A year after Maria hit Puerto Rico, one bakery works to serve the neighborhood

A year after Maria hit Puerto Rico, one bakery works to serve the neighborhood
La Familia bakery in Puerto Rico served its customers without power from September of 2017 - when the storm hit - until April of 2018. (Source: Hanley, Cecelia)

PUERTO RICO (CNN) - Exactly one year ago Thursday, Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico.

Almost 3,000 people died, more than half a million homes were damaged and many on the island were left without power for months.

Today, Puerto Ricans continue to rebuild and remember the lives lost.

One business owner refuses to give up.

Rebecca Rodriguez is back to making food, like pastrami sandwiches, for customers, but a year ago, all she had was stale bread and coffee.

Rodriguez, who owns La Familia Bakery, said that water levels flooded to about the door knobs in her business. They also did not have power.

She said being without power while running a business was very difficult, and they had to do it from September to April.

The cleanup took weeks and the damage was extensive, but Rodriguez decided to open her family business about a month after the storm.

Rodriguez says the business is not as good as it was before. But it's good enough for now - thanks to the support of the locals

Cindy Reyes, Bakery Customer: "We would call out, 'Oh you need this? You need that?’ and they would come to you. And there was a lot of moments that were very difficult but if it wasn't for our neighbors, it wasn't for [people] helping us, probably we would have not eventually made it,” said Cindy Reyes, a customer.

The bakery is now open seven days a week, and the family is back to work with a new perspective; you have to keep working and do it with love.

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