Nivia Rodriguez, a 60-year-old retiree whose uncle died a week after the storm, said she grew upset after watching videos of rescue crews in North Carolina when Hurricane Florence hit. It's just one of many resources around the state that have helped about 8,000 people who left Puerto Rico find a job.
On Thursday, Trump issued a one-sentence statement on the one-year anniversary of Maria.
After a commissioned study, the government of the US island attributed an estimated 2,975 deaths to the Category 4 storm, which also caused an estimated $100 billion in damage, including destroying 75 percent of the island's transmission lines.
The original death toll of Puertoriqueños was 64 victims according to the us government.
The island's government initially put the death toll at 64, but the August study by George Washington University estimated that Maria killed 2,975 people either directly or indirectly from the time it struck in September 2017 to mid-February. Shuttered businesses, blue tarp roofs and extensively damaged homes can still be seen throughout Puerto Rico and access to electricity and fresh water remain spotty.
Last week, Trump faced bipartisan backlash for his tweet asserting that 3,000 people did not die as a result of the hurricane.
Many have been disappointed at the poor relief response from the federal government and stood strong on calling them their dysfunction and corruption.
Across the island, people marked the one-year anniversary with gatherings large and small, solemn and anger-tinged - and at times, even hopeful.
For Carson, the disbursement of HUD funds "paves the way for a speedy, long-term recovery", but he warned that the "path forward is challenging, and will be measured not in months, but rather in years".
WBUR's Simón Rios returned to Puerto Rico to report on the recovery effort one year out.
More than 200,000 people left the island after the storm, mostly to the US mainland, according to government data.
He said the exhibition walks a fine line, with some paintings showing attractive landscapes alongside trailers set up by Puerto Rico's forensics institute as part of the effort to try to identify the bodies of those who perished in the storm. The San Juan mayor has noted that the island has seen only a fraction of nearly $50 billion in recovery funds Congress approved, including the $20 billion in HUD funds. The money will be used to fix and rebuild homes, relocate people and help them obtain property titles if needed.
"We're still waiting for help", he said. Not only has the recovery been slow, the process has also split families.
"We lost people, roofs and houses, but our community worked hard to get back on its feet", said Wilfredo Lopez, a community leader of the Sonadora neighborhood in Aguas Buenas, which had disaster-trained residents and its own protocols in place before the storm hit.