Posts in Puerto Rico
NFAND | September
#FridaysforFuture

#FridaysforFuture

Government leaders are failing the world. From nuclear warfare to drone strikes in Yemen to white supremacists gaining power to the Amazon burning to family separation to climate denial, the mighty, rich, and fancy are killing us, the people all across the lands. Seriously, there’s nothing more real than that right now. There’s so much going on it’s hard to pin it all down but, little gestures are happening all around and those gestures are the light in the tunnel.


1 2 3 Andrés has a benefit today to immigrants and families stay together. Crimes against humanity I say is what’s happening at our doorsteps. There is another way and the work of many noble people make that clear. If you can’t attend the benefit, give something, any little amount counts. Link here. Actions for families belong together are happening all over all the time.


Greta Thunberg sailed the Atlantic to make a point. To me, her journey was the grandest gesture. Following Team Malizia has been a life highlight and I’m grateful it happened this year, one of the most painful I’ve experienced. But Greta, in her innocence is mighty strong and she’s trying to make us all understand that the earth is in crisis. We, the people are in danger. Really. She’s asking all of us to join. So join the global strike on September 20. Read here for more information.

Last week some people asked me why I shared the video of “Manta Ray” the song by J. Ralph and Anohni. My response is that, not only is the video a beauty, but “Manta Ray” is the title song for “Racing Extinction,” the documentary, and that’s where we are, at the precipice of something that we are not going to like at all. So the song was added because I thought it matched the intention of Greta’s journey.

What I forgot to include was the lesson plan for #myoceanchallenge (see attachment). Malizia II is also a science lab! Amazing. Check out Team-Malizia.com to read about the work.

Then, two days after #FridaysforFuture/Global Climate Strike, the Silent Procession for Puerto Rico. I will walk not only for Puerto Rico but for all the people in the world who are at the mercy of the merciless.

Live long and prosper,

Sol

NFAND Tere Martínez Repost CODA XVIIII A Sea of Tears and a Revolution Part III, Diaspora
From around the web and  asambleas de pueblo.

From around the web and asambleas de pueblo.

The diasporas I know and see, like all suffering diasporas living in the United States of today and most always, have their hearts divided into parts. Every case is different of course, in Puerto Rico’s case the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship have coined a well-etched impasse of heads or tales. Each side drilled from layers of fractured prisms. Someone I love and respect reminds me constantly in conversation that the careless toss is called, gaslighted

So much has been kept from us, the people of Puerto Rico. Piecing it together will require asambleas de pueblo and all our love and valor. I see what is happening in Puerto Rico today and it gives me hope that we will get to have a chance to learn our lost past and see ourselves anew. But, against what is happening in this country today, I wonder about everything and, I sometimes think that it might just be us that will need to leave. From over here, what I have come to learn is that as whole la diaspora has been instrumental in keeping Puerto Rican history and culture alive. The many pioneers that paid the way for a better way for others are mostly unsung heroes in Puerto Rico and here in the mainland. The poets, the writers, historians, dramaturges, actors, musicians, dancers, and institution makers have done so much for the history and preservation of Puerto Rico it is something.

For today’s times, there is also Tere Martínez and her Roots and Action project-beautiful and impressive. Please visit the site and learn about the work. They are “building community,” that’s in one of Tere’s moving and beautifully written blogs. Roots and Action add itself to works that aspire to be as whole, encompassing, and empowering as ASPIRA was when it first opened its doors. 

On Wednesday, August 21 the Roots and Action team, Tere Martinez, Barbara Vlahides, Janio Marrero, and Sarah Hoiland are having a fundraiser event at M1-5 Lounge down in Walker St. from 5 to 8 pm. Tere, Sarah, and I are connected through Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College (Hostos). EVITE: Roots and Action Happy Hour Fundraiser for Puerto Rico

What I wrote about Tere Martínez and Hostos back in April of 2017, before María, when we recorded for the Hostos Oral Collective stands today.

S.

CODA XVIII A Sea of Tears and a Revolution Part II, Daughters and Sons
July 2019 from across the net

July 2019 from across the net

PART II-Daughters and Sons

(A Sea of Tears and a Revolution | Part One: Citizen)  | Dedicated to artists, asylum seekers all across the globe, and Puerto Rico

 Daughters and sons of la diaspora come in all forms. It is perhaps reason number one I love New York City. The place where we, “the others,” from all corners of the world and types of backgrounds, have a chance to meet as equals. I really appreciate that, the essence of the lesson.

