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Puerto Rican student returns home after graduating in Florida


RIO GRANDE, Puerto RicoFelipe Almodovar has called the Rio Grande area of Puerto Rico home since he was a child, but he had to leave last year after Hurricane Maria flooded his neighborhood streets and left homes damaged or destroyed. 

After the devastating storm, Almodovar moved to the Central Florida area to finish his senior year of high school. 

"It was a little bit scary, to be honest," Almodovar said. "The hardest part was to realize that I am doing that without my parents, you know? That I am graduating from high school for a senior year and doing it by myself without my parents. That was the hardest part: to realize that I was alone."

His parents made a surprise visit to his graduation ceremony at Cypress Creek High School.

Without hesitation, he was on a plane in a matter of 48 hours back home to Puerto Rico. 

"I was a happy man. To see my house with light, with power, with water. Seeing the butterflies. Seeing the trees green. Everything was green," Almodovar said. 

The one thing he wants people to know about his home is that residents on the island will be OK. 

"It's getting better and better every single day," Almodovar said.