Power continues to be a significant problem in Puerto Rico. And for one man and his neighbors, they are working hard to protect not only their property but something deep inside their neighborhood.
- Angel Cabrera has not had power since September 2017
- He carries a machete to protect his home from vandals
- Cabrera says he and his friends feel forgotten by government
Angel Cabrera stands in front of his Vega Baja home, surrounded by friends on a cloudy, rainy day.
Although many on the island suffered after Hurricane Maria, for Cabrera, it has been seven months since Hurricane Irma swept through and battered the island — and the last time Cabrera and his friends had power.
When asked why he was holding a machete, he replied, "So we can get our power back."
We met the 69-year-old Cabrera at a makeshift guard shack he and his neighbors put together.
They look out for vandals attempting to steal fuel from their generator. He says his friends feel forgotten by the government since they lost power in September 2017.
He leans on his machete and uses it as a cane as he leads the way up the driveway to his home.
"Please pardon my house. I'm trying to fix things up," he explains in Spanish. "Power crews have been by, but nothing gets done."
Without the light from our camera, his entire home is dark. He is only getting by with his lamp and with two generators.
Gas for it is expensive at $35 a day, which is about $1,000 a month. However, Cabrera is thankful he at least has water coming out of the faucets.
"We've always had water, thanks be to God," he exclaimed. "No, there has not been an issue. (There) has not been a problem."
Outside of the property and deep in the woods is a sound that Cabrera's neighbors talked about. The sounds are coming from a Federal Emergency Management Agency generator that was brought in to power a water plant that has not been functioning because there has been no power until the generator was put in place.
So now, Cabrera sits and waits on his front porch, waiting for the power to come back on.