Thursday, December 31, 2009

And so we end the year: 2009

No need for a year in review nor a recap. I would much rather prefer more of a congratulatory end to a year that proved to be very impressive for Latinos in general. From outer space to the highest court in the land to right on the ground with everyday Latinos making moves within their respective communities, the year was one of many achievements. May 2010 prove to be just as exciting and may we continue to unify and solidify our communities. P'alante!

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Les deseo a todos un próspero Año Nuevo!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Three Kings Day Toy Drive/Fund '09-'10

Latinos in Social Media and Being Latino presents:

Our 1ST ANNUAL THREE-KINGS DAY ONLINE TOY DRIVE & FUNDRAISER to benefit The Children's Aid Society 's Latino Outreach Initiative and the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF]

January 6th, is the traditional day for gift-giving in Latin American tradition, will bring joy to disadvantaged Latino children in the US and Latin America.

The Toy Drive & Fundraiser will have two levels:

1st Level: Thanks to generous donations from our sponsors Time To Play, Ingenio and Discovery Toys, we will be donating new unwrapped bilingual Educational toys to the Latino Outreach Center of the Children's Aid Society, located in Washington Heights, New York City. The toys will be distributed to less fortunate Latino children in the area.

2nd Level: We will be collecting donations from our growing online networks. This monetary donation will benefit UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, and be distributed through UNICEF to centers aiding disadvantaged children in Latin America.

LAUNCH DETAILS:
• WHAT: Live Twitter Party
• WHEN: December 30th 2009, 8pm - 10pm EST
• WHERE: Twitter (use hashtag #latismtoydrive or enter latismtoydrive in
TweetChat.com – you must have a Twitter account).

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
• Donate ONLINE through our Chipin/PayPal account here.

*****Donations accepted until January 3rd, 2010*****





• Make a toy donation by sending new, unwrapped toys to: The Children's Aid Society -105 East 22nd St. Please use codename: LATISMTOYDRIVE. Toy donations will be accepted until January 4th, 2010.

• Follow and Retweet our Toy Drive message using #latismtoydrive on Twitter

• Write about it on your blog

• Post up toy drive widgets on your blog (http://bit.ly/5urQXF) and social networks.

All Toy Drive, Donations totals and ceremony pictures will be posted on our Latism.org and Being Latinos website on January 6, 2010.

We thank our sponsors Time To Play, Ingenio and Discovery Toys for their generous toy donations, and our social media community for their support!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Responses to "Illegals in my Yard"

The recent display of disrespect against Latinos as a whole has shown that we still have strides to make. No matter how they paint it, the ugly face of racism has shown itself again. Can they claim freedom of speech and self expression? Well, I'll remind them that while they do so, some of those very Latinos that they offend are serving in the military to defend those very freedoms.
The apologies have come, but I am sure the insensitivity will continue....enjoy the real deal...José Feliciano con Feliz Navidad.


Willie Colon's call to "Stop hate speech against Latinos"

This is what racists call a Merry Christmas: "Illegals in my yard"

Feliciano protests use of 'Feliz Navidad' for musical spoof about immigrants

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Puerto Rican Rum: Pitorro

Ah, yes...with all the talk about coquito a friend 'en la isla' just reminded me about "PITORRO". What is pitorro? Well, pitorro is a clandestine rum made in Puerto Rico. Produced by distilling sugar cane, adding various fruits and then aged. Tis' the season for a little pitorro!

así...

o así?...



Una Jodia Aventura: El Pitorro de Patillas


Pitorro o Ron Cañita


¿cuál deseas ha beber?


Legal una marca de pitorro::: Wapa.tv
16/12/09

Spanglish Christmas? Hmm......

I was thinking about what exactly I would write about in relation to the holidays but then I came across a great post. I'll direct you to the post shortly but before doing so I'll briefly mention that the post is by Judith Mercado. Judith is a Puerto Rican born author who moved to the U.S. at an early age. Many of her short stories can be read via her blogs entitled "Judith Mercado Short Stories and more..." and "Pilgrim Soul".

Her latest post on Pilgrim Soul, 'A Spanglish Christmas Eve', really sums it up quite well. On that, enjoy the story, the poem and your holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Isabel Gonzalez: Gonzales v. Williams, 192 U.S. 1 (1904)



On Aug 24, 1902 a young pregnant Puerto Rican female, Isabel Gonzalez, arrived in New York from Puerto Rico by steamship. She was to meet her fiance, who had left Puerto Rico earlier that year in search of work, and family to then settle down and get married. Little did she know that she would be transferred to Ellis Island and detained as an 'alien immigrant' upon her arrival.

In late 1898, the Treaty of Paris would be signed placing Puerto Rico under U.S. control. Military rule would almost quickly be established, the Americanization process would begin and by 1899 the islands name would be changed to Porto Rico. Considering the islands population at the time racially and socially inferior, the U.S Congress opposed U.S. citizenship. When it applied to law, Puerto Rico was foreign on a domestic level but was a part of the U.S on an international level. When the Immigration Commissioner then decided to issue new guidelines, Gonzalez status would be considered 'alien'.

Initial attempts by family to get her released were fruitless so a petition was filed on her behalf. Lawyers interested in her case would file the petition with the U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York where the court would eventually rule that she was an alien.

Although she had lost her case there, Gonzalez decided she would then appeal to the United States Supreme Court. At the same time, Federico Degetau, a Puerto Rican politician and lawyer (and 1st Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico) was writing in protest of the new rules that made Puerto Ricans subject to immigration laws. He became interested in the Gonzalez case and on Dec. 4 and 7 of 1903 the case, which became known as Gonzales v. Williams, would be argued. This time around the court would rule in Gonzalez favor. Although she would not be declared a U.S. citizen, she would not be considered an alien.

Isabel Gonzalez would go on to live in New York and actively pursued the cause of U.S. citizenship for all Puerto Ricans. In 1917, the Jones-Shafroth Act would be signed into law granting all Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship.



Case Preview
Full Text of Case

Friday, December 18, 2009

'Jibaro Clause' Puts a Smile on Kids Faces

With that look of joy and anticipation on their faces,the children of Bushwick United Headstart were treated to a visit by Sofrito for your Soul's own George 'Urban Jibaro' Torres. Donning costume, the 'Urban Jibaro' was transformed into 'Jibaro Clause' for the day. He came bearing gifts for the eagerly awaiting children and was rewarded with hugs and smiles.

