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! - 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.

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

• 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 ( and social networks.

All Toy Drive, Donations totals and ceremony pictures will be posted on our 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!


o así?...

Una Jodia Aventura: El Pitorro de Patillas

Pitorro o Ron Cañita

¿cuál deseas ha beber?

Legal una marca de pitorro:::

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@

Linda Nieves-Powell
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.
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 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)