Here is an educator - real and true. Linda Hirsch. Dust of inspiration for the times & #OurPowerNYCpr | Community gathering one-year after Hurricane Maria | Union Square | 20 September - 6:00 p.m.
I really enjoyed editing and piecing this conversation together. It took me almost an entire day and I couldn’t get to the sound correction. So. The audio is raw.
Nonetheless, I stand by this heartfelt tale of a Native American-Iranian, urban pixie.
Nejma Nefertiti tells it from deep within ancestral knowledge. Her life has seen Brooklyn the most, but New York City is her home. She’s unapologetically an MC; and also an observer, a solo thinker, a poet, a humanist, and a steel magnolia.
Intermittently, in this episode is the track Coco Chanel Remix by Nejma Nefertiti and La Bruja.
tulengua meaning: 1. Literal translation, your tongue; 2. Other meaning, your language; 3. Hip-hop band from Baja Cali and Tijuana.
Alan Lili lives in between worlds and uses the most crossed border in the world basically on a daily basis. He considers it a privilege, and he does it because he loves Tijuana. Though raised in San Diego, Alan is Jewish, Mexican, American, and a creative spirit who knew he was a musician before he learned to play an instrument.
He reached out from across the land and told me about the album baja funk and about the hip-hop supergroup he has going on tulengua.
baja funk is now available for sale and streaming, and all proceeds from the sales will go to Border Angels. The record is beautiful and their action noble indeed. tulenga is Alan; Amari Jordan (Southern California. Singer, rapper, producer, and guitarist. Aka “La Reyna Negra”); and “jimmy.thevillain” (born in Tijuana and raised in Rosarito. He makes beats. He surfs and studies chemistry).
Here is their thing...
“Tulengua was born as a dream of creating a band with members from both sides of the border. A band that could be more than music: a celebration of the beauty that occurs when humans come together despite their supposed differences. baja funk is our first release and was recorded during a period in which tulengua was figuring itself out, solidifying it’s lineup, and exploring possibilities. It’s our way of bridging the vibrancy & color of Latin American culture with the mellow grit of California hip-hop, all while digesting and commenting on the reality of living with the border running through our DNA.”
Anda Pa’l meaning: (slang) from the root word, anda pa’l carajo. Literal translation: walking to hell, either in first person or the action verb of andar (walking) referring to someone else literally walking to hell. Other translations that depend on context: “holy shit,” “holy moly,” “can’t be.” (pronounced like panda, but without the “p” / pa’l, like the word pal as in buddy).
It’s true what they say, home is where the heart is…my heart has been in Spain, Denmark, Berlin, Los Angeles, Samaná, Panama, Mexico, Whitesburg/ Kentucky, New Orleans, New York, and of course Puerto Rico. We can’t occupy the same space at the same time, it’s against the laws of physics, but the heart, on the other hand, can travel far and wide. Haven’t you felt it?
It’s a mystery to me but the feelings are so real. I cry about these things, missing places, and people. I do. Actually often. I reach out to people and open myself up. It doesn’t always work. I’ve made a fool of myself often enough, but it’s just I believe and feel that little gestures do matter. The effort is all about my heart telling me to do it, actions, poems, gifts, letters, other things. Lately, it’s a bit disheartening but I keep it at, one reason I do this talk show.
And so I come to Rita Cidre, who in a short talk brought me back to remember that little actions matter and the heart can take you places. Anda Pa’l her own business of canvas bags and pouches started out because she missed home. And home for her is Puerto Rico. Rita picked up witty slang sayings and phrases and gave them life. She and I share several things in common all having to do with having our heart split into a lot of pieces, each one for a different person that we love. I love she created something tangible to assuage missing Puerto Rico and Caribbean life. I get it. I’m right there with her and so are thousands and thousands of others. Her business has reached the globe and she’s managed to cultivate a following of people wanting that tangible connection to the island.
Rita brings some interesting points about the diaspora she represents. Why doesn’t she go back? Why don’t I go back? We left for what reasons? How is it different now, post-Hurricane Maria? Everything is different now and a new conversation between island and stateside Puerto Ricans is emerging. Nothing we talk about has definite answers, but some definite feelings of making it possible to be here and there somehow. It’s all about the heart, just like her project, a labor of love, a self-taught artist with feelings so deep she has touched the Puerto Rican heart far and wide.
Alberto is amazing, loving, bountiful, exemplary, relatable, tantalizing, and original. He is. There’s this something to his creative works that just leave you smiling and wondering about him. From B as in Beauty, his novel about a fat girl who turns call girl at night to help her with self-confidence, to the beloved HBO Latino series HABLA, Alberto is full of truisms and classy creativity.
I could talk with Alberto for hours non-stop. Our conversation here hits almost an hour but we had to cover the subjects in depth. There was no other way with him. We just go fluidly through past and present projects, the process of writing, the state of the world as it relates to the creative fields, and these subjects matter to us both.
He really is a genius. His ideas, his vision of bringing moral tales to life. He has a new film project in series format called, Lessons. We delve into Lessons. Brilliant offerings for self-reflection in less than 5-minutes. With the project, he’s learning about narrative form and presenting short-films / short scenes about issues that matter in life - success, lovers, a mother’s love, bitterness, confidentiality. And he gave me a lesson in Premiere Adobe suite in sound editing. Lessons, lessons, lessons...
Alberto’ The Newyorkster, is an incredible story/podcast. We talked about that too and share on our need to explore the expansiveness of Latino, though I’m leaning towards referencing it as Pan-American. There’s no resolution to this other than exploration...talk, talk, talk.
Alberto darling, thank you.
Always from the heart.
Modesto Lacén is one of Puerto Rico’s most sought after actors and a native son of the town of Loiza, the island’s Afro-Caribbean soul center. He makes Loiza and Puerto Rico proud for his talent, professionalism and kind demeanor.
Something must have happened in the celestial realm that chased Modesto down when he decided to act for a living, for he’s had nothing but plentiful roles. Roles of men that have passed on and have left a mark on Puerto Rico and Latin history from Clemente to Don Pedro Knight, in multiple performance formats, Modesto keeps at it with eloquence and commitment.
We go at it in this one-on-one in Spanish and sincere Puerto Rican cadence.
Aun no he conocido a una sola persona que me diga que Modesto no es modesto. Pues sencillamente lo es…
Personalmente solo conozco a un hombre buena gente, profesional, trabajador y que le ha tocado mucha providencia, que siga así. En esta conversación hablamos como dos buenos amigos y colegas de la industria cultural a la que ambos pertenecemos.
Es linda linda. Gracias Modesto.
When I was a kid I spent, a good decade traveling to Dominican Republic with my parents. We shared time with Dominican songwriter and composer Cheo Zorilla and his family. The kids – Laura, Paul, Cuchi, and Natalia and I were buddies and we made skits and plays and had tons of fun. Fast forward to 2018. Those four kids, now adults like me, and I, met again last year and when we saw one another after all those years, no time had passed. No time at all. Grace and Love. I saw them again during my recent trip to D.R. and it was the same loving feeling.
For the past 40 + years Danny/Dad has done hundreds of acts of social work in Dominican Republic. Cuba too, and Puerto Rico of course, but this story is about D.R. He’s a beast like that, his reach, the depth of knowledge of these lands, and his very noble heart and inclination to bring solace to areas and patches of places where suffering and disadvantage reins, no matter the political climate.
For the past 20 years, Dad has been asking me to visit Dominican Republic so that I could meet his social work. He never imposed or imposes his wish (es) on me, but rather, as he always asks for things, with a casual loving, “hey, why don’t you come down.” After all these years of him asking me to go, for my very needed 2018 break, I finally made it down to the island.
What a painful lesson to have taken so long. But, I did make it. I’ll sum that up as follows: 1) Perhaps or arguably, Latin America’s greatest songwriter and composer, Rafael Hernández said it best with his song Linda Quisqueya, for Linda it is. 2) I fell in love with Samaná. Look it up. 3) His advocacy and social work in Jarabacoa is something for the books of history. And here goes my micro point. I met these two little Tinkerbell men of Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, Wilbur and Julio and they stole my heart.
They took my sister and me on a country tour for a day. They showed us plants, showed us and plucked fruits from the trees for us, told us to “hammock” as an action - “vamos hamacar,” and walked us through a long and winding path to a full running river. They got to the river first and when Sabina and I caught up with them, they were naked and bathing and jumping in the water with joy. They asked us why we wouldn’t bathe in the river with them. I smiled and explained that I would watch them making sure they would be safe. They were happy about not having to bathe again at night. I was cracking up hearing them tell each other this fact. Their purity and freedom brought tears to eyes. I was impressed by their physical skill, most notably their cycling skills. They have a little pink bike and they ride it up and down those hills like mini-amateur pros of BMX.
I cycled fiercely for over 10 years. I was a New York City bike messenger in 1997 and consider it to this day one of the best and most liberating professional experiences of my life. Riding down 5th Avenue on rush hour without stopping for red lights, is both stupidly dangerous but THE thing to strive to do, and boy did I do it. Seeing them cycle made me recall the freedom I had then, the simplicity of my life in my early 20s when I was a dancer, an athlete, actress, choreographer, touring artists and a young girl making an honest living and making this concrete jungle my home. Here’s the one picture I have of those bike messenger days with my friend Breed…
This trip was all about connections. Childhood. What stays inside you. Things that make you remember your purest self. Growing up. Creating yourself from child to adult. Making something of it. One of the lessons from this trip came from seeing these two little men be free despite having close to nothing. Yet, they had something crucial. Their forest, their river, the fruit of the land, and a little bike that can prove to anyone that their stamina and physical skill is all they need to make something out of the day. Such was my experience during my cycling time, and the messaging days specifically. Freedom and skill can go hand in hand.
I am my father's daughter and try to do the right thing whenever I can, so I want to get Wilbur and Julio a bona fide bicycle. Help me. Send me word. I’m starting an off-the-grid crowdfunding to get them one. They need it so they know, in time, that perhaps, their cycling skills can turn into something, maybe messengers, and protectors of their mountain home, if the world goes bust.
Thank you, father. Thank you to the Fernández Family, Nancy, Marta, Jasmin, Diego, Doña Mayra, Natalia, Cuchi, Amalia, Paul, Nati, José, Fide, Esther, Dariana, and to Wilbur and Julio…I think a part of me always stayed there and I got it back and it's made me feel so much better.
Be grateful and listen to your parents.
I'm taking a month hiatus from Notes From A Native Daughter.
I believe this is week 110 of uninterrupted Sunday dispatches.
I have loved talking, listening, and making this one-on-one raw style format show more than words can say, for now. The idea for the podcast was originally intentioned to give me purpose, at a time when I was lost. The hunch was to record conversations with the amazing artists and humanists I know because arts and culture are the cornerstones of our humanity. Coming from that place I found purpose and strength and resolve.
And, just like that, one show at a time, NFAND became a necessity, a lifeline, really. I can not, not do this show, but I do want a rest break and catch up time to do things that got sidetracked these past couples of months. The 2018 spring/summer season brought unexpected winds that I simply could not ignore.
Thank you, everyone, for accepting my emails first and foremost. And, thank you for, reading, listening, and sharing whenever you've been able to.
Until 5 August 2018.
CODA V - One day this past week I found a perfect parking spot in a really busy area in the northern Bronx when I realized this Wall on the driverside of the car.
For some reason, I simply loved it. Like the way, I get hooked on things and want to keep them close to me. It's been profoundly busy these past few months, weeks, days, hours...I'm a bit burnt for good reasons, loving reasons, really because I love and care for people. For now, for today, all I have this:
#FreeHumanity #Respect&JusticeForPuertoRico #FamiliesBelongtogether #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForMuslims #FreePalestine #WomenRightsAreHumanRights #LGBTQRightsAreHumanRights #LoveTrumpsHate
We are all #AsylumSeekers
The promised land is the earth
Live long and prosper,
Lourdes Torres is a native Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Blond and blue eyed you’d think she was Irish if you passed her by on the street. That’s the thing about Caribbean and Latin American people, they fool the ignorant of history. But back to Lala, her affectionate nickname belies her unapologetic reasons for standing up for her people and a community marginalized and oppressed by a systemic racist system that keeps brown and poor white people down.
This share is one of two others I have with her. We focus here on Hostos Community College and she touches on her experience with the battle against the Fort Apache film, led by Evelina López Antonetty. Lala was a part of that. In fact, watch this YouTube video, of one of the public hearings.
The things that were happening 50-years ago are happening today. Grotesque racism, prejudice, judgment, ignorance, vitriol, some of it invoked in the name of God…
Children in cages, Puerto Rican refugees left out in the cold, Syrian refugees shut out, and all over the world, the poor are escaping strangling conditions only to be punished. I sense a storm forming, a disgusting whirlwind impulsed by white supremacists here and abroad who want a worldwide holocaust. We, the people, have nowhere else to go but here, the promised land is the earth.
Somehow, Lala’s hour-long share addresses all of it. The Bronx in general and the South Bronx specifically can pin itself a speaker who can bring down all the categorical notions and reasoning of sterile people without hearts who refuse to see people different than themselves as equal human beings.
I’ve been working with Puerto Rican families living under FEMA’s TSA program and have found so much beauty and so much nobility, I’ve cried myself to sleep a couple of times thinking how many promises have been broken. I had never experienced the homeless feeding the homeless. The exchange happens with pride and abundance, I’ve eaten their food.
Those small and unseeable good times break my heart for the world. Really does.
Thank you Lala for all you have done and taught many of us.
Be kind, look to give, stand up for injustice, and watch out, for “they” might be going after you next.
I’ve been busy. Really, really, really busy. My interview schedule is off though soon enough I’ll be on track again. Therefore, today’s share is a bit of a bulletin...
Here is to the fathers both present and absent. Mine is very much alive, blessed be his soul and voice. Here is Episode 27, a lovely conversation I had with mom and dad back at the beginning of NFAND. It is a Spanish talk, but it is real.
The President of the Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego de Puerto Rico (UTIER) Juan Figueroa Jaramillo, will be speaking at Hostos Community College on Monday 18 June at 7:00 p.m., 500 Grand Concourse, Room B-501. See Flyer attached. Just like last week’s The Battle for Paradise book launch and forum hosted by The Intercept, this should be a MUST ATTEND talk for those of you interested in Puerto Rico.
Master artist Manny Vega is going to have an art sale next week and you should prepare to buy. I’m holding for the flyer, will circulate when I receive it. Manny spoke deep and penetrating for Episode 59.
Circling back to father’s day, I share the song Huracan. Dad recorded the song over 40 years ago for his seminal album, Alborada. These things have come to pass...
AND, FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER. The overlords are out like wolves. Watch out.
Today, Episode 106, Howard Jordan...
Howard has had a long and active career as an attorney, community activist, journalist, radio host and, last but not least, an educator. Aside from being the host of The Jordan Journal (Friday’s 3 to 5 pm on WBAI), Howard is Chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department at Hostos Community College. He’s been around Hostos since its founding days, as part of the movements of people who fought for the survival of the South Bronx.
A true chronicler of the times, then and now, he integrates the progressive ideas that brought about change in the Puerto Rican community of 50 years ago and references the changing demographics of Hostos as a new Pan-Latino identity in the making here in the heart of the South Bronx.
He builds on the small examples while keeping the larger picture front and center. For Howard, the bigger picture shows that communities of color are important and essential.
Diverse communities need one another, and a new era in relating to the collective “brown community” is the responsibility of all of us.
In that sense, Hostos has delivered on its promise and continues to do so.
Gracias Howard, you're one of the coolest people out there.
I met Chloé very recently and was taken with her simplicity and openness. She wrote a play titled, La hija del pirata / The Pirate's Daughter. Chloé is a direct descendant of the rebel pirate himself!
She realized the reason people know about el pirata Cofresí is because of the little daughter left behind after Cofresí was shot to death by the Spaniards. No one ever spoke about her. She took that under considered point and wrote a play. Here Chloe shares how the legacy of the pirate still runs through the family veins. Cholé rescues these voices for herself and for audiences to learn and honor the woman whose life was silenced by history.
Live long and prosper,
Pull quote from the play’s website:
In 1825, the Puerto Rican Pirate, Roberto Cofresí was shot to death by a Spanish firing squad after being charged as a pirate and enemy of the crown. At his murder, Cofresí left behind a single heir: a young girl of three years old, Maria Bernada. La hija del pirata/The Pirate’s Daughter is a new play I wrote that flows between time to explore the journey of Maria and her female descendants as they search for their own inheritance. Four Latina actors rotate through the five women as their stories move through time, interweaving the Latinx storytelling traditions of magical realism and epic family dramas.
The show is produced by La Pirata Productions together with Hemlock Theatre Co., and has received partial funding as a grantee of the DCA Premiere Grant through Staten Island Arts. We’ve raised nearly $1,500 in addition to the grant, and We are looking to raise an additional $3,500 in the next two weeks to truly make this an event that will never be forgotten. To do that, I am asking for your help. Please click here to donate to La Pirata Productions and become part of our legacy. And, tickets are still on sale but are running out, so don't forget to book your tickets to the show on June 4th at 8 pm! I can’t wait to see you there as we kick off the maiden voyage of this magical show!
The White Shirt Project is about courage. The portrait collection captures people from all walks of life in a white shirt but not before engaging in a heart-to-heart talk with José Ramón about vulnerability and courage.
Our conversation fits this Memorial Day weekend. The son, brother, and nephew of Veterans, José Ramón calls the wars his Puerto Rican family members fought in and describes his memory of the picture of him with one of his brothers that fought in Vietnam.
Jose Ramón is all courage and he took me with him. We go deep and sincere in this talk that touches on issues of PTSD, trauma, loss, caregiving and agreeing that recognizing ourselves and others as brethren is a matter of giving oneself with honesty, respect, and love.
If you don’t know Luis Salgado, watch out for him. This Puerto Rican artist, dancer, choreographer, and director does not stop. His artistic journey is inspiring and his accolades are truly all hard earned. Something I respect and love. Last week he and his artistic team of the Spanish production of “In The Heights” presented in 2017 at the Gala Theater in Washington D.C. won a bunch of Helen Hayes Awards including:
Outstanding choreography in a musical — Helen - Luis Salgado, “In the Heights,” GALA Hispanic Theatre
Outstanding lighting design — Helen - Christopher Annas-Lee, “In the Heights,” GALA Hispanic Theatre
Outstanding direction in a musical — Helen - Luis Salgado, “In the Heights,” GALA Hispanic Theatre
Outstanding ensemble in a musical — Helen - “In the Heights,” GALA Hispanic Theatre
Outstanding lead actress in a musical — Hayes - Rayanne Gonzales, “In the Heights,” Olney Theatre Center & Round House Theatre
Outstanding lead actress in a musical — Helen - Laura Lebrón, “In the Heights,” GALA Hispanic Theatre
Outstanding production in a musical — Hayes - “In the Heights,” Olney Theatre Center & Round House Theatre
Outstanding production in a musical — Helen - “In the Heights,” GALA Hispanic Theatre
As Founder and Director of R.Evolución Latina he has cemented his reputation and work in creating artworks with purpose. He wants people to use the arts as a vehicle to understanding themselves. One of the noblest acts of work I’ve seen around, he encourages and pushes anyone who works with him to, dare to go beyond.
Luis was part of the original “In The Heights,” Broadway production, the Gloria Estefan Musical, “On Your Feet!,” the Broadway production of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “ROCKY,” “The Mambo Kings,” “Fame,” “42nd Street,” and “Aida,” among many other musical productions.
He most recently directed “RAGTIME” for and at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, and “To Be or Not To Be,” A Shakespearean Experience that explored what it means to be an immigrant in the United States. But he is international and his full credits can be found here.
We talk about all that and more in the sincere and candid talk about creativity, maturing as an artist, and aiming to go beyond no matter what. It’s all about heart and soul and knowing that art saves lives.
Listen, and be inspired.
Episode 102 | In my heart and mind I owe this to Julio.
Julio Pabón is incredible. History. Really. Listen to him.
Dad sometimes stays at his house when he visits New York City, and Dad is not a man to stay at people’s houses, but it’s Julio.
He is jovial, kind, noble, a badass, funny as hell, what a way to tell a story. A natural storyteller. And, he always stands for respect and justice for Puerto Rico.
This is a chronicle of Puerto Rican migration, New York City, the South Bronx, and earning a life of dignity.
That's all I have. Sometimes, less is more.
May the force be with you,
Episode 101 is dedicated to Rosa. I met her almost two years ago through a mutual friend. She’s one of the most decent and giving people I’ve met in recent time. Always a smile, always sending a blessing, and always ready to listen. Without having she gives. Lessons.
You will hear her honesty and sweetness in this talk I recorded somewhere back in time before ICE came and took her husband.
She hid. She lives and does things but kinda’ has to move around carefully because they might take her too and separate the family. She has three children. An older son who had to drop school to work and provide for his mother, two sisters, the little one loves to swim, and the rest.
Rosa’s countenance is marked by despair and desperation, and listening to her dreams last night as I edited made me sad for all of us.
To protect her, I edited out spots from the conversation.
These days I feel I live with a permanent heavy heart for all the heartless shit that’s going on. Crude racism, prejudice, dangerous ignorance, and the list goes on. There is money galore for bombs, guns, nuclear arsenals, plans for war, and death and destruction.
And there’s little to none for the “least, the last, and the lost,” the mission of the Promised Land Covenant Church in Parkchester the Bronx. I met those good people this past Thursday and I can’t shake off the words.
Little gestures matter. Rosa and her family need help.
Here’s the Go Fund Me page to find out more.
From the heart and with love,
Puerto Rico needs us desperately. Desperately de Socorro.
Through my work at Hostos Community College, I’m a part of The Bronx Coalition Supporting Hurricane Maria Evacuees. The BxCoSHME is composed of organizations representing a range of sectors. As organizations, it sprung from Union Community Health Center with Diaspora X Puerto Rico, Hostos Community College, Bronx Community College, NYC Department of the Aging, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, and Public Advocate Letitia James.
On 24 March a Bienvenida and Resource Fair held at Hostos’ gymnasium organized by the BxCoSHME, brought over 50 agencies covering a range of services and offerings. As much as it was about offering guidance, it was also about letting our Puerto Rican families know, they are not alone. There are many people behind-the-scenes working overtime on their dime to help. It is a beautiful display of solidarity and love. I stand with love and looking for ways to strengthen our ties and bring others on board.
Other coalition meetings have been taking place throughout the City. About two weeks ago, two different meetings took place in one week, theBxCOSHME and another, where the leadership of #OurPowerNYCpr and the Creative Justice Initiative with Speakers Elizabeth Yeampierre from UPROSE, Marta Moreno Vega from CCCADI, Nelson Denis, Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez, Perla De León, and others inspired action and an alliance of coalitions to come together for a cause.
At this meeting of about 100 people in-and-out, a few of the families came out and shared what they were going through. Two hats passed around and almost $2,000 in cash showed up for the families. The share illustrated how the displacement of hurricane refugees affects in a greater number women with children and vulnerable adults with various types of needs. Three women have stepped up as spokeswomen for themselves and the rest of the families: Sofia Miranda, Brenda Suarez, and Andrea Tejada Rivera. These women have been nurtured or guided by Victor Martínez, Surey Miranda-Alarcón, Luz Correa, Lilah Mejia, Lizette Colón, Ana López, and many others. At this meeting, we had Grand Dame Elba Cabrera, Nydia Edgecombe, Wally Edgecombe, Julio Pabón, Ruth Rodríguez, Minerva Urrutia and many many more behind-the-scenes champions. More things are being created and planned out by these groups and individuals and many more coming on board.
So much to stay. I’m feeling el colmo de los colomos. Revolting. It’s a slow death showing hues of done on purpose. A rude awakening to many. And, it’s way more and deeper still than all I can or care to express right now. I’m giving you the gist because this is a crisis.
A real serious crisis.
Crimes against humanity crisis.
Lost at sea crisis.
Below: Press Conference update and 2 Calls-for-Help
SEE | 19 April 2018 | City Hall steps press conference | Coalitions stand for Puerto Rican families living in FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance program:
EL DIARIO NY
CBS New York
NOTICIA LONG ISLAND
LITTLE GESTURES MATTER
Two (2) things you can do now to help
SEEKING: An organization or individual to donate Five (5) Nursing Books for Urban Health Plan.
+Let me know if you are interested in supporting and I’ll connect you. “I just want to ask if there is any organization you may be aware that can donate 5 nursing books (CLEP) for the nurses we have hired.”
LOOK OUT FOR Zulema Arroyo Farley - ArtzCureSarcoma
+I cut-and-pasted the most important part of her email.
“Don Fran is a 61-year-old, living in inhumane conditions in Cabo Rojo Puerto Rico, not far from where I grew up. He is battling vocal chords cancer. The surgery he had 3 weeks ago, has left him mute for life. He worked for over 30 years in the local municipality as a temporary employee Every new administration promised him a permanent position with health and retirement benefits, but each time he was misled. The government was more concerned about saving money. Consequently, he does not have private health care or a pension. The case reached my foundation two days ago.
No human being deserves to live like this and furthermore, it puts into perspective the fortunate lives we truly live.
While Don Fran heals from the surgery and awaits treatment, I have secured 20 volunteers who will spend one-day cleaning and organizing his house. One of our board members met with the mayor of the town today who promised to pick up all the debris surrounding his house from hurricane maria tomorrow. We have secured a few urgent things for him such as bedsheets, pillows, and converting his home from 110 to 220 watts (all appliances in Puerto Rico run on 220v), but I would like him to have a decent home prior to him starting his chemo regimen. A clean home, a clean stove, a refrigerator and a bed for him.
This is how you can help: a monetary donation to my foundation (tax deductible) OR I can tell you where to purchase what we need. The list of what we need is below:
- A roof
- A bathroom
- Kitchen Cabinets
- King Bed with Mattress Set
- Weekly groceries for soft foods and liquid diet
- Transportation to treatment (he is not allowed to drive)
- Bedroom Set (nightstand)
- Dining Table and Chairs
- Labor and materials for rebuilding his roof and bathroom which in turn will help a local business.
Where to donate? Click here ArtzCureSarcoma
We are all extremely privileged, so tonight instead of that bottle of wine, the new pair of shoes, or the restaurant dinner, how about making a donation and make a lasting impact on their lives.
Thank you to so many of you. That’s all I got for now. More to come.
Write to me, join us.