborative. A collection of photos from Puerto Rico can be seen here.

Deqa Dhalac was sworn in as the new mayor of South Portland on Dec. 6, 2021.

New Somali-American mayor in Maine hopes to be an inspiration for young refugees

Deqa Dhalac was sworn in Monday as the new mayor of South Portland, Maine, making her one of the first Somali-American mayors in the country. Dhalac was first elected to the South Portland City Council three years ago, but has long worked in community-building roles: as an activist, social worker, and currently, as the family…

Operators have always been a fashionable lot. Note the bobby sox and saddle shoes. c. 1951 (The Telecommunications History Group, Inc.)

Former New England operators recall the pre-smartphone era working telephone switchboards

Before smartphones, most people kept in touch using landline telephones. And before direct dialing was common, some calls were handled by switchboard operators. During the 1950’s, more than 220,000 operators were employed by the Bell System alone. Most were women who were expected to be courteous, quick-thinking and patient under pressure. And at a recent…

Federal Reserve Bank Of Boston

New England states see a wave of in-migration during the pandemic

New England states have seen a rise in migration during the pandemic. A study shows that 36 counties gained households since the first U.S. outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. Nicholas Chiumenti, a senior policy analyst and author of the study at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said the pandemic changed the way people moved into New…

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