 On June 4, 2019 | Democracy Now! featured Damning Canadian Inquiry Calls the Murder and Disappearance of Indigenous Women & Girls Genocide. The words of First Nations jurist in British Columbia, serving as Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Marion Buller apply also to the entire Northern, Central, Southern, American Continent.

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/6/4/murders_of_indigenous_women_in_canada

 “…The genocide that has occurred in Canada has been over generations of people—generations of human rights and indigenous rights violations; deliberate underfunding of services and programs to indigenous people; forcibly removing children from their families, children being removed and never being seen again by their own families, by their own communities; forced sterilization of women and girls. The list goes on. But from our perspective and from the legal definition, genocide can be over a long period of time of deliberate state action, that looks different from what we commonly think of as genocide. But it is genocide, legally, nonetheless.” 

 The admittance of genocide and the call-to-action for reparations for women and girls by the Canadian government resonated with me. 

 Lately, a lot has been written about violence against women in Puerto Rico and the women leading the fight. Since the chat, the people now know the aftermath of Hurricane María is a certifiable matter of crimes against humanity of holocaust proportions. 

 I thought about Edwin Miranda’s words, I saw the future it’s so wonderful, there are no Puerto Ricans.

 If it's true for Canada, then same awful truths and precepts as in the United States of conquest, genocide, rape, slavery, empire building, torture, subjugation, building upon sadness the road ahead for more by exploitation apply to us, la (s) diaspora (s). 

 “And so it has come to pass, it is indeed where we hang, this very premise falls on all of us to look at. It reflects the worst type of shine, the one we have never wanted to look at and the one that might just bring us down, the one where brother to brother kills himself and the one where the mighty nation kills us all out of fear from being disappeared.”

James Baldwin

I've been reading a lot, listening to a lot of radio, and watching a lot of videos from and about Puerto Rico. I picked up some stuff for your reference:



Alvin R Couto de Jesus | FB

Apoyemos a que se los 78 municipios de Puerto Rico logren convocar asambleas de pueblo. | Let's support Puerto Rico and in achieving town assemblies in all 78 municipalities.

This guy is something and posting really interesting commentary. You can follow his feed if you are on FB.


AUGUST 9, 2019 | WNYC On the Media
In Puerto Rico, What Comes Next?

By Alana Casanova-Burgess

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/puerto-rico-what-comes-next?fbclid=IwAR3x8AYXLI3A9tJ9OqmgEKjCquWfzKx3Wgk9gN6A3srqkq1o32kr2MMvyTw

This is a great piece that captures the past month beautifully-really beautifully.

AUGUST 9, 2019 | Shondaland

Meet the Women Leading Puerto Rico's Feminist Revolution

By Sandra Guzmán

https://www.shondaland.com/live/a28653844/puerto-rico-protests-feminist-revolution/?fbclid=IwAR05-GFH1o5WGYPPn6FS2l_yia7BXnDZiS93rPim7tzfzE-S2g32AyTXUnw

I'm biased about Sandra because she's one of my closest sisters. She's fierce, a truthteller, and she's been busy writing some really important pieces. They are all included in this list.

9 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | El País

La trama feminista y queer en Puerto Rico

Por Luci Cavallero y Verónica Gago

https://www.pagina12.com.ar/210857-la-trama-feminista-y-queer-en-puerto-rico?fbclid=IwAR0GwVAoig6Uk1qZVkLPOHsjJ_OaEX9OuRzYNWwP6zmB9HZ26QZzeMHjeEU

Watch all three of Karla Claudio Betancourt’s shorts. Tremendo artículo.

8 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | WALO HD

La Kakistocracia PNP vs. #WanditaLaMala

Nación Chancleta

Very good and important show to listen. In Spanish. Walo is brilliant. He has the dark humor truthteller shtick down in true Puerto Rican slang-Class A. This particular show is a must-listen. You can follow him on FB, YouTube, iHeartRadio.

AUGUST 7, 2019 | Dissent Magazine

Puerto Rico Remade

By Frances Negrón-Muntaner

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/puerto-rico-remade

Frances is another fierce mind and a sister. She is amazing. Balanced, tempered, a soul of profound understanding.

AUGUST 6, 2019 | NBC THINK

Toni Morrison was America's conscience, one that's needed more than ever

By Sandra Guzman

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/toni-morrison-was-america-s-conscience-one-s-needed-more-ncna1039766?fbclid=IwAR2dlIZONiWuB_rXv4sgdXZA2rYyB5HvQOKCFzqV5i7JYLqe2RiIOTbnIIE


6 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | CNN Español

Este Otro Puerto Rico Parte I

Por Silverio Pérez

https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2019/08/05/este-otro-puerto-rico-primera-parte/?fbclid=IwAR1iOp6PFhJOyW9lO57qSyyQnavg4HoEt1abrWFdYQAgvS3rRRjX2NAHosw


6 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | CNN Español

Este otro Puerto Rico (Segunda Parte)

Por Silverio Pérez

https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2019/08/05/este-otro-puerto-rico-segunda-parte-opinion-silverio-perez/

Silverio Peréz is a genius and a national glory-a Class-A wordsmith. Follow him on FB. These two stories are important.

AUGUST 5, 2019 | Bustle

Women & Femmes Leading The Puerto Rico Protests On Their "Permanent Revolution"

By Raquel Reichard

https://www.bustle.com/p/women-femmes-leading-the-puerto-rico-protests-on-their-permanent-revolution-18544005

A MUST READ. A BEAUTY.

AUGUST 5, 2019 | LatinoUSA

Puerto Rico Is A Presidential Issue That Must Be Addressed

By SANDRA GUZMÁN

https://www.latinousa.org/2019/08/05/prdebates/


AUGUST 5, 2019 | NYT

The Puerto Rico Governor Started 3 Days Ago. But His Future Is Already in Doubt.

By Edmy Ayala and Patricia Mazzei

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/us/puerto-rico-governor.html?fbclid=IwAR3naQt2VGzfQPw-xCQB3UyrorD8p4V0WQ4O0WJxgurbsl6fKp1KOmLVD8I

The New York Times has covered really nicely. This is one of them pieces I liked. Other follow down below.

AUGUST 5, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

The Political Future of Puerto Rico

with guests Michael Deibert and Yarimar Bonilla

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/political-future-puerto-rico


AUGUST 3, 2019 | Truthout

Rejecting Politics of Fear, Marginalized Puerto Ricans Led the Uprising

By Oscar Oliver-Didier

https://truthout.org/articles/rejecting-politics-of-fear-marginalized-puerto-ricans-led-the-uprising/


AUGUST 3, 2019 | NYT

After Protests, Will Real Change Come to Puerto Rico?

By Frances Robles and Patricia Mazzei

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/03/us/puerto-rico-future.html


AUGUST 2, 2019 | LatinoUSA - podcast

Why Ricky Resigned

https://www.latinousa.org/2019/08/02/whyrickyresigned/


AUGUST 2, 2019 | MTV

Meet the Women Who Toppled Puerto Rico’s Governor

By Yarimar Bonilla

http://www.mtv.com/news/3133648/women-puerto-rico-governor-rossello/?fb_ref=fbshare_web&fbclid=IwAR2gYxe9D8TLs4QxYWCxe_zlxAap_EJPSfokZY70EOCp1E0A4tojQ3aZTM8


AGOSTO 2, 2019 | 80Grados

Verano 2019: balances y perspectivas

Por Rafael Bernabe y Manuel Rodríguez Banchs

https://www.80grados.net/verano-2019-balances-y-perspectivas/


JULY 31, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

How the Political Crisis in Puerto Rico is Unifying the Puerto Rican Diaspora

with guests Caridad De La Luz, Andrew Padilla, and Samy Nemir Olivares

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/political-crisis-puerto-rico-unifying-puerto-rican-diaspora

Thank you for Tanzina Vega, that's all I have to say.

JULY 30, 2019 | The Hill

After Rosselló, Puerto Rico needs democracy — not a 'recovery czar’

By Ariadna M. Godreau-Aubert

https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/455344-after-rossello-puerto-rico-needs-democracy-not-a-recovery-czar


JULY 29, 2019 | Washington Post

What’s next for Puerto Rico? A reckoning with its colonial status.

By Julio Ricardo Varela

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/07/29/whats-next-puerto-rico-reckoning-with-its-colonial-status/


JULY 27, 2019 | NYT 

Did Puerto Rican Police Go Too Far During Protests? What the Video Shows.

By Evan Hill and Ainara Tiefenthäler

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/27/us/puerto-rico-violence-protests.html?fbclid=IwAR0eiyRsPLvdW1BDNZ3meUDDhUbVmZHrBMcOpKWhOUbxfISH5gqB4BgF-l8


JULY 26, 2019 | NYT

By Charo Henríquez

Cantar, bucear, perrear y rezar: las protestas creativas en Puerto Rico

https://www.nytimes.com/es/2019/07/26/protestas-creativas-puerto-rico/?fbclid=IwAR1vChu42vi1eYexZ-it1cM0VLx5fzFkghzyLdl5WxQKlpaOltq_xWvcxkI

JULY 25, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

'The People Have Spoken': Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Resigns

with guests David Begnaud, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Bianca Padró Ocasio

JULY 23, 2019 | BBC

Massive protests held in Puerto Rico after governor refuses to step down

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49075683?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cg41ylwvw3gt/puerto-rico&link_location=live-reporting-story

+

https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cg41ylwvw3gt/puerto-rico 

(BCC’s full list of stories on the island)


JULY 20, 2019 | CNN

Women in Puerto Rico know all too well why Rossello must resign

By Sandra Guzman

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/20/opinions/women-in-puerto-rico-know-why-rossello-must-resign-guzman/index.html


JULY 19, 2019 | Counterpunch

It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.

by MIGUEL A. CRUZ-DÍAZ

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/19/it-was-never-just-about-the-chat-ruminations-on-a-puerto-rican-revolution/

Backstory: https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/22/the-takeover-of-puerto-rico/

Miguel is super witty and nails the description of some very fine and important points.

JULY 18, 2019 | NYT

Puerto Ricans in Protests Say They’ve Had Enough

By Patricia Mazzei and Frances Robles

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/18/us/puerto-rico-rossello-governor-protests.html


JULY  18, 2019 | Reuters

More Puerto Rico protests planned as governor resists calls to resign

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-idUSKCN1UD31Z


JULY 13, 2019 | Mother Jones

As Puerto Rico’s Governor Steps Down, a Protest Organizer Is Determined to Not Let “The People’s Fire Burn Out.”

By Justine Agrelo

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/07/as-puerto-ricos-governor-steps-down-a-protest-organizer-is-determined-to-not-let-the-peoples-fire-burn-out/


JULIO 28, 2019 | 80 Grados

Por José Nicolás Medina Fuentes

Congreso del pueblo y asamblea constitucional convocada desde la sociedad civil

https://www.80grados.net/congreso-del-pueblo-y-asamblea-constitucional-convocada-desde-la-sociedad-civil/?fbclid=IwAR1ijNYaiKzO-DlRCZmUnG73SrmuI_5rGIsgmUse19yzCBGW7P-ZJ5C1RBo

80Grados is fierce. I love this piece so much. Una belleza. It captures some essential sentiments that should be talked about more. Some commentators point out they missed including the freedom fighters from el PIP and previous eras, but nonetheless, the piece offers some important anchors. And it is beautifully written in Spanish.

CODA XVII | A Sea of Tears and a Revolution Part One, Citizen
CODA XVII images july 2019 pr revolu tion 17.11.03.png

Dedicated to artists, asylum seekers all across the globe, and to Puerto Rico.

__________________________________________________________________________

Part One

I’m a New York based puertorriqueña since 1990. This here little story, in parts, is about being Puerto Rican here since then, a bit about the Bronx and Eugenio María de Hostos Community College (Hostos), another bit about the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York City, Hurricane María, the evacuees, about force, artists, the future, and love. 

I remember September 20, 2017 as the date when all of Puerto Rico shook in terror - Puerto Rico is an 8 million people nation, three million in the island and 5 million across the world. The birds eye perspective of the approaching storm ignited a harrowing anguish deep inside me because I knew it would be a defeat. 

It was a sinking feeling that things had changed forever. Because everything changed after Hurricane María, everything. 

As I write these words a revolution is happening in Puerto Rico over years and centuries of tears. A history so subjugated it almost forgot itself. And alas, a form of poetic justice came to pass. Everything we knew was not right was not right. Signs for moral compass read that all Debauchery is simple truth and proof of criminality.  

synonymous of the noun, debauchery: dissoluteness · degeneracy · corruption · vice · turpitude · depravity · loucheness · rakishness · libertinism · immodesty · indecency · perversion · shamelessness · iniquity · wickedness · sinfulness · sinning · impropriety · lack of morals · lack of principles · immorality · impurity · unchastity · lasciviousness · salaciousness · lechery · lecherousness · lewdness · bawdiness · lust · lustfulness · libidinousness · licentiousness · promiscuity · wantonness · abandonment · abandon · profligacy · decadence · immoderateness · intemperance · lack of restraint · indulgence · self-indulgence · pleasure-seeking · hedonism · sybaritism · voluptuousness · concupiscence · lubricity · salacity

Hollow is the pain of the lonely heart. 

On the afternoon of September 20, 2017, I went home from work to watch the news. After the hurricane my house became a command center for connecting people and dispatching as much information coming my way as I could. My parents were in Puerto Rico and my Dad suffered the shingles through Hurricane Irma and María. To keep it simple, it was dramatic. My mother and aunt traveled to New York City six-weeks after the storm. On their first day in the mainland, mom had to go the hospital. Thus, began a hot hospital run for my sister and I for the next year and half. Culminating with mom’s open heart surgery in March of 2019, she had her martial valve replaced and eased of an aneurysm in her aorta. That alone, knocked us out spiritually, physically, and financially.

That first month after the hurricane was critical. It was taking a lot to get help, and puertorriqueños outside watched in desperation how it quickly disintegrated and it became evident that a rescue effort seemed to be assailed. 

In my eyes, credit to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for her SOS. One of the greatest gestures of courage to come at the right time for a true calamity.

From where I stood, I saw how todos los puertorriqueños up here either became champions or picked up other champions from politicians, to activists, and volunteers. I have never seen such a show of force and love for the homeland. The public denouncement from the Puerto Rican community in the mainland was instant and, it mobilized itself to help not only the island but also the displaced families from Puerto Rico, especially in places like Florida, New York City, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia. For, as the news of the aftermath rescue mission breakdown spread, (that we now know was criminally negligent), the inevitable news of puertorriqueños leaving for the United States began to unfold.

I was very cognizant that what was happening in the New York City was happening all over but, New York City is my doorstep. I know that here, it took local community leadership, elected officials, advocates, activists, foundations, volunteers, and academics to clamor for a justified way to face and manage the crisis of a new wave of Puerto Rican migrants who were destitute. Many families that I later met, came here without any knowledge of where they were coming to and what they would face. It broke my heart. And yet, they decided to stay in a city facing a serious housing crisis. Fueling gentrifying high-rent trends stressing out predominantly disenfranchised communities of color already struggling to stay afloat, are also making it an equal challenge for people with the privilege of language, education, and an honorable job.

Roughly, from October of 2017 to January of 2018 New York City had a slew of organizations and leaders mobilized in supporting and standing up for displaced families from Hurricane María: New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS), Catholic Charities, New York Police Department (NYPD) New York Fire Department (NYFD), The Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, The Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Public Advocate and NY Attorney General Letitia James, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Diaspora x PuertoRico, Union Community Health Center (UCHC), Urban Health Plan (UHP), Department of the Aging, Acacia Network, and so many people came forward for the displaced families. All the leagues understood that the displaced families needed us, “la diaspora.”

What a big little phrase, la diaspora. For how long has it been a diaspora? Where does it come from? Who becomes it? How do we become it? Who decides? How does it live outside of Puerto Rico? Can it be unraveled? These are important questions. 

Immersed in news these past few weeks here are some of the voices I love:

Bonita Radio - Carmen Enid goes on early in the a.m., check website for streaming details.

Walt HD - Streams after work hours, 6ish time.

Jay Fonseca - Post various times throughout the day-usually early morning, noon, and at night.

Anibal Acevedo Vilá - everyday from 8 to 10 a.m. Radio Isla 1320.

David Begnaud - Posts throughout the day or breaking news.

 Now…I am no historian, but I have read, seen, and been told a bit. I’ll tell and share in my order. The following are some voice of la diaspora. 

Read here (SOS), listen here (Elba Cabrera part I of II), and listen here (Pete Miranda Part I of II).

Sol

CODA XVI: LLP (from April 21, 2019)
“After María” description.

“After María” description.

(First shared on private list serve on April 21, 2019) CODAS are becoming my thing. I’m in a new rhythm for sure. Go back to my last share, CODA XV for reference. I’m swimming new waves, and I don’t want to exploit myself, as I know how to do. Ja! I will be around but will come in-and-out with less rigidity on Sundays. I’m gonna' take it easy and steady and change some things. I don’t want to get dark on the state of the world on Easter Sunday, so I leave with a follow up on After María.

Playing in Shorts: No Short Cuts at TFF After Maria premieres next Sunday, April 28, 2019. Visit the page for times and screenings.

Nadia Hallgren, Lauren Cioffi and I met in a natural way. I’m still piecing my words on what the year 2018 delivered. I can honestly say I wanted so much for this story to be told. Several hurdles later the chance just came to be. And, this is just a peek of a much larger tentacle circumstance. For now, I’m grateful for living the experience with Nadia and Cioffi. Grateful too for the “community organizer” credit. And, thankful for Glenda, Kenia, and Sheila. They remain brave here in the City.

Jesus Lives.

Sol

By Chaliana

By Chaliana

CODA VX: A curveball and "After Maria" (from March 31, 2019)
my families.jpg

(First published Sunday, March 31, 2019) My schedule and usual rhythm and flow are off since the year began pretty much because my mother has been struggling with her health. I don’t want to get into the details of it all but it’s serious enough and things are different. The curveball has thrown me off a bit, though I appreciate that it’s giving me time to reflect. And, I thought back to mom’s in-and-out of hospital track since Hurricane María and it’s been about 10 times, a couple of stays for over a month each. I wonder...that brings me to, “After Maria.”

“After Maria” is a short doc by the amazing Nadia Hallgren that will premiere at Tribeca Film Festival on April 28. Here her IG post: Excited to announce my new documentary short @tribecafilmfestival 🇵🇷After Maria 🇵🇷 world premiere on 4/28! Watch what happens when 3 Puerto Rican mothers who are forced to leave the island after hurricane Maria meet in a FEMA hotel in the Bronx. They bond like family and seek stability in their new life as forces try to pull them apart. Produced by @lacioffi Executive producer @rogerrosswilliams edited by @helekearns @jarthster consulting editor @jeantsien @salacuse

I can’t succinctly explain it all, but 2018 was an adventure and the making of this documentary was very much a part of it. So much happened after Maria it’s hard to capture it all, but this work is a tiny peek into what happened after the hurricane to displaced families in New York. Many of them still displaced and living under the NYC Department of Homeless Services temporary shelter housing. Stay tuned for more, because more is coming for “After Maria.”

My last share, CODA XIV the fallen men, was dark and about the future of the University of Puerto Rico. One of the articles I shared was a fiction piece meant to be a worst-case-scenario essay. The worst case scenario is that if the Middle States Commission on Higher Education “flunks” the UPR, then things can turn. I read more and more and see this whole UPR debacle as one of those institutions that could or just might eventually erode. Being that the UPR is an integral part of the livelihood of the island, it is worth any one’s time to read about what is going on. But, the fact remains that between La Junta’s draconian cuts, political pundits, and poor administration, the future of the university is indeed uncertain, and that is a terribly sad thing.

The world as a whole is drowning because of so much ignorance. There’s money for war but not much else…and it shows.

Free Chelsea Manning

Free Papa Renty

Be good to people,
Sol

CODA XIV: The fallen men (from March 10, 2019)
University of Puerto Rico, photographer unknown from Humanidades UPRRP.

University of Puerto Rico, photographer unknown from Humanidades UPRRP.


(First shared via private list serve on Sunday, March 10, 2019.) Andrew Bacevich, was a guest on Democracy Now early this week. Look him up if you don’t know him. During his interview, he ended up describing how we, the people of the U.S. don’t care. It was something in his tenor and his delivery, subtle, and though hurtful, it is a truth, and his concern over our inhumane ways is the central crux of his writings. That same day, 7 March, Mr. David Brooks’(no less!) op-ed piece “The Case for Reparations” appeared in The Times. I was indeed taken aback, as I never expected Mr. Brooks to offer such an acknowledgment. The consequences of our worst mistakes are in our backyard sinking in our soil and growing roots. It’s a mad-house of gigantic and catastrophic proportions out there. Other recent alarming reads, news of the closing of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in April 2019 - a few of the Spanish language articles I read, METRO PR, El Nuevo Dia, 80 Grados. To say that this imminent closure is barbaric is an understatement. In a nutshell, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education did not approve accreditation of the UPR. That decision made it easy for the fiscal control board to make and share their determinations on the future of the country’s only higher education public university system.

