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.

Keith Ingalls uses solar panels, car batteries and an inverter to power his electronics at night instead of a generator. His dad was an electrician.

Vermont communities clear out campsites in the woods, but unhoused residents say they have nowhere else to go

Down a hill from an office park in White River Junction is a campsite tucked away in the woods. It’s beneath a highway corridor, on land owned by the Vermont Agency of Transportation. There’s a small green cabin next to a covered cooking area. Inside is a bed on a raised platform, neatly made. Battery-powered…

A photo of Jonathan Soto standing on a sidewalk in Holyoke, Mass. Soto survived Hurricane Maria and arrived here from Puerto Rico a few years ago.

Four years later, survivor of Hurricane Maria finds new purpose in Holyoke, Mass.

Four years ago this month, high school teacher Jonathan Soto left Puerto Rico and made his way to Holyoke, Massachusetts. He was among the thousands of Puerto Ricans who evacuated from the island after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. After the storm, Soto’s family considered themselves lucky, he said. But it was traumatic, and it’s…

Brooke Proulx, a school social worker at Gorham Middle School, is teaching an 8th grade health class lesson about responsible decision-making skills.

There’s a rise in behavior disruptions in Maine schools this year. It underscores a mental health crisis for kids

Educators across Maine expected an adjustment when students returned to school full time this year, with unfamiliar routines and the enduring pandemic. But now, they’re grappling with a rise in behavior challenges, which come as studies show depression and anxiety have doubled for children and teens since before the pandemic. This week, three leading pediatric health organizations warned that…

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