Smile after smile, you could see the joy in their faces as they each received a gift from the 'Jibaro Clause' and then in unison tore them open. The gifts, which came from the help of sponsors and donations, were a result of the Pa'L Pueblo charity event held the week prior. While the event was exciting, the results were even more rewarding in that it brought so many smiles. The children will hopefully remember this wonderful day.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

El Periódico Claridad Closes the Year with an Exclusive Interview


Exclusivo: Hablan los Macheteros

Gervasio Morales Rodríguez
entrevista al Comandante Guasábara, Subsecretario General del Ejército Popular Boricua-Macheteros

A diez meses de la toma de posesión de la administración de Luis Fortuño y el PNP, ¿qué balance hacen los Macheteros de la situación del país?

La derrota del candidato a gobernador del Partido Popular Democrático (PPD), Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, por el candidato del Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) Luis Fortuño, no cambia radicalmente la política neoliberal de ambos partidos. Ambos hablan de paz, justicia y libertades sociales. Ambos utilizan la demagogia para llegar al poder. Ambos despiertan enormes esperanzas entre las masas, cuando la realidad es que, no importa el partido que gane las elecciones, ambos responden a los intereses de la burguesía estadounidense y la burguesía criolla, entre los que se encuentran los bancos, los desarrollistas, los contratistas, etc.

Seguir leyendo aquí......

Ever-smoldering status issue flares up in D.C.

Robert Friedman - Puerto Rico Daily Sun
Washington - December 14, 2009

Will still one more locally sponsored status plebiscite move Congress to understand the time has come to help resolve Puerto Rico’s question of all questions?

Hopefully yes, say some longtime veterans of the island’s battle of all battles.

Another island-mandated vote could be on the horizon, given the not-quite-pressing interest so far displayed by congressional and White House leaders in getting Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi’s status bill through the House, then the Senate and onto the president’s desk for his signature.

That’s the talk, at any rate, among status warriors here and on the island. While Gov. Fortuño still publicly holds out hope that the Pierluisi status bill will get on the House docket next year and easily get approved there, he seemed stumped when asked in a recent interview who will push the bill in the Senate during the 2010 election year.

One thing at a time, the governor said. That “one thing” probably will be the same one thing that happened in 1990 and 1998, when the House approved status bills and the Senate took no action on the legislation.

Even Pierluisi raised the possibility of the locally held plebiscite. The New Progressive Party platform calls for such a status vote if Congress does not act on the issue by 2010, he noted.

Amidst the usual, almost always unheeded calls for “consensus” from the politicos out of power, Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz has said he would meet with the governor to develop “an effective and intelligent strategy” on a local status bill. One of the principle questions at this point is whether the measure will mirror the Pierluisi bill, which calls for two possible votes, the first whether the current commonwealth relationship should be changed, the second, how it should be changed.

In a strange-bedfellows alliance, both Puerto Rico Independence Party official Manuel Rodríguez Orellana and NPP former Senate President Charlie Rodríguez believe in the revival of the 2005 status bill passed unanimously in the Legislature before then-Gov. Acevedo Vilá vetoed it for reasons that reasonable people are still trying to figure out.

Continue reading the full article here ..........

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No Treaty for Puerto Rico (1898)

The Treaty of Paris (1898) was signed on Dec. 10 1898, officially placing Puerto Rico under U.S. control. The keys to the padlock of the colonial chains, which for four centuries kept Puerto Rico under Spanish colonial rule, had exchanged hands.

The image shown is © grupoHuracan via NY Latino Journal


If only for a moment in 1898, Puerto Rico would be allowed a short lived opportunity to prepare for autonomy from Spanish rule. Spain had granted Puerto Rico self government in late 1897 via the "Carta Autonómica", approved by the Spanish Cortes on November 25. The Spanish -American war would bring that attempt to an abrupt end when on July 25, 1898 American troops led by General Nelson A. Miles landed in Guánica Bay. While there was some opposition to the invasion, there were many who also welcomed it as an opportunity for change. The changes that were to come would be under many guises; from the Foraker Act (1900) to the Jones Act (1917) to the establishment of its commonwealth status the island nation would remain a colony. On Dec 10, 1898, the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1898) signaled the beginning of a new colonial era for Puerto Rico.


Treaty: a formal agreement between two or more states in reference to peace, alliance, commerce, or other international relations.


UPDATE: "The Puerto Rico Democracy Act"... H.R. 2499.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MTV Casting Notice (looking for Ivy League Latinas)

Dear Comadres...together we can make a difference! You go Linda Nieves-Powell! What a great role model...make change! Con carino, Nora

Last spring I was involved in an MTV protest to ban an episode of TRUE LIFE: I'm a NUYORICAN. It was the most demoralizing thing I had ever witnessed and I went on a mission to spread the word about it. Here is an article published by the NY Daily News: .....MTV's 'I'm a Nuyorican' not getting El Barrio love. MTV responded to this outcry. I was then invited to attend the MTV board meeting with the President and Vice President of programming along with The Hispanic Media Coalition. They immediately took the episode off the air and also promised that there would be an attempt to create a more positive True Life special on Puerto Ricans. Well, they stuck to their word and here is a casting call...

MTV is looking to profile the lives of young women of Puerto Rican descent currently enrolled as undergraduates at an Ivy League school (Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth Penn or Columbia) that have an amazing and captivating story.

SEEKING: FEMALES (16+; Puerto Rican) - STUDENTS of Ivy League School; Must be of Puerto Rican descent. latinacasting@ mtvn.com

Linda Nieves-Powell
President
Latino Flavored Productions Inc.
Ultimate Latino Flavored
PO BOX 131639
Staten Island, NY 10313
718.873.4042 718.873.4042

*****Posted by comadre Adriana Bardin Prestwood*****
Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Ph.D.
LAS COMADRES PARA LAS AMERICAS
Connecting Latinas Everywhere!
Las Comadres Para Las Americas

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pa'L Pueblo: Helping Put a Smile on a Kids Face!