This week, in particular, I can’t shake away that we are being led and drowned by fallen men. I’m looking for clearings to stay the course and I remembered Mr. Fernando Ferrer’s share for Episode 54. What I wrote about him then, still stands. So unassuming, un hombre sencillo, his time was also being drowned and he to a chance and made a difference. This UPR thing and the fallen men somehow connects to Hostos Community College for me, its history and its reason for being. He has something to say about all that, his life does. And, because it is Women’s History Month I share all three programs of the women Presidents of Hostos Community College - Flora Mancuso, Isaura Santiago Santiago (part I of II) and Dolores Fernández (Part I of II). Without education, you kill a place slowly, the cruelest way to die.

Sol

NFAND CODA Episode 119 | Alex Rodriguez, artist, writer, sound engineer
Alex Rodríguez

Alex Rodríguez

Alex Rodriguez, producer and emcee:

This conversation was recorded between Howard Jordan (professor, activist, journalist, and lawyer) and Alex Rodríguez a couple of years ago. Jordan was and continues to be the Chair of the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department at Hostos Community College and Alex was enrolled in the Sound Engineering program. Today, Alex works at the Hostos Sound Studio and the rhythm of this share is as real as it comes. A South Bronx native, Alex is lyricist, an emcee, producer, and a full artist at heart. 

Jordan asks and each time Alex goes at it with sincere aplomb and a whole hearted explanation. He fills the gaps with context and personal history and makes his surroundings palpable with word. I’ve been thinking of him for several weeks, his cadence, the hoarseness/softness speed of his voice, and the crux of it-the why of the spoken word, its power and confusion, resonance and displacement, history and the story, tales of souls left heartless and beloved by others. The rest is ignorance and here’s a voice.

Sol

CODA XII: Photo gallery | book week in Puerto Rico

Here CODA XII: Gallery of photos | Book week in Puerto Rico.

There’s something about sincere closeness, familial love, and streets you know that simply linger. 

Sit, breathe, and wait a bit. Take your thoughts and imagine yourself abruptly being taken by the ankles as you become a pendulum swinging side-to-side with force. You surrender to the sway. It begins to slow down until the swinging comes to a full soft stop. You drop to a body of water. When you come up for air some of those people and streets, the closeness, are out there and its safe again. That was Puerto Rico last week.

A bounty of grace and love.

NFAND CODA Episode 116 | Minerva Urrutia, clinical psychologist, artist, activist, mentor
Picture taken from an article in  Latino Sports  by Nicole Perez.

Picture taken from an article in Latino Sports by Nicole Perez.

In this episode, Minerva Urrutia shares about what it means to be a caregiver, as it relates to the Puerto Rican immigrant experience, being married, having children, and giving up almost everything to provide for an aging parent. Her tale is straightforward, poised, tempered, and loving. She is history in the talking.

November is Caregiving month and View For Death | Paisaje Para La Muerte is set for Thursday, 1 November 2018, with a presentation reception and talkback with Professor Eunice Flemister at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos. See attached flyer in png format. The book was translated from English into Spanish by Marlène Ramírez-Cancio.

Grateful for Minerva’s time, consideration, and friendship.

Respect your elders.

Sol

Ebook on Amazon | Print copies on www.viewfordeath.com

www.nfand.com

Donate to 80grados, Prensasinprisa funding campaign.


Episode 110 | Rita Cidre, entrepreneur, creative artist, founder of Anda Pa'l
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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.

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Sol

Episode 108 | Modesto Lacén, theater, film, television, and radio actor
Modesto Lacén, hunk

Modesto Lacén, hunk

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.

 

www.modestolacen.com

Insta @modesto_lacen

 

Episode 107 | Lourdes Torres, aka Lala, activist, advocate, educator, retiered

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.

Sol

Episode 106 | Howard Jordan, attorney, radio host, activist, professor
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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.

Sol

Epsiode 105 | Chloé Cofresí, actress, writer, playwright
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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,

Sol

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!

Episode 104 | José Ramón, The White Shirt, son, brother, and nephew of Veterans
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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.

Amen,

Sol

Episode 103 | Luis Salgado, dancer, choreographer, director
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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.

With love,

Soldanela