SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- It's been less than a year since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, leaving parts of the island destroyed.
The Radames Lopez Little League team is from Guayama, Puerto Rico. They represent the Caribbean Region at the Little League World Series.
They worked hard to get here just like all the teams. but what makes these kids stand out -- less than a year ago, their baseball fields were destroyed by Hurricane Maria.
When the teams get to the Little League World Series, they get new gloves, bats, shoes, and sunglasses. It's more than what these kids from Puerto Rico could dream of just a few months ago.
"We don't have power. We don't have water for a couple of days, electricity for months. It was very difficult for us to see that," said Luis Rivera through a translator.
When Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico last September, it did not spare Guayama, which is along the southern coast. The homes of some of these players were damaged, and their baseball fields were ruined.
"We lost homes in our hometown, and we lost fields in our hometown, and it was very hard to get the kids to have fun," said Caribbean manager Carlos Texidor through a translator.
Volunteers pitched in and fixed up the Little League fields. While there was flooding and no power at their homes, the kids took solace playing baseball. It paid off when they made it to the Little League World Series.
The kids tell Newswatch 16 they are not thinking about any of that while they're out on the field playing ball.
"It's awesome here. I never imaged that I could be here in Williamsport playing," said Homircal Rodriguez.
"Just here to see my son play and his teammates play, happy for him," Emanuel Rodriguez said.
"It's a dream come true. We are very happy to be here. The kids are happy," Texidor added.
Get more information about the 72nd Little League World Series in South Williamsport.