Thanksgiving has passed and the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping is full steam ahead. While we set out in search of perfect gifts for those near and dear, there will be many who will not have that opportunity. As adults we can come to understand the hardships the economy has dealt us but the same can not be said for the children that are affected. While the signs of recovery are minuscule, to say the least, the even more difficult task can be explaining to a child that there will not be any gifts this year. Instead, help put a smile on a kids face. We can all make this happen, if even for the price of a cup of coffee, by donating to a toy drive, coat drive or any of your favorite charities.




Capicu Poetry in association with Notice Lounge have partnered to host the 3rd Annual "Pa'L Pueblo" holiday celebration/Toy Drive in which proceeds from the door will benefit children of the Brooklyn's Bushwick United Head Start "Toys For Head Start" program. The event will feature "Parranda" style music, a delicious Latino holiday buffet, spoken word poetry, conscious hip hop, comedy and a sense of community with special performances:


Comedy by Victor Cruz,
Poetry by Mia Hernandez,
Poetry by J.F. Seary,
Visual Art by Taino Spirit.


For more info visit the Sofrito website.... Pa'L Pueblo.
If your in Brooklyn and would like to attend or if you would like to just leave a donation then you can do so here or here.

Capicu Poetry's PaL Pueblo Charity
Notice Lounge & Cafe
198 Union Ave (between B'way & Montrose)
Williamsburg Brooklyn 11211

Mil gracias, abrazos y felicidades!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ivonne Galanes


Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on January 18, 1963, Ivonne Galanes is an extraordinary artist, poet and concert pianist. Her first drawing, at the age of three, was her first indication of what she was meant to be, an artist.

She graduated from The Lucchetti School of Visuals Arts (currently Central High School of Visual Arts), went on to study the techniques of the Great Masters at the Pratt Institute in New York and human anatomy from real human corpses at the School of Medicine in Columbia University, NY. These very studies along with her cultural heritage have inspired many of her paintings. Along with winning several awards since 1979, her pieces have been on display at numerous art shows across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

To continue visit her official website.

¿En Puerto Rico?...Las obras van a estar en exhibición
durante todo el mes de diciembre. La Biblioteca Carnegie abre de lunes a
viernes, de 8 am a 5:30 pm. (Puerta de Tierra, Viejo San Juan)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Tarantula Gets Published

Congratulations go out to Rosalinda Vargas, for having her poem published. Several months ago I posted her poem, "A Tarantula", and reminded her that there is always room in our lives for improvement...in everything that we do...never give up! Kudos to her for not giving up and pursuing a dream.


The Writers' Gallery Magazine: A Collection of Writing (Volume 2)


Friday, November 27, 2009

Filiberto Ojeda Ríos Report Expected.....


As reported by the newly online established Puerto Rico Daily Sun there is a report expected by Dec. 31st in the ongoing investigation by the Puerto Rico Civil Rights Commission on the death of the late Filiberto Ojeda Ríos. Ojeda Rios, leader of the militant group known as Los Macheteros, was killed on Sept 23, 2005......read full article..

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanks 'Giving'; Feliz Dia de Acción de Gracias!


Thanksgiving... regardless of the days meaning to each individual one has to stop and consider all the things that can be given thanks for.
I personally remember many a childhood memories of Thanksgivings long gone. They were, as is now, a day to gather among family, enjoy the many Puerto Rican style dishes, enjoy some good music and be thankful for what we had. Some will do the same today with family and friends while others will dig deep to explore the true meaning behind the day.
It's historical significance can be associated to the images often seen in classroom history books or, to the more historically interested in the days meaning, it can be associated to deeper historical facts (Desconstructing the Myths.....) not found in those same books. Images of Pilgrims and Indians at the dinner table enjoying a big feast is the norm making the occasion very picturesque. While we should be giving thanks daily we should not forget the greater meaning behind it's celebrated purpose.
The objective here, regardless of the days meaning, is to give thanks. Let's not just give it one day a year though, but every day. After all, the word thanksgiving is two words in one.


Thanks, but No Thanks? ....you decide.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Why is now the time? Fortuño Pide Incorporación de P.R. a E.U.

Puerto Rico Governor, Luis G. Fortuño, believes that there is no greater time then now for Puerto Rico to be incorporated into the U.S.

Back in 1898 as the U.S. took possession of the island it was never intended for it to become a state. Forcing citizenship upon Puerto Ricans (1917), allowing Puerto Ricans to elect their own governor (1948) and to construct a Constitution of their own (1950) were not changes but mere cloaks to cover the relationship status, colonial, that was in place. Puerto Rico's social, economic and political relationship to the U.S. fundamentally remains the same. As late as the early 1960's, then Governor Luis Muñoz Marín's attempts to call the island a 'free associated state' were shunned since Puerto Rico was neither free nor a state. As late as 2005, former President Bush's Puerto Rico Task Force reminded "Puerto Rico was not intended to become a state and Puerto Ricans were citizens by statue rather than birth." Hence, it was a colony then and still continues to be.
So..why is now the time?


Fortuño pide incorporación de P.R. a E.U.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Response to...."Puerto Ricans in New York Struggling…Still" Comment

Here we go again. As I scroll through the comments in this article I think of the possible reasons as to why Puerto Ricans are still struggling in New York even after several generations. I listened to the video and arguably the ignorance of some elected officials is shameful. There are many reasons for the struggle but the real challenge lies in correcting what is wrong and finding solutions. Stressing the importance of education and providing information to resources available to obtain the same are only a part of the solution. Many Puerto Ricans who have risen from poverty have left these communities and fail to come back and give to the same community. It's not about giving backbone but more about "you can do the same".


As always, there is that one comment which stands to be corrected.

I'll quote Mr White: " Rican’s overwhelmingly voted to become either a state (46%) or no change (50%) in 1998 so the colonially argument is irrelevant when the majority doesn’t want a change in status. The other half can come here if they don’t like there status. I’m sure millions around the world would give up their homeland to stay 6 months in America. They have lotteries around the world to come here!"

How can I possibly remain mum to this obviously historically uneducated comment. I question this commenter's knowledge of Puerto Rican history in relation to the U.S. which is 111 years old. How can independence be removed from the table as viable option? Do we take the voice of even that small majority away? It's obvoius, to say the least, that historical deprivation brings this type of thinking to the forefront. To say that 'if they don't like their status to come to the U.S.' shows a lack of the same. One does not bite the hand that feeds it, but understand, the same hand has molded a society into becoming socially dependent. Remove that dependency, allow the free thinking to develop and the possibilites of an independent nation can unfold.

