A Woman Just 'Married' The Island Of Puerto Rico To Send A Powerful Message

“Whatever it takes, we’re going to be there for our people to love and protect."

It's been over two months since Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico (and several nearby islands), but much of the U.S. territory is still without power and adequate food, water, and medical equipment. In a desperate attempt to raise awareness about how much assistance the island still needs, a woman named Mariposa Fernandez has "married" Puerto Rico.

Though the unusual marriage isn't legally binding, Fernandez's dedication to Puerto Rico is much more than a stunt. According to HelloGiggles, the Bronx-based performance artist held a public wedding ceremony during which she reaffirmed her commitment to the island and encouraged others to do the same.

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During the vows, which you can hear in English and Spanish below, Fernandez and others promised to stand by Puerto Rico through "good times and bad, through sickness and health." She also vowed to be faithful to Puerto Rico until "death do us part." 

Mitu reports that Fernandez also registered for wedding gifts on Amazon. However, instead of asking for a blender and a fancy set of dishes, Fernandez registered for items people in Puerto Rico desperately need as the slow recovery process continues. Some of the items on her registry are batteries, diapers, and bottled water.

"Our commitment to our homeland needs to be a lifelong commitment and so my guests are invited to, along with me, make a lifelong vow to love, honor and cherish Puerto Rico, mother earth and humanity, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer," Fernandez explained via the registry. "Marrying the island and her diaspora is a poetic way to bring my family and community together, to celebrate how much WE LOVE PUERTO RICO and to commit to the process of DEMANDING a #JUSTRECOVERY and a sustainable future for a free Puerto Rico where we can all thrive together."

Since it will likely be years before Puerto Rico fully recovers, Fernandez's ongoing dedication to the island is especially important. Others have also demonstrated their devotion. TJ Maxx's parent company announced its intention to keep paying employees in Puerto Rico even though those stores remain closed, and will be vital to Puerto Rico's restoration going forward.

"Whatever it takes, we're going to be there for our people to love and protect in good times and bad, and to love teach other," Fernandez told BronxNet. "That's what this is about."

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