Right after Time magazine named her one of the most influential people of 2018, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz traveled to Holyoke, Massachusetts, a city some call Little Puerto Rico.
Cruz became highly visible after Hurricane Maria and a war of words with President Trump.
Starting Wednesday this week, she's spending three days in the area. Per capita, Holyoke has the largest population of Puerto Ricans living in the continental U.S.
Wednesday night, before a crowd of 250 people, Cruz said Puerto Ricans must unite to change the still devastated island's economic structure. She said maybe then decades of an exodus from Puerto Rico would end, and some would return.
“So it is our duty not to judge the ones that had to leave, but to make sure we work with you, in order to produce an island nation where you can choose whether you want to come back,” Cruz said to the crowd.
Cruz is believed to be considering a run for Puerto Rico governor in 2020.