One man who lives in Puerto Rico is proving the power of networking can go a long way when it comes to helping those in need.
Alex Ruiz was making his way home to Ponce, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 19 when his flight out of Panama was canceled due to Hurricane Maria.
The 34-year-old, who was born in Bronx, New York, to hard-working Puerto Rican parents, is the Chief Strategy Officer of Ponce Health Sciences University. He had been traveling throughout South America for work and was eager to get back to his friends, employees and his younger brother, Emil Ruiz, 31, before the storm made landfall.
“I knew I was going to be stranded, but I didn’t know for how long,” Ruiz tells PEOPLE. “Then the next day, Maria hit and that was the last time I had contact with my brother and over 600 of our employees and 1,000 students.”
Ruiz, who …