Exuberant Students Cheer The Return Of Power To A School In Puerto Rico

"After 112 days, THE POWER IS BACK!”

After 112 days without power, a school in Puerto Rico erupted in cheers and celebration when electricity finally came back on.

The moment, captured online and shared on the Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo Facebook page, has amassed over 300,000 views. In it, children and teachers inside the San Juan, Puerto Rico private school are seen cheering, jumping up and down and storming the hallways. 

It has been almost four months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, knocking 90 percent of the country's power out and leaving millions of American citizens living without air conditioning, refrigeration or lights. 17 percent of the island still doesn't have power, and criticism about the United States government's response to the crisis has been widespread. But the video, posted last Thursday, was one of hope.

"After 112 days, THE POWER IS BACK!" the school wrote on Facebook. "Undisputed joy from all of us who make up ABPN. We thank all of the parents, students and staff who have stayed and continued to support us throughout this situation." 

Many students have been struggling to learn in schools with no air conditioning despite the heat, as HuffPost reported. In mid-October, more than a month after the hurricane had hit, only nine percent of the schools in Puerto Rico were open, according to The New York Times. Even then, most of the schools that did reopen came back to class without power, generators, WiFi or air conditioning. Because the storm did so much damage, teachers weren't giving out homework and uniforms were optional in the early weeks of school re-opening. 

Of course, local schools aren't alone in facing difficulties following the hurricane. The official death toll because of the hurricane is still 64, but The New York Times has also reported the real number may well be above 1,000. Additionally, approximately 300,000 Puerto Ricans have gone to Florida to seek shelter and aid since the hurricane and some gas stations, power plants, cell phone towers and ATMs are still working to get back online.

All this makes positive news from Puerto Rico sparse, and the viral video of the power coming back on was a welcome break from what most people had been seeing on the news. The video was celebrated across social media. 

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Rena Schild

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