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.

Alyse Minter, a descendent of Harriet Powers, the mother of the African American story quilt tradition. Two of Powers' quilts are on display in the MFA's exhibit "Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories."

Harriet Powers’ quilts leave a complicated legacy for her descendent

Two large quilts inside a glass case dominated a dimly-lit room at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It was the last weekend of the exhibit “Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories,” and the gallery bustled with visitors. Alyse Minter stood in front of the case, taking in the kaleidoscope of faded pinks and blues…

Sensei Papy Bongibo, center, and sensei Francis Bola, in blue, observe as students practice judo drills. Many students said Bongibo's standing in the community encouraged them to join the class.

Congolese community leader draws African immigrants to Maine judo program

Papy Bangibo is the president of the Congolese Community of Maine. But when he steps onto the mat at Fournier’s Leadership Karate Center in Westbrook, he goes by a different title — sensei. Bongibo is a third-degree black belt in judo, the Japanese martial art with a name that means “the gentle way.” Rather than…

Gisela Veve follows her fellow Red Hot Chilly Dippers into the water at Oakledge Cove in Burlington, Vt., just after dawn on Dec. 9, 2021. Gisela joined the group shortly after her husband, Rafael, passed away.

How dunking in the icy waters of Lake Champlain helps one woman grieving the loss of her husband

I am standing in my water shoes, in the snow, behind the St. John’s Club in Burlington, Vt. I’m here with Gisela Veve. Gisela is 50. She’s lived in South Burlington for three decades, and before that, she grew up in Puerto Rico. Getting used to Vermont’s cold, dark winters took some adjustment, she says,…

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