MiamiHerald / A few weeks after Hurricane Maria flooded his northern Puerto Rican hamlet of Media Luna, Alberto Cabrera was shoveling rank mud and twisted debris out of a neighbor’s house.

At 60 years old, Cabrera said he had a duty to help those around him: He’s the youngest person in the village.

Even before the monster storm hit this island of 3.4 million, Puerto Rico was aging at a break-neck pace. A decade-long recession and 10 percent unemployment forced droves of young people to flee the island to seek work on the mainland.

According to a 2016 study published by the Puerto Rican government, 23.3 percent of the population is over 60 years old. That’s higher than any country in the Caribbean or Latin America, except for the U.S. Virgin Islands, a retirement hotspot.


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