Verses/Poetry (Inside the mind of an Emcee/Poet)

Jason Hernandez aka Majestik Originality, poet and emcee has just released his first book. If the book is anything like his live performance then it can only be a hit. Read more about Majestik Originality when you get your daily dose of sofrito. Click on the image below to purchase the book.

cover art by Justin "The Omnitect" Munoz

*NOTE*: A portion of ALL online sales will be donated towards the fight against MS & the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Whose Barrio?" Wins @ LILIFF; Free Admission to Screening @ BLIFF


In a previous post I introduced you to the documentary "Whose Barrio?". I am happy to announce 'a well deserved win'..................


Co-directors Ed Morales and Laura Rivera are pleased to announce that “Whose Barrio?” a documentary about the gentrification of East Harlem, won the award for “Best Documentary Short” at the Long Island Latino International Film Festival on November 8th.

For those of you living in or planning on visiting the Boston area this coming weekend, there will be a screening of “Whose Barrio?” at the Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF) on Saturday, November 21st. The screening will be held at Boston University, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA, at 4:30 and admission is free!

Please visit their website for updates and to post comments.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Outrageous Fortuño by Ed Morales

This article appeared in the
November 30, 2009 edition of The Nation.



On October 23 a hideous plume of black smoke filled the sky in San Juan, Puerto Rico, emanating from a gas tank explosion at a storage facility of the Caribbean Petroleum Corporation (CAPECO) in the nearby municipality of Bayamón. The explosion and ensuing fire, which forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 people and caused President Obama to declare a federal disaster,
is an ominous metaphor for Puerto Rico's current state. The combination of a four-year recession, a $3.2 billion deficit and a toxic Republican-style governor, Luis Fortuño, has turned the island into a political powder keg.

After the explosion, the head of the FBI's office in Puerto Rico announced a federal investigation into whether the explosion was the result of sabotage or terrorism (the investigation has ruled this out). This dovetailed neatly with the strategy employed by the island's ruling New Progressive Party (PNP) of denouncing as terrorists labor leaders who had organized a general strike the previous week. Using Plaza Las Américas--the Caribbean's largest shopping mall and the most glaring symbol of US consumerism on the island--as a staging ground, the unions had amassed tens of thousands of protesters to denounce Governor Fortuño's recent announcement of layoffs of government workers, which would bring the year's total to about 17,000. In an economy where government workers make up 21 percent of the total workforce, these measures--employed ostensibly to protect Puerto Rico's credit rating, which is threatened with junk status--struck a deep chord of resentment among Puerto Ricans. And no wonder, since the official unemployment rate is 16.2 percent--closer to 25 percent if the underemployed are included.

The week after Fortuño's announcement, during a press conference about the development of an eastern port near a recently closed military base, the governor had to dodge an egg hurled at him by Roberto García Díaz, a 44-year-old former employee of the base. The huevazo, or "egg-throw," became a major news story, echoing the famed shoe-throwing at George W. Bush in Iraq and indicating that the island's usually raucous political environment had been kicked up a notch. While PNP functionaries fearmongered about an element that wanted to sow chaos in Puerto Rico, García Díaz became something of a folk hero.

Puerto Rico has been an incorporated territory of the United States since 1898, and although its residents were granted citizenship in 1917, the UN and much of the world still recognize it as a colony (in June the UN Special Committee on Decolonization called on Washington to expedite a
self-determination process). Since 1952, when its euphemistic status as a commonwealth or "free associated state" was coined, the island's leadership has oscillated between the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), which favors the status quo, and the PNP, which favors statehood. The Independence Party, which consistently garners between 2 and 5 percent of the vote, represents a constituency that has been repressed by the US federal government since a series of nationalist uprisings that began in 1937.

Although the PNP's leaders have historically oscillated between the mainland Democrats and Republicans, the new regime seems to be living out a GOP fantasy of regaining power lost in last year's presidential election. In addition to his government-downsizing measures, Fortuño--a board member of the Republican National Hispanic Association, which includes party loyalists
such as Senators Orrin Hatch and John Ensign, RNC chair Michael Steele and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform--has emboldened a social conservatism that is suddenly ascendant on this largely Catholic-yet-carnivalesque island. A few weeks ago it was announced that several far from obscene books, such as Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá's El Entierro de Cortijo and Carlos Fuentes's Aura, would be banned from public school libraries because they contain "coarse language." Austere legislative measures, including closing bars much earlier and lowering the blood alcohol limit for drivers to .02 percent from the standard .08 percent, are close to
being enacted.

Fortuño's policies even earned him a tongue-lashing on MTV Latin America's awards show, which was held on the day of the general strike. After sporting a T-shirt that read, Fortuño--Dodge This! alternative rapper René Pérez Joglar, a k a Residente of the group Calle 13, denounced the governor as a "son of a whore" because of the layoff announcement. The PNP tried to spin the insult as an attack on Puerto Rican women, and San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini promptly canceled Residente's much-anticipated show at the island's largest arena. But on November 2 a group of female activists held a semi-nude protest against Fortuño's policies, saying his cutbacks to
agencies advocating for women deprived them of human rights.

Denouncing Residente's edgy, Rabelaisian rants as trafficking in obscenity masks the obscenity of an economic policy that compounds the worst effects of this deep recession. Edwin Meléndez, an economist who directs Hunter College's Center for Puerto Rican Studies, suggested the Fortuño government needs to look more closely at other options, such as offering early retirement with full pension guarantees and renegotiation of debts incurred by government programs with attached revenue streams.

Despite the massive public protest against his policies, Fortuño is sticking to his guns. He announced in early November that 7,000 of the layoffs would be delayed until January because of faulty paperwork by a private consulting firm. The move seemed like an attempt to lessen the immediate impact of the layoffs while refusing to reconsider them.

For many Puerto Ricans, the current problems stem from a deeper, much more long-term malaise: the island's unsettled political status. Yet another plebiscite proposal, which critics say is stacked toward getting Puerto Ricans to vote for statehood, is creeping through the House in Washington. Now more than ever, it's time for a strong coalition of Puerto Ricans on the
island and the US mainland to come up with an alternative--a people's movement, perhaps seeking stronger economic ties to the Caribbean and Latin America, to demand social justice for 4 million effectively second-class US citizens.

