Bronx cinematographer raises funds for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico

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THE BRONX -

A cinematographer from the Bronx has made it his mission to dedicate his work to helping hurricane victims in Purto Rico. 

Frank Rivera's obsession with the island started four years ago, particularly with a small Oceanside neighborhood called La Perla.

Although he wasn't born there and has no family on the island, Rivera says visiting the island to capture it's beauty, culture and people has become his next documentary project. 

"Puerto Rico is like my heart," he says.  "I want to be in it and really get the presence of La Perla."

Rivera lived in La Perla for several months working to capture video and photos of all the characters who live there for his documentary.

But as he prepared to finish, Hurricane Maria struck. 

"It just broke my heart," Rivera says. "I don't have all the money in the world, but what I can do with the little that I have and the audience that I have, I needed to do something."

Through his viewers and supporters, Rivera was able to collect portable lights, mosquito tents, and backpacks for children stuck in the path of destruction. 

He also created a calendar of photos and says all proceeds go toward his efforts to help La Perla.

He hopes to finish the documentary after editing in the aftermath of the hurricane when he revisits La Perla next month. 

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