Puerto Ricans in North Texas Bracing for Maria

The heart and soul of Adobo Puerto Rican café can be seen through flags on the walls, artwork and videos of Puerto Rico playing through the television. It’s also baked in every dish Rachell Martinez and her husband serve.

It's love for their home island, one whose beauty is once again threatened by a major hurricane.

Martinez still has fresh pictures on her cell phone from damage to her childhood home caused by Irma.

“A fence was blew off by Irma, imagine what a category 5 can do,” she said.

The couple opened the Irving café about six years ago, but Martinez still works as a flight attendant, often making trips there. They own an apartment on the island too.

“Every month I go to Puerto Rico because the beach is my passion. My island's my passion,” Rachell Martinez said.

She's keeping a close eye on the storm, hoping to catch a flight back Thursday. She plans to stock up on batteries and water to bring to her family members, still without power.

Both her grandmother and her aunt are in Puerto Rico, taking shelter. Her aunt, while also battling brain cancer.

“I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know,” she said

Many of the locals at the café have similar concerns for their loved ones too.

“I have a lot of cousins, a lot of uncles, aunts that I grew up with," said repeat customer Santo Orellana.

Orellana moved to Texas from Puerto Rico about 20 years ago.

“I spoke to one of my aunts Sunday and she's worried,” he said.

It's a bond that unites them at uncertain times.

“I just hope everybody stays safe. That's all I'm wishing for. Material things come back. Human life you cannot get it back,” Martinez said.

Times when you hope Mother Nature cooks up a miracle.

“A lot of the hurricanes, right when they're going to hit us, they go up. So let's hope for this one too. You know, we can just hope for the best,” she said.

Contact Us