As Residente said on MTV, "Latin America is not complete without Puerto
Rico, and Puerto Rico is not free."

About Ed Morales

Ed Morales, a freelance writer and filmmaker, is the author of Living in
Spanglish
and co-director of the documentary Whose Barrio?, about
gentrification in East Harlem.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Voices Against Violence Zine by Noemi Martinez

Call out for Submissions !

Voices Against Violence Zine is accepting submissions for our next issue. Please send in your essays, poetry, letters, personal accounts, artwork & photography to be included.

What is the Voices Against Violence Zine? A small zine-diy style, with work from people of color, indigenous folks, trans people & queer survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and sexual assault. Included topics can be: healing from trauma, transformative words used as a healing mechanism, enabling healing, life after trauma, self-help guides/resources, self-healing, dancing as means to healing, healing through narration, forgiveness (do we need it?), & collective trauma.

Reposted from Hermana, Resist.
For complete info see the Original Post ---> cont.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gentrification in New York's Spanish Harlem 'El Barrio'....Whose Barrio?


Gentrification as defined is the process of renewing and rebuilding an area resulting in higher prices which are unaffordable to those living within that community..mostly poorer residents.

During the 1950's, in what is know as "The Great Migration", many Puerto Ricans made their way from La Isla de Puerto Rico to La Isla de Manhattan. Over 58,000 Puerto Ricans made their way to New York and settled in various neighborhoods from Brooklyn to The Bronx to Manhattan. Some will argue that it was gentrification, in the case of East Harlem during those same years, but looking back there was no renewing nor rebuilding then. Fast forward to today and yes...we have gentrification.

In the documentary, "Whose Barrio?" filmmakers Ed Morales and Laura Rivera bring you to today's' Spanish Harlem and introduce you to several neighborhood residents. Jose Rivera, has lived a lifetime in 'El Barrio' and shares the plight of many others who feel that they are ultimately being priced out of the neighborhood. James Garcia, has just bought a condo across from the projects and finds the neighborhood to be dirty and crime ridden. James Barrow, has no problem with the change but fears the dangers associated with a construction project next door. From the often ignored tenement buildings overseen by multinational real estate developers to the New York City Housing projects to all the newly constructed buildings which include luxury condos and co-ops you can feel the tensions of many within the community. Change is inevitable, but at what cost?

'A must see documentary on the change that is occurring and the different reactions and feelings of those within the community.'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Latino/Latina Veterans

The following is an email opinion I received via El Diario La Prensa (impre.com) (opinion@eldiariony.com). For the record, I thank and commend ALL veterans, I have served among far too many who have given and continue to give selflessly of themselves. All without regard to race, creed, color, etc...Thank You.

A battle for history and respect

Bravery and sacrifice know no color or language. But too many of the veterans who fought for our nation have been treated as footnotes to history. It is time for the U.S. Armed Forces and White House to give proper recognition to these patriotic men and women.

As many as 750,000 Latinos and Latinas served in the armed forces during World War II, according to the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project. During the Korean War, the 65th Infantry of Puerto Rico won the praise of legendary military commanders such as General Douglas MacArthur. Yet, in the telling of U.S. history, Latino soldiers have received little mention.

Correcting this virtual invisibility is a matter of historical accuracy. And the service of Hispanics—which dates as far back as the revolt of the 13 colonies—must be placed in its context. Latinos have enlisted during periods in which brutal racial segregation was the status quo and their rights as citizens were denied. Others served as immigrants, a tradition that continues to this day.

Many veterans of World War II and Korea have passed on or are in their golden years. The clock is ticking on our nation letting them know that they will be meaningfully reflected in books, articles and documentaries beyond those that some Latinos have worked so hard to produce and write. This includes Col. Gilberto Villahermosa’s book on the 65th, “Honor and Fidelity.” The book was recently published by the U.S. Army's Center of Military History but has been only quietly announced.

Hispanics have distinguished themselves and served throughout conflicts and in times of peace, but for the sake of our elderly veterans, we highlight some units here for formal recognition by the White House, including overdue medal upgrades by the armed forces:

Latinas with the Women's Army Corps and in general war effort

We learned during the recent judicial hearings that Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s mother Celina was a member of this Corps during World War II. She is one among many Latinas whose service deserves full salute.

The 65th Infantry

More than 61,000 Puerto Ricans served in the Korean War, the bulk of them with this unit. Despite showing great heroism, no member of the 65th has ever been awarded a Medal of Honor. In Korea, the 65th was also subjected to the largest mass courts-martial that has yet to be fully acknowledged as a consequence of the Army’s bad and unfair policies.

El Escuadrón 201

Nicknamed the “Aztec Eagles,” this Mexican fighter squadron was attached to a unit of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. In 1945, the squadron aided the Allied effort during the liberation of Luzon in the Philippines.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, along with veterans groups, historians and educators must make sure these men and women are paid tribute.

There is certainly plenty of precedent for this. Only last month, President Obama cited an Army unit that had been overlooked for decades. During that ceremony, Obama said “Today also reminds us of our obligations to all our veterans, whether they took off the uniform decades ago or days ago -- to make sure that they and their families receive the respect they deserve…”

We could not agree more.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Colony by Any Other Name is Still a Colony

The image shown is © grupoHuracan via NY Latino Journal


Not to belittle but to begin by definition, the definition of colony as per Merriam-Webster.com is defined as a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state. So for 111 years, an island roughly 100 by 35 miles situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, has been a colony of the United States. This island is known as Puerto Rico.

Since 1952, Puerto Rico's colonial status has been masked as a commonwealth. It was in 1950 that the U.S Congress approved a law allowing for Puerto Rico to determine whether Puerto Ricans wanted to draft their own constitution. This public law left unchanged all the articles that were present under the Jones Act of 1917. Nothing was really changed in 1952 and the same still remains. Let's face it, when General Miles set foot in Gaunica, Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898 he did not come with a promise of riches and equality. The expectations, of many, of a free and sovereign nation were met with another padlock and chain. Then, in 1952 the intention was to change the name so as to change the mindset. Merely changing the name by which you call it does not change it true status : a colony.

Feed it with just enough to maintain it; keep it under control; provide just enough but not too much. Remember this, change will come..maybe not today, tomorrow or even in this lifetime but it will come because change is inevitable.

Read this excellent piece "For Shame: Congress and its Puerto Rican Subjects" by Ronald Fernandez.






Monday, November 2, 2009

Salsa...Catch the Rythm


Music has always been a great part of my life. I have dabbled in the art of djing and have had the opportunity to amass a sizable collection. My collection spans from hip-hop, R&B, rock and roll, merengue to salsa and then some. Pero, I have always had a soft spot for salsa so when I read this post (via SofritoforyourSoul) , 'New Salsa Documentary: Politics Of Rythm', it brought me to my feet and I just had to share...Y porque no!

Eso es ...pa que lo disfruten!
Images © MadFilms Inc,USA

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Bit of Memory

As the cold winter arrives a thought occurs...it seems as if it was colder when I was younger. As I think about that for a moment I realize it may just not have been colder. The truth is the lack of heat provided by the unscrupulous landlords made it seem that way. The landlord really was more like the invisible man. Only appearing at the first of the month to collect the rent and give the excuse as to why there was no heat. Oh, the boiler is being repaired; oh, I called the oil company and they'll be here tomorrow. Funny, I almost feel as if the same landlord owned every tenement building in the community back then.

I also wonder if my mother was psychologically keeping us warm. I remember fondly the huge frame in the living room of huge splashing waves with a strange structure in the distance (I realized years later that it was El Morro). I remember all the figurines of coquis, palm trees, guiros, etc. with the red, white and blue (Puerto Rican Flag). I guess to some extent it may have worked along with just being a kid and running around all the time. As for all things Puerto Rican....well they were embedded in my subconscious .... today, I love them all dearly.

Gracias, madre mia, por inculcar en mi el amor por nuestra cultura.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Esto es: Lo Mejor de Nuestra Comunidad


I recently had the pleasure of attending an event to kick off Puerto Rican Heritage Month. The annual event, held by Comite Noviembre at El Museo del Barrio, included an awards and scholarship presentation. The award entitled,'Lo Mejor de Nuestra Comunidad', recognizes outstanding individuals who make a difference in their respective Puerto Rican communities.

Listening to the accomplishments and speeches given by the recipients left me inspired and proud of their selfless commitments and the impact they leave on their communities. Mentioned during the evening were Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and astronaut Joe Acaba, two Boricuas whose accomplishments are an inspiration to many Latinos. Not to belittle the accomplishments made by both but to show that within the communities themselves are individuals who empower and inspire, that give of themselves and are the perfect role models for our youth. Individuals who are within reach and whose pride in 'nuestra cultura' is evident in all they do. This is exactly what our youth deserve and need.
Congratulations to all the recipients!
  • Rev. Carmen Hernandez
  • Clarisel Gonzalez
  • Elisha Miranda
  • Hilda Rivera Pantojas
  • Ibrahim Gonzalez
  • Melinda Gonzalez
  • Nydia Rodriguez Edgecombe
  • Rafael J Rivera Viruet
  • Rosa Valentin
  • Trinity Aurelia Padilla

Enjoy some photo's by Clarisel here!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Río Piedras Massacre

Puerto Rico's independence movement has existed for several centuries now, advocating independence of the island from Spain and then from the U.S. Unfortunately, the independence movement has had its violent moments. Today marks one of those moments.


On October 24, 1935, four Nationalists supporters were killed by police guns. The claim being that these individuals were at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (UPRRP) to break up a meeting, by university students, with armed action. The students had felt insulted by a speech given by Pedro Albizu Campos. In an attempt to arrest the individuals, shooting ensued and the four Nationalist were killed in what is remembered as "Rio Piedras Massacre".



  • Ramón S. Pagán
  • Eduardo Rodríguez Vega
  • José Santiago Barea
  • Pedro Quiñones

Rafael Hernández Marín, Puerto Rican Composer


Rafael Hernandez Marin was born on October 24, 1892 in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. At an early age he demonstrated his love for music and learned to play many musical instruments. In his early musical career, as a musician, he played in the municipal orquestra, in San Juan. He then would eventually go on to play for the U.S. Army's musical band, the Orchestra Europe, during WWI.


During the 1920's, Rafael started to write music. His writing coupled with his love for music would eventually lead him to compose over 3,000 works of music from patriotic, danzas, boleros to guarachas, the list goes on.



From Puebla, Mexico (Qué Chula es Puebla) to the Dominican Republic (Linda quisqueya) to Puerto Rico (Preciosa), his music is an important part of nuestra cultura.


Rafael Hernandez Marin, one of the greatest composers of Puerto Rican popular music died in San Juan on December 11, 1965.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

George Lopez Coming to Late Night?



After a hard day of work, some running around to catch up on daily chores, helping the kids with homework and a late dinner there isn't much room left other than to sulk in some frustration. Well, no mas mi gente! We've put up with all the others and it's time for a little stress relief à la Latino flavor on late night.


George Lopez , the multi-talented entertainer of film, television and stand-up comedy, will be bringing his skills to late night via TBS networks. The show, titled Lopez Tonight, will air Monday through Thursday nights and is set to debut on November 9, 2009 at 11PM.
For a a taste of what you can expect, visit Lopez Tonight.

Lopez Tonight Community
George on Twitter
Facebook Fan Page
MySpace

Que lo disfruten!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crisis Continues in Puerto Rico

I'll tread on this subject lightly but tread I shall. I will begin by stating the obvious; the obvious is that there just isn't enough coverage in mainstream media about the events that are currently taking place in Puerto Rico. Not much mention about the current dire economic situation on the island (other than strike news currently making headlines). Let's face it, we don't live in a vacuum and are well aware of the recession that the U.S. has suffered. It has affected many of us in one way or another, directly or indirectly. The relationship shared by the U.S. and Puerto Rico cannot be ignored while the island suffers not just what seems to be an economic meltdown but health care system issues which make the situation here in the U.S. seem small in comparison.

I'll comment openly before I receive comment stating that I don't live on the island and only get information via news, etc. I may get some information (albeit ,very little, since mainstream media seems to ignore the crisis in Puerto Rico) via news outlets but the truth is, like many Puerto Ricans living in the U.S., I have family that lives on the island including my beloved mother. What affects her affects me closely. Many family members are also affected by this crisis and communicate the same.

As for the blame game, it's always bears its ugly head. Socioeconomic, relationship to the U.S., colonialism, economic dependence, current and past government administrations and the list goes on. What ever the reason the for the current crisis, the hope is that the powers that be can come to the table, put all differences aside and start to put the people first. Puerto Rico deserves that much. Palante'.

San Juan, Puerto Rico ~ Photo © 2009 Ricardo Figueroa

The following is an email opinion received via El Diario La Prensa (impre.com) (opinion@eldiariony.com):

Broken promise in Puerto Rico

The national unemployment rate is 9.7 percent. That number is shocking until you look at the approaching unemployment rate in the U.S. colony of Puerto Rico—a staggering 17 percent.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day....?

To celebrate or not to celebrate...like many of us, I was taught about Christopher Columbus' voyages and discoveries during my school years. What is it that we truly celebrate and would we if we really were taught the truth...here's some food for thought:

  1. To discover is to make known; to find what one did not previously know ( I guess since he didn't know, maybe that qualifies as a discovery?)
  2. Columbus' voyages were really voyages to initiate the process of Spanish colonization.
  3. Columbus initiated contact between Europe and indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and Americas. (otherwise known as slavery)

Watch the following video, feed your mind and then celebrate or not.


Visit reconsidercolumbusday.org for more

Saturday, October 10, 2009

PUERTO RICO IN CRISIS ... A message from Hiram Rivera Marcano


Puerto Rico is experiencing very difficult times. Puerto Ricans of the mainland cannot remain idle while Luis Fortuño’s administration move forward with its widespread lay-off policy. This constitutes social and economic barbarism that will only serve to worsen the crisis in which the country is submerged. It will promote privatization of basic infrastructural services to thousands of Puerto Ricans, mostly the poor. Almost 20,000 civil servants already have or will be laid-off their jobs, putting at risk and hopelessness thousands of families affected directly and indirectly by this effort.
The colonial administrations, statehood and commonwealth supporters equally, are guilty of today’s suffocating working-class high taxes, the imposition of a sales tax and the partial or complete privatization of our national patrimonies. We cannot forget Pedro Rosselló’s administration, which privatized great part of our country, including fifty one percent (51%) of Puerto Rico Telephone Company and almost all health services providers throughout the Island. The Calderón Administration privatized the Authority of Aqueducts and Sewage, patrimony that we managed to rescue. To top it all, previous administrations efforts to sell Puerto Rico Telephone Company were concluded by the Acevedo Vilá administration. The transnational Mexican company America Mobil bought it. This unleashed a teacher’s strike, and an attempt to curtail workers rights and a few of the combatant unions in the Island. That same administration, along with the Legislative Assembly of the PNP, imposed the IVU tax and raised taxes to the working-class while exempting special interests from paying taxes. To make matters worse, certain North American unions, with the aim of internationalizing their businesses, have come down to the Island and have started negotiating our constitutional rights, curtailing the working class struggle that has always been a reflection of our people.
Undoubtedly, it is the moment work towards a sincere united front made up of all the progressive and social sectors in struggle to engage the colonial and capitalist crossroads that facing Puerto Rico. In the Island, on October 15th, diverse workers unions, community and student organizations will unite to invoke a NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE. New York cannot lie back without demanding justice.
We call upon the different organizations, individuals, and activists in the United States to help us fight and support Puerto Rico’s poor, working, and middle classes struggle to demand its socioeconomic rights. At the moment, different activists, together with the Puerto Rican Independence Party, Committee of NY we have decided to meet to organize the required support with the NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE to be carried out in Puerto Rico. Reason why, we invite you to partake on the protest to take place on October 15th in front of the Offices de Puerto Rico in New York (PRFAA).

Join us, the moment demands it. STOP PRIVATIZATION!
WHEN: Thursday, October 15th, 2009 TIME: 5 p.m.
WHERE: (PRFAA) 135 WEST 50th street (between 6th & 7th Avenues)
apoyotrabajadorespr@gmail.com

In spanish..

Friday, October 9, 2009

Latina Author: Alexandra Roman de Hernandez

Today, I introduce to you my guest, author Alexandra Roman de Hernandez. Read on, get to know her and as always...disfruten.



Alexandra Román de Hernández


Mother, wife, friend, writer; these words describe the author of the fantasy / adventure novel “El Valle de la Inspiración”, Alexandra Román Hernández. A graduate from the University of Puerto Rico (Cayey Campus) with a BA in natural sciences, she becomes home executive, as she likes to call the title housewife, after the birth of her firstborn, and is in this momentous time in her life that she gives free rein to her imagination. “Las letras” and the love for fiction, becomes her passion. Her English stories, such as "The Beginning", "The Door in front of me", "Journey to the island of ancestors" and the poem "The world is a stage", find a home on the Australian website Soul Food Cafe. In July 2006, the online magazines True Poets Magazine chooses her poem "Maybe ".


A.R. Hernandez not only explores these literary genres, she premieres as an essayist with "Being Latina and a Puerto Rican," published by "Mija Magazine", the Chicago newspaper "La Prensa" and Boricua.com. Similarly enters the theater with her works "The warrior of the Lord" and "The Lady of Israel: the story of Judith", the latter being adapted from the book of the Old Testament. Of course children's stories began to be an integral part of her daily life as a mother, and write two children's stories, still unpublished, "Princess Saly and the Witch Bruya" and "Menace to Society”. Her last publication was in the magazine "Better Homes and Gardens: Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living" with her article "You say Rosmery, I say Romero”.


On December, 7 1977, Bayamon became her birthplace, but her home has always been at “La ciudad llanera”, Toa Baja. From a young age Alexandra Román felt an attraction towards the written word, and became a voracious reader. That where she found her inspiration, especially in the fantasy and fiction books. It is in her youth that she makes her first attempts at literature with simple verses and poems; it is through them that she realizes that narrative was the way to go.


She’s currently working on her weblog a story of fantasy: "Argia, light and shadow". In her spare time, if she’s not having fun with her family, she’s dedicated to Jupes, a Catholic youth group, with whom she has worked for approximately fifteen years.



Summary for “El Valle de la Inspiración

Within the land of the pharaohs there is a place known as the cradle of all inspiration and the home of wisdom. Egyptian poets for centuries have tried to find it, to get from it eternal inspiration, but only a few have found, as evidenced by the recent discovery of a tomb in the Valley of the Queens. The hieroglyphics narrates the journey of a young prince poet, who became one of the most acclaimed poets of his era. This finding brings hope to Nailah, a young writer who after the death of her father, who was a famous author and her inspiration, enters a depression that inhibited in her writing. Accompanied by her best friend and an Egyptologist, Nailah travels to Egypt to find the Valley of Inspiration, as archaeologists call it. But first, she must find the followers of the ancient Egyptian religion, who are the only ones that can lead her to the valley.

Nailah's adventure gets complicated, for the followers of the old religion have lived in anonymity for centuries. If she finds them, the hopes of recovering her inspiration and to write once more as she did before. If not, she would be forgotten and her life would be meaningless, since Nailah in the end is a wordsmith and nothing more. Armed with the sacred symbol of the Egyptian religion that will help her find the followers, Nailah undertakes the adventure of her life. The Valley of Inspiration is a story of adventure and fantasy; in which you will explore the mythological Egyptian world through the eyes of a young forger of words, and understand that sometimes we need to lose our sources of inspiration, so we can realize that we can achieve our goals if we believe in ourselves.






Press Release
Contact: Alexandra Román For immediate publication
Phone: (787) 579-6699
Email: aroman_9@hotmail.com
San Juan, Puerto Rico
-

Friday, October 2, 2009

Puerto Rican Writers


From el Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos comes a wonderful project whose goal is to promote readership of texts by Puerto Rican authors. The following authors are the focus of this project:
  1. Pura Belpre, born in Cidra, Puerto Rico (circa 1899-1982) .......cont.

  2. Jesus Colón born in Cayey, Puerto Rico (January 20, 1901) .....cont.

  3. Antonia Pantoja born in Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico (1922) .....cont.



Pa que lo disfruten!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Piri Thomas


Born on September 30, 1928 to Puerto Rican-Cuban parents in New Yorks Spanish Harlem, writer and poet, Juan Pedro Tomas (Piri Thomas) is best know for his bestselling book, Down These Mean Streets. I read the book many years ago and immediately made it a part of my library. The book, an autobiography, is an honest approach to the racial discrimination suffered while growing up in Spanish Harlem and his involvement with drugs and crime. Piri has also written a sequel titled "Seven Long Times" depicting his prison years. He also has several other books and many poems to his credit.

Visit The World of Piri Thomas for full bio, info and to read some of his poetry.


Youtube video via PBS

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Latinos....in Social Media


Social media.. there is much that has been written and said about it. It comprises an almost limitless scope of information resources dispersed in many forms. From blogging, forums, pod casts, picture, video to social networking, social media has grown enormously. Whether many realize it or not, if you are on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or using any communication or multi-media application and posting some type of information then you are a part of social media. Unlike traditional media (such as newspapers and magazines), social media allows for communication between many and the ability to edit, comment, share views and opinions on an almost infinite scale.

Now enter the growth of the Latino/Hispanic population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Latino/Hispanic population is projected to nearly triple, from 46.7 million to 132.8 million during the 2008-2050 period. On the internet, the Latino/Hispanic user is expected to grow some 25% by the year 2010 to nearly 21 million. These stats speak volumes in themselves and demonstrate the need for greater unity among the Latino/Hispanic social media community.

This is where Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) takes the lead and brings Latinos from all realms of the social media world together . Bringing together professionals and novices alike who share an interest in social media whether through blogging, tweeting, connecting or any of the various social media outlets. LATISM brings a wealth of information to all Latinos and has shown the power of Latinos/Hispanics in its own respect. From its humble beginnings, the group now boasts chapters in New York, Florida, Washington D.C. and Texas. This in itself demonstrates the capabilities and opportunities that can come to fruition when Latinos unite.

Next up for LATISM is their upcoming New York Heritage Tour followed by tours in Florida, DC, and California. The New York tour is being held on Thursday and Friday, October 1st and 2nd. The opportunity to still be involved in the New York Tour is still available. The tours will offer an opportunity to meet and network with leaders in their respective social media fields through conferences and meetings to include an Awards Gala and Networking Party recognizing the best Latinos in Social Media (vote here).

Latinos...stand up and don't get left behind. The opportunities are awaiting, whether on a small scale or large scale, and the choice is up to you. Make it happen.... join LATISM today!


No Latinos Left Behind - Education Scholarships Available!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

El Grito de Lares


Lares, Puerto Rico...Founded in 1827 and named after one of its settlers, Don Amador de Lariz had been known as Hato de Lariz since the early 1500's. Interestingly enough the city was founded by Francisco de Sotomayor and Pedro Vélez Borrero.

On September 23, 1868 Lares became an important place in Puerto Rican history. It was the birthplace of the first major revolt against Spanish rule and call for independence. Although the revolt was short lived the cries for independence would be heard for generations and still continues.

El Grito de Lares, planned by Ramon Emeterio Betances and Segundo Ruiz Belvis and carried out by leaders of the Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico (Comite Revolucionario de Puerto Rico) etched its place in Puerto Rican history. While attempts to commerate it as holiday were outlawed during several time periods, since some would have preferred that this moment in history would rather be forgotten, in 1969, pro-statehood Governor Luis A. Ferré, declared September 23rd a National Holiday: El Grito de Lares.


Resources to feed your mind:
Lares (wiki)
Lares (topuertorico.org)
Grito de Lares (wiki)
El Grito de Lares (NY Latino Journal)
El Grito de Lares (elBoricua.com)
Grito de Lares 1868 (enciclopediapr.org)

Also:
Pagina Official de Lares
Judith Mercado Short Stories: The Cry of Lares


"Lares es Tierra Santa, y como tal, debe entrarse a ella de rodillas"
- Pedro Albizu Campos

Filiberto Ojeda Ríos (April 26, 1933 – September 23, 2005)
Calle 13 - Querido FBI - Tribute to Filiberto Ojeda Rios