June 25, 2018 at 12:00 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay hairdresser in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico moves into new home

Ricky Santiago, center, talks with two women who are visiting him at his new home in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20, 2017, destroyed his hair salon and damaged his family’s home. (Photo courtesy of Waves Ahead)

Editor’s note: Washington Blade International News Editor Michael K. Lavers was in Puerto Rico from May 24-28 to volunteer with Waves Ahead, a group that is helping LGBT Puerto Ricans and other vulnerable groups recover from Hurricane Maria.

A gay hairdresser in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico who the Washington Blade profiled earlier this year has moved into his new home.

Waves Ahead on June 22 posted to its Facebook page pictures that shows Ricky Santiago talking with two women inside his new home in the Candelero Arriba neighborhood of Humacao, Puerto Rico.

Maria made landfall near Humacao on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast on Sept. 20, 2017, with 155 mph winds.

Maria caused extensive damage to the second floor of the house in which he was living with his family. Maria also destroyed Santiago’s hair salon that was in his backyard.

Electricity was restored to Santiago’s family’s home on March 31. Waves Ahead last month helped Santiago rebuild his salon in which he is now living.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation Director of Faith Outreach and Training Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, who grew up in Puerto Rico, and Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Advocates for Youth Aimee Thorne-Thomsen, who is also of Puerto Rican descent, helped Santiago. Louie Ortiz-Fonseca, who documents LGBTI Latinos and Afro-Latinos for the Gran Varones, was also part of the Waves Ahead effort to build Santiago’s new home alongside Tony Uceda of the National LGBTQ Task Force and Helen Parshall of HRC and other volunteers.

Peluquero gay en Puerto Rico se muda a su nuevo hogar

Un peluquero gay en Puerto Rico quién el Washington Blade perfiló a principios de este año se ha mudado a su nuevo hogar.

Waves Ahead el 22 de junio puso en su página de Facebook fotos de Ricky Santiago hablando con dos mujeres al dentro de su nuevo hogar en el barrio de Candelero Arriba en Humacao, Puerto Rico.

El huracán María tocó tierra cerca de Humacao en la costa sureste de Puerto Rico el 20 de septiembre de 2017 con vientos de 155 mph.

María causó daños extensivos al segundo piso de la casa en que Santiago estaba viviendo con su familia. El huracán también destruyó la peluquería de Santiago que estaba en su patio trasero.

La electricidad fue restaurada al hogar de la familia de Santiago el 31 de marzo. Waves Ahead el pasado mes ayudó a Santiago reconstruir su peluquería en que ahora vive.

Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera del Human Rights Campaign, quién creció en Puerto Rico, y Aime Thorne-Thomsen de Advocates for Youth, quién es de origen puertorriqueña, ayudaron a Santiago. Louie Ortiz-Fonseca, quién documenta personas LGBTI de origen latino y afrolatino por los Gran Varones, también era parte del esfuerzo de Waves Ahead de construir el nuevo hogar de Santiago con Tony Uceda del National LGBTQ Task Force y Helen Parshall de HRC y otros voluntarios.

Ricky Santiago y la Rda. Julie Johnson Staples, la directora ejecutiva de Intersections International, un ministerio basado en Nueva York que apoya la comunidad LGBT, hablan dentro de lo que una vez fue la peluquería de Santiago en Humacao, Puerto Rico, el 1 de febrero de 2018. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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