A shower of red plastic flower petals covers the rug of Room 417. On the bed, there are white balloons and more petals. The television is covered with plastic candles, while a song by the Puerto Rican musician Marc Anthony plays in the background.
On the table, there’s a cake surrounded by 12 pink-and-pistachio colored cupcakes. It is almost midnight on March 23rd in a New York hotel. “Today’s my wedding. I am so excited!,” says 22-year-old Mirel A. Marrero Misla, as she embraces her two-months pregnant belly.
She arrived at this hotel three days ago with her 25-year-old boyfriend Jorge Giovanni León López, her four-year-old daughter and her 57-year-old mother-in-law, Astrid López Pérez. Previously, they lived in a hotel in the Bronx alongside other Puerto Rican families who escaped the destruction of Hurricane María.