While President Donald Trump was touring Puerto Rico Tuesday, the president of Puerto Rico's Ana G. Mendez University was in Florida where he discussed the ongoing Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.
Jose F. Mendez was in South Florida as the university held a donation drive for Maria victims. He said Puerto Rico has a long road ahead but he's optimistic.
"It was very sad to see a beautiful island like Puerto Rico in just a mere 12 to 16 hours being destroyed," Mendez said in an exclusive interview with NBC 6.
When Maria rocked the island nearly two weeks ago, the storm left behind a path of destruction. Some have no power, transportation or even homes.
Mendez said getting students back in the classroom will be challenging. But the university is offering options for those who want to finish their studies at campuses in Florida.
"I want to open our campuses not only for students but for Puerto Ricans where they can come and were in a plan to start counseling for people," Mendez said. "We're going to get out of this, we will. We Puerto Ricans are very strong people."
Mendez said he hopes to open campuses in Puerto Rico on a part-time basis in about a week, and slowly allow students back in in two weeks.