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Utah's Lieutenant Governor Returns From Hurricane Relief Trip To Puerto Rico

Spencer Cox Twitter
Cox, who speaks Spanish, travelled to Puerto Rico with a group of Utahns who had ties to the island.

Utah's Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox just returned from a five day humanitarian trip to Puerto Rico. He hopes his trip reminds people that the island is still recovering.

It’s been two months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, but Cox says it felt as if it had only been two weeks.

“In so many places it looked like a bomb had gone off," says Cox. "There were still power lines strewn everywhere, houses without roofs and walls.”

He says each day started by going to a warehouse filled with goods that Utahns had donated.

“We had pallets of solar powered lights, solar powered generators, bottled water, food, hygiene and medical supplies, clothing," Cox says.

They would then spend the rest of the day delivering those supplies to the worst hit areas. The group called itself “Light Up Puerto Rico” and was supported by state sponsors like Vivint Solar, the LDS Church and Zions Bank.

Cox says this wasn’t an official Lieutenant Governor trip and it wasn’t taxpayer funded. But he hopes we can expect more service like this from our politicians.

“If we can set an example in Utah for politicians elsewhere, maybe instead of sexually harassing women, maybe you could go and donate your time for people who desperately need it," Cox says.

If they need a suggestion, Cox says Puerto Rico could still use more help.


Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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