Local residents worried about family members in Puerto Rico

Interest rates, consumer prices have risen in ongoing financial crisis

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts’ Puerto Rican families are watching with concern as the island struggles to avoid bankruptcy. The U.S. commonwealth is $70 billion in debt currently.

New North Citizens Council Chief Operating Officer Jose Clauido confided in 22News that he has family members in Puerto Rico, who are experiencing extreme hardship during this financial crisis.

“Family members that I have there, it’s hard to see them suffering. Paying 11% in interest on everything they buy, also, like a gallon of milk that’s almost $8.00. Coffee has skyrocketed, everything has gotten out of whack,” Claudio said.

He told 22News that many people living in Springfield’s North End neighborhood share that came concern with family still living on the island. Many professionals have fled Puerto Rico’s financial uncertainty to come to Springfield and other communities with sizeable Latino enclaves.