Monday, May 30, 2022

Boricua Writer Wins National Award

 The North American Academy of the Spanish Language has bestowed its 2022 Enrique Anderson Imbert Award upon the renowned Puerto Rican writer Giannina Braschi.

This national award recognizes those who have made sustained and significant contributions to the knowledge and dissemination of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures in the United States.

[caption id="attachment_14271" align="alignnone" width="440"] Puerto Rican Author Giannina Braschi Wins National Award from North American Academy of the Spanish Language[/caption]

"The jury unanimously selected Giannina Braschi whose rich and bountiful career defies any simplifying classification," announced Carlos E. Paldao, director of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language. "Her prolific career, which extends from groundbreaking research on Hispanic classics to her spectacular work as a renowned and award-winning creator, places her among the most innovative and influential voices of Hispanic letters in the United States. Braschi contributes to the dissemination of Hispanic culture and literature from the most avant-garde and invigorating perspective. She has left her imprint, not only on the Spanish but on the English-speaking world as well, given the prominence that some of her works have had in striking translations. Her writing reflects the richness of language taken to new linguistic and narrative heights by masterfully interweaving literary genres and linguistic explorations, in keeping with new forms of expression, of which she is a pioneer," Paldao added.

Braschi expressed her elation at winning the academy's highest honor. "It is particularly meaningful for me to receive this wonderful news on the anniversary of Cervantes' life. My literary career begins with Cervantes. When I was 22 years old, I wrote an essay entitled 'Five Fleeting Characters on Don Quixote's Path" which centers on the Quixotic ideals: love, poetry, chivalry, liberty, and justice," she explained. "The essay begins like this: 'Don Quixote-Alonso Quijano, an old man: a dual creature with a cast that imprisons an intimate nucleus, a jingle bell, always restless and full of life.' I consider this essay the beginning of my work. Now I am finishing a book entitled Putinoika, a term I've coined to define the era of Putin and Trump. We once had Perestroika, and now we have Putinoika. We once had Angels in America, as Tony Kushner said, and now we have Putinas in America. Whether I write in Spanish, Spanglish, or English, and no matter the genre, I always have these Quixotic ideals in my heart and in my mind."

With a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literatures from the State University of New York, she taught at Rutgers University, the City University of New York, and Colgate University.

Her work represents an essential contribution to the advancement, strengthening, and expansion of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures in the United States, in addition to being highly innovative and of extraordinary intellectual value. She occupies a prominent place among Latin American intellectuals for her critical stance against American colonialism and for alternating the use of Spanish, Spanglish, and English in her work.

An amalgam of poetry, theater, and philosophy, Braschi's best-known titles include Empire of Dreams (1988), about her socio-political, cultural, and linguistic relationship with New York CityYo-Yo Boing! (1998), a work written in Spanglish that delves into such themes as racism, colonialism, and domestic violence; and United States of Banana (2011), a geopolitical tragicomedy that satirizes the fall of the American empire and the liberation of Puerto Rico.

Her publications have garnished considerable national and pan-Hispanic prominence and are widely taught in colleges and universities internationally. She is the subject of an extensive and ever-expanding critical bibliography, including a recent anthology edited by Frederick Luis Aldama and Tess O'DwyerPoets, Philosophers, Lovers. On the Writings of Giannina Braschi.

Braschi's work has inspired countless cultural adaptations, from the musical compositions of Puerto Rican composer Gabriel Bouche Caro to the graphic novel version of United States of Banana by Swedish cartoonist Joakim Lindengren. She recently won the Cambiemos Award from the Spanish magazine Cambio 16.

"The decision of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language to select Giannina Braschi for the 2022 Enrique Anderson Imbert Award not only augments the international recognition of this distinguished Puerto Rican writer, but also marks a milestone in pan-Hispanic openness to works that question—with masterful precision and without ideological clichés—the boundaries between genres and languages, articulating a polyphonic, philosophical, and poetic vision of the tragicomedy of postmodern globalism," noted José Luis Vega, director of the Puerto Rican Academy of the Spanish Language. "Cervantes, whose memory is revered this week, would have certainly concurred with the jury's decision. Congratulations, Giannina Braschi!"

Saturday, May 28, 2022

What to Know About Driving in Puerto Rico

 What to Know About Driving in Puerto Rico

Whenever you travel to a new place, there are always going to be differences on the roads that you need to be aware of. And if you are going on a trip to Puerto Rico and plan on driving, you should make sure that you are prepared for the intricacies of their roads and driving laws. The more familiar you are with the process before you go, the easier and less stressful it will be for you when you get to Puerto Rico and start driving on the roads.

The Driving Culture

The culture of driving in Puerto Rico is pretty different from the driving culture in the US, and that can lead to some issues for people who are traveling to Puerto Rico for the first time. The driving culture in Puerto Rico tends to be a bit more chaotic and hectic than driving in the mainland US. If you get stressed out easily on the roads, it might be better to find an alternative driver in order to get around while you are on your trip. Otherwise, make sure that you are paying close attention on the roads so you can stay safe.

Traffic Laws

There are also different traffic laws in Puerto Rico than there are in the US in general. Some laws are the same, but others are different, so you want to make sure that you learn the rules before traveling. Just like in the US, yield signs mean you let others pass before going. Additionally, there tend to be higher fines in Puerto Rico for breaking traffic laws, so if you get pulled over, you might end up with a larger fine than you expected.

Higher Amount of Traffic

When you are driving in Puerto Rico, you generally need to plan on driving with a lot of traffic. This can make it take longer to get to your destination, so it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to get around. Traffic can vary greatly in different areas of Puerto Rico, of course, so pay attention to whether you will be driving in the city or in mountainous areas.

Driving in Puerto Rico can be a fun and freeing way to see a beautiful area. But you want to make sure that you are prepared for the difference before you get behind the wheel. That way you can focus on having a great trip and enjoying the beauty around you.

Read this next: Puerto Rico Casinos

Thursday, May 26, 2022

What to Know Before Going Scuba Diving

 What to Know Before Going Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is a unique experience that you should take advantage of if you are given the chance. You get to explore the ocean in a way not many are able to and you get a rare peek at ocean life. However, there are a couple things you should know before you go. 

Stay Safe

Safety should be your main priority when you are scuba diving. You will be deep under water and using complicated equipment, so you need to know how to be safe. Always have a buddy with you when going scuba diving. In fact, it’s best to stay in a group. You should always check your equipment before diving to make sure it is all working properly. While under water, you can experience a lot of pressure. You may want to check with your doctor beforehand to know if this pressure will negatively affect your health.  Before scuba diving, make sure you are informed on how to stay safe while diving and what procedures you should follow after your dive. 

Be Responsible

In addition to being safe, you need to make sure you use common sense while scuba diving and act responsibly. Make sure you stick to the diving plan and don’t go off on your own. Making rash decisions could get you into serious trouble. The number one rule for being responsible is respecting life in the ocean. You should avoid touching underwater life so you don’t disturb the natural ecosystem. If you get too close to certain animals, they may become defensive and attack you. There are also some areas, such as coral reefs, that could be sensitive to being touched. In general, keep your hands to yourself and simply observe the wonders under the water. 

Be Prepared

Because scuba diving is such a unique experience, you need to take some time to prepare for it. As a beginner scuba diver, there are certain skills you’ll need in order to stay safe and have a good time. These include learning how to clear your ears as you descend and how to control your breathing. You also need to know how to clean your mask so it doesn’t fog and you might even need to know how to address seasickness if you will be on a boat. Before going, take plenty of time to research so you understand what you’re getting into.

When you scuba dive, you want to have a good time. In order to do that, you need to know what you’re getting into and how you should act while diving. The more you know beforehand, the better your experience will be.

Check out this article on 3 ways to introduce traditional cuisine to your non-Puerto Rican friends

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

How To Choose The Right Cosmetics For Your Face


natural cosmetic ingredients

Your face is priceless

This might be a mundane and oft-repeated statement, nonetheless, very true. It's how you take care of your face that dictates its value and people's perception towards you. A good face does not necessarily mean a beautiful face. There are various facets that make for a good and acceptable face, and here we talk about one of them.

Choosing the right cosmetics for your face is the one thing that is of seminal importance as far as the upkeep of your face is concerned. There are various factors that must be considered before you choose a particular cosmetic. Some of these factors or parameters are centered on the overall beauty effect, while other factors deal with the inherent content of the cosmetic.

Trial and error

For many people, the concept of choosing the right cosmetic for their face is based on a method of trial and error. The face is used like a laboratory, on which various tests are conducted.

As can be imagined, this is not the right way to choose, a product for your face. By the time, you end-up choosing the right one; your face might show all evidence of being harshly used.

Choosing the right cosmetic for your face

Choice dependent on the skin tone

The cosmetics that you select and pick for use on your face must match the tone of your skin and must go a long way in complementing it. For e.g. if you have a skin tone that is olive or chocolaty, then a darker foundation can be the best choice for you.

On the other hand if you have a fair skin, then you must go for makeup that has a lighter foundation meaning lighter tones. Such makeup will enhance your features and not wash them out or overpower them.

Don't make price the issue

We have already talked about the importance of your face, and you know it better than us. Good make up can be quite an expensive buy, and in terms of cosmetics, quality is directly proportional to an increase in its price.

Many a times, people warn you with the fact that a high price of a particular item does not guarantee good quality, but this fact does not hold true for cosmetics. Saving money on your cosmetics might mean putting the complexion, texture, and the whole nature of your face in jeopardy.

It’s an undeniable fact that cheap make-up looks cheap. If you are looking to save money in this case, then hunt through various departmental stores, which might just offer you some great deals with regards to cosmetics.

With respect to skin type

People have different types of skin. Some have dry skin; others have normal skin, while there are still others who have oily skin. Do not use cosmetics that are only meant for oil skin, on a dry skin type. That would mean trouble in terms of skin irritation or allergies.

Harmony of colors

Color harmony, refers to the coordination of the colors of the cosmetic, with the color of your skin, and overall producing a well coordinated and acceptable effect. The cosmetic must enhance the natural color of the skin and must blend in with hair color, eye color, and of course, the skin color.

cosmetic ingredients

Personal taste

The cosmetics that you use must be a reflection of your own personality and not somebody else’s. This is because not all cosmetics and their type of use, suit each and every person.

Some people look good, if their face is heavily made-up, while others look downright ugly, if there face is heavily plastered with cosmetics. For many people a ‘simple made-up’ natural look works best rather that an overt sense of having used cosmetics.

The ingredients

Many cosmetics use various ingredients that might adversely affect the state of your skin and your overall health. Such ingredients are very often animal derivatives, microbes, even petroleum by-products.

Their usage leads to conditions like allergy, dermatitis etc. Before you choose a cosmetic, read all that it contains, however, most of the time, you are unaware of the adverse effects of the ingredients mentioned on the pack.

Therefore, it’s important that you concentrate on cosmetics that have been made from natural or organic alternatives. The only drawback in this case, is the cost. They are quite prohibitive in terms of price, but well worth it.


It’s easy to go into a shop and select from the cosmetics on display. Yes, if you have a clear idea about its benefits and know that it’s the right choice, then well and good. However, it would be a good idea to do some reading, and get some information from various sources, about the feasibility of using a particular cosmetic. Get a fair idea about the good brands from people around you and make your selection, only after carefully scrutinizing all the available products.

These are just a few tips and considerations, which you must think about before buying the right cosmetics for your face. But, they will definitely make your job a little easier.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Puerto Rico Travel: 6 Things to See, Do & Explore in Puerto Rico

 Puerto Rico is a US territory and a tiny Caribbean Island, known for its cultural identity, natural beauty, beaches, gastronomy, and music. During spring break, tourists flock to this island to make the most of it.

Whether it is beaches or historic museums, this island has so much to offer. No matter if you are looking for a relaxed holiday or some adrenaline-filled adventure, Puerto Rico has everything for everyone. When you visit Puerto Rico, be sure to include the following activities on your itinerary.

Adventure in El Yunque National Forest

El Yunque, a tropical rainforest, is your go-to place if you want to spend some time in nature. There is so much to discover, from waterfalls to hiking trails and massive trees. Spread over 28000 acres, this rainforest is home to a wide variety of unique fauna and flora.

It also features 25 waterfalls, the most famous being La Coca Falls and La Mina Falls. If you feel adventurous, you can also go camping, ziplining, hiking, horse riding, or for a fun picnic with your family.

old san juan buildings

Discover Old San Juan

Walking through the curved, cobblestone road in Old San Juan is like reliving history. With its gorgeous ancient buildings and intimidating forts, this is one of the greatest sites to visit in Puerto Rico, so be sure to include it in your travel plans.

Declared as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, Old San Juan has a perfect balance of well-preserved Spanish colonial history and contemporary Puerto Rican culture despite being 500 years old.

Some of the main attractions in Old San Juan include the Castillo de San Cristóbal, El Morro Fort, and the San Juan Cathedral.

Kayaking at Mosquito Bay

One of the most wonderful and exciting things to experience in Puerto Rico, this bay, hosting a large number of dinoflagellates, has bioluminescent water. Enjoy this breathtaking view as you sit back on the beach and relax.

Even better, enjoy this majestic phenomenon from close as you kayak or swim through the blue waters. The perfect time to visit Mosquito Bay is at night when the bioluminescent water presents a beautiful contrast against the dark sky.

Enjoy local delicacies in La Parguera

La Parguera is located on Puerto Rico's southern coast and offers various attractions. In this seaside district, you can shop from colorful gift stores and lovely vistas, eat scrumptious local food and enjoy authