The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is visiting western Massachusetts, starting Wednesday, to discuss Puerto Rico's future and ongoing challenges seven months after Hurricane Maria.
Holyoke City Councilor Jossie Valentín said Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz is in the area at the invitation of Mount Holyoke College.
"She's doing a number of events for them, with the caveat that she would also spend time with the community of Holyoke, based on the significance of our population being 50 percent Puerto Rican," Valentín said.
Valentín said that in the aftermath of the hurricane, Cruz has been one of the most outspoken critics of the U.S. government's response in Puerto Rico.
"It's not just what happened with Hurricane Maria," she said. "It's the storm that was brewing even before then, with the economic issues on the island, the financial crisis."
Among Cruz's public events will be a discussion Wednesday evening at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, which Valentín is moderating. Cruz is expected to speak about "the transformation of Puerto Rico after hurricanes Irma and Maria."
A talk Cruz is offering at Mount Holyoke on Thursday evening will be livestreamed.
Cruz is also scheduled to meet with Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse on Friday, and is receiving a key to the city. The public is invited.