Caribbean Iowa State Students Bracing for Hurricane Matthew’s Impact

AMES, Iowa -- Cultural pride is strong on the campus of Iowa State University, "I'm Caribbean through and through and I identify as a Caribbean-American, said Peter Deveaux-Isaacs.  If home is truly where the heart is, Hurricane Matthew could leave the Political Science Major, who is from the Bahamas, heart broken. "My entire family.  In fact our house is across the road from the beach. We literally have nothing blocking us from the devastation."

Peter says over fifty students with Caribbean ties belong to the recently created Pan-Caribbean student group on campus and have been providing each other updates of the Category 4 Hurricane "The only thing is you better laugh because otherwise you'll cry," said Peter.

Many haven't heard from there families in over 24 hours.  "I haven't talked to them since yesterday morning and when I talked to them they said they were getting evacuated," said Sophomore Animal Science major Janae Newkirk-Santana.

Janae said the stress has caused her school work to suffer.  "It's been really stressful.  I took an exam today it didn't go very well."  Peter agreed and said, "You get a state of hopelesness when you are far away from home and you can't actually help the people you care about most."

Through support and communication, this small on campus group says they'll weather the storm together.  Peter said, "Just in times of disaster, just having someone that knows what you are going through and knows that it's not easy all the time, it means the world to them."

The Pan-Caribbean group is already planning a general assembly next Thursday October 13, to discuss relief efforts for those impacted by the hurricane.