Jennifer Lopez relieved to finally find her aunt and uncle in Puerto Rico

Jennifer Lopez at a benefit to help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico at the Javits Center in Manhattan
As someone who worried about my Florida family during Hurricane Irma, I can totally relate to Jennifer Lopez’s plight. The 48-year-old actress, whose family hails from Puerto Rico, posted a video to Instagram last Friday, expressing her concern for members of her family whom she hadn’t heard from, as well as making an appeal for donations to the charity organized by Puerto Rico’s First Lady, Beatriz Rossello, United for Puerto Rico (Unidos Por Puerto Rico). On Sunday, during a press conference with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, she announced that she was donating $1 million to hurricane relief efforts.

Fortunately, Jennifer’s relatives – Tomas and Adela Rios (the parents of her cousin/assistant Tiana) were located. Jennifer posted a video Wednesday on social media of the couple, who appear to be fine, with the caption “After a long 6 days we found the last of the family! Now the rebuilding begins!!” My Spanish isn’t what it used to be, but PEOPLE translated their comments for me. About his famous niece, Tomas recalled, “I’ll never forget how good she was with us, especially my brother.” He added, “And I remember her since she was a little girl with a lot of love and affection.” Adela shared, “I’ve always loved her, although I haven’t always had the opportunity to show her because we’re so far away, but I’ve always loved her and remember her with much affection.”

On the same day her relatives were located, Jennifer announced a charitable initiative launched with ex-husband Marc Anthony called Somos Uno Voz (We Are One Voice) to help get aid and supplies to those trying to rebuild their lives after the storm. The singers enlisted some high caliber talent to get the word out, including fellow Latin performers Pitbull, Ricky Martin, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Fonsi, as well as Bruno Mars, Ed Sheehan and Jennifer’s current squeeze, Alex Rodriguez.

Say what you will about Jennifer, but the woman has a big heart. She lent her talents and support to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting last year and now she’s stepping up to help Puerto Rico in a time when they definitely need the assistance (since the Commander-in-Cheeto is still preoccupied with football players. Sigh). I’m glad her family members are safe and sound and I hope she raises lots of money to help the others in need on the island.

A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) on

Jennifer Lopez, Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York at a benefit to help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico at the Javits Center in Manhattan



Photos: Pacific Coast News,, Backgrid

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20 Responses to “Jennifer Lopez relieved to finally find her aunt and uncle in Puerto Rico”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    To those who much have been given, much is expected.

    Good on Jenn. Love to see people coming together and helping. I have always liked her as far as professionally with music, movies and she seems to be very genuine. Don’t always dig her choice in men but hey, I haven’t always picked the best either!

  2. Lolo86lf says:

    I love Jennifer Lopez and it is so good to see her helping her fellow Puerto Rican people in their hour of need. Hour of need is an understatement, those people are really suffering thirst, hunger and sweltering heat.
    Now this is an off-topic comment but I have always wondered why Puerto Rico doesn’t become a full state of the union. Why are they so proud to just stop being an “estado libre associado” when they can be part of the union just like every other state. When they are in the middle of a crisis like now they expect full help from the US but they do not want to be a state. It seems a bit hypocritical to me, just saying.

    • Patricia says:

      Hypocritical?! Jesus. They are a goddam colony that has been exploited by the US for decades. Learn some Puerto Rican history before you call a colonized people who are on the brink of death from thirst right now, who have been kept in poverty so fatcats can open Walmarts and built resorts, hypocrites.

      If you are American then Puerto Ricans are YOUR fellow people as well so go to Unidos right now and make a donation because they literally lack drinking water.

      And as someone married to a Puerto Rican family I will tell you, every Puerto Rican family I know, in the states and on the island, has given ten times more service in the military than my own “American” family from the states. Service is part of their culture and we have a LOT to thank them for , not criticize the political decisions of a colony in their time of need.

    • Chignona says:

      Really!! Your comment mad my blood boil and cry at the same time. Like the poster above me said learn some history before you blame the people going thru these atrocities. We have very close friends whose whole families are missing and they can’t contact them and one of thier niece who was receiving treatment in a hospital is believed to be dead. But who gives a crap because “those” people aren’t real citizens right.

    • Asiyah says:

      You need to know what you’re talking about before you ever comment on something.

    • downTime says:

      My family is from Puerto Rico- two generations ago. I guess I’ve had “survivor’s guilt” KNOWING the history, and how the people of this island have been exploited. The US’s current sluggish awareness and critiques has put me into a near existential crisis. The degradation cuts deeply. The original people where peaceful and sophisticated, yet Spain brutally and systematically murdered these original people, the “Taino”. Puerto Rico’s resources have since been exploited by the US and US corporations, and while PR are “US citizens”, the island is bankrupt. So it’s not “hypocrisy”, but another example brutal colonialism of soulful & resilient
      people. Have a heart. Have compassion- give to Do the research.

    • Cristi says:

      Hi Lolo, most Puerto Ricans want to become the 51st state, they vote in the majority whenever the island’s government raises the question.

      My understanding is that because of our very large population, we would have much more gov’t representation than smaller and richer states of the union; we’d vote for president, be eligible for more assistance. We’d have a say and not just be a colony they can control to their benefit/profit.

      The US government does not want to consider or allow statehood.

      I’m glad you asked, someone might have wondered the same.

  3. tifzlan says:

    The response to Puerto Rico’s needs has been abysmal. Deep down, i feel like Trump ignited the NFL/bending the knee controversy to deflect from the situation in Puerto Rico, and i hate that it has been so successful (i’ve taken part in the debates myself). This is worse than Katrina IMO because it’s just so blatantly obvious that he doesn’t know or care to know about Puerto Rico at all. Giving excuses like it’s in the middle of the ocean, etc, like members of his Cabinet haven’t been spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to jet off here and there. It’s truly disgusting. Tr*mp is a psychopath.

  4. Louise177 says:

    Trump didn’t do so well with the hurricanes in Texas and FL either but he’s worse with Puerto Rico. Who brings up debt when millions of people hungry and homeless? He just doesn’t care about people.

    • Sarah B says:

      And the debt that he contributed to. He filed for bankruptcy for $33 million for his golf course resort and left the taxpayers to pay for it.

  5. Patricia says:

    It’s a low level of constant panic, not hearing from your family at this time. I’m so glad JLo
    got word.
    My husband is Puerto Rican and grew up there. We heard from family in San Juan fairly quickly (days), it’s horror in the city. Absolute horror.
    We heard from family in Isabela, some elderly, after an agonizing week. Fairing better than San Juan. They are insulated by being wealthy for Puerto Rican standards, have strong houses and lots of supplies.

    We still haven’t heard from family in Cibao, San Sebastián. This family is in poverty as are most Puerto Rican families. It’s terrifying, the silence. Another friend who heard from family only got scary news that there are ten people in a tiny two room house (the only cement house in the family), suffering from untreated medical problems and scared about water supply. Homes gone. Farms gone. No means of transportation.

    It can’t possible be overstated, this is like an apocalypse for the vast majority of people on the island. The kindest people you could know, who always treated a white woman with bad Spanish as FAMILY, no matter where I went on the island. Please please donate to Unidos. Best way to get aid there right now. Even ten dollars is so useful.

  6. PIa says:

    Yall listen to her single Spanish Ni Tu Ni Yo and see the video….it’s such a nice mini break from the the sad state of the world.

  7. Barbs441 says:

    Love JLo, saw her last year in Vegas and she is wonderful!! Trump is not worried about Puerto Rico because they can’t vote for him. I suspect that if FL and Texas had voted Blue, he would act the same way he is acting towards puerto rico.

  8. Asiyah says:

    I finally heard indirectly that my aunt is ok. I was very worried. We’re trying to convince her to either come here to the US or go with my parents in DR because at least in DR she won’t be alone should another hurricane strike (she lives alone in PR).

  9. anon says:

    since puerto rico is an island, shouldn’t their government have been better prepared? Shouldn’t their houses have better building codes? it’s sad and i cannot believe how ill prepared, as a society they are. hurricanes should be expected there, right? why were rd their hospitals better prepared with backup power? what was their plan for logistics to deliver supplies? They are already in debt and their population growth has been crazy! How is puerto rico even planning for its future. it’s not a sustainable society..

    • Patricia says:

      They are a bankrupt island. Most people there have very little resources. And if you learn the history you will know that it’s not of their own doing.
      My husband grew up in small town that was full of small businesses in the 80s and 90s. Well, Walmart moved in nearby and now the town struggles, many businesses that had been open for generations are closed now, all those jobs and income lost in the twin. How can a small island town contend with a huge American corporation that gets to stomp on it? This is just an example.

      Usually they are prepared for hurricanes. Many homes are concrete. They are used to living without power for short times. The hurricanes aren’t usually catastrophic like this. This weather is a part of their lives.

      The difference is the strength of this storm. What you said could be said of Texas and Florida also. These places are used to hurricanes. But who can prepare for a monster hurricane that has never been witnessed before? Especially when they are already bankrupt and having to close schools hospitals etc.

    • buckley says:

      As a Puertorican, have some freaking compassion.

    • Cristi says:

      Hi anon, yours is a good question. The last time a hurricane close to Maria’s magnitude hit the island was in the early part of the 19th century. The governor was concerned that the public did not seem as prepared for Irma as they could have been, it was said in some of the papers.

      The island has been bankrupt and owes millions to pay for a debt caused by banks and corruption (45 also added to it with his golf course), and over 200,000 members of the population have emigrated to the mainland US. With most living in poverty, many elderly people remaining on the island and a dying economy, there has been no money for improvements in the power grid and water system. The island depends on imports and unfortunately, the only cargo allowed to enter the ports are North American ships manned by Americans, the costliest and slowest. So it’s been a mess for a long time and I fear for their future. It’s horrifying to think what the people in the land of my birth, were 90% of my family is buried, are going through. I feel heartbroken and powerless.

      I’m sure others can correct my details, but that’s about the gist of it.

  10. jwoolman says:

    And the latest is that President Tweeter is insulting the mayor of San Juan, who is living in a shelter just like the rest because her own house flooded, because she’s been begging him to send help and he thinks the Democrats told her to start being critical of him. Get a clue, Tweeter, she’s desperate to get help for everybody and she’s complaining because you have been moving slower than molasses on it. He’s insulting other mayors also, just as he did with the mayor of London.

    Trump has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about in this situation (so what else is new?). He keeps saying the most inappropriate things about Puerto Rico instead of doing sensible things to get assistance to them. They don’t need any of your stupid hats, Donald. Stay home with Melania and send Air Force One by itself loaded with water, food, and medical supplies.