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South Bend chef concerned about Puerto Rico hurricane damage

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The family of a well-known South Bend chef is waiting out Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Javier Mendez, owner of Javier’s Bistro, says he’s concerned about the safety of the island.

“It’s all been through the phone, through social media, mainly through pictures that they’ve been sending us,” Mendez said of communicating with his family.

While Mendez was born in the United States mainland, his mother, brothers and some sisters live in Puerto Rico.

The territory is still recovering from Hurricane Irma, and is now faced with Maria.

“This is going to hit really the heartland of Puerto Rico,” Mendez said.

According to Mendez, that heartland already has some economic problems that he fears will only be made worse after the storm passes.

“They live on the vegetation. So now that’s going to be stripped away from them,” Mendez said.

While it may seem far away, Mendez hopes those who love his restaurant realize why the island matters, and may need Michiana’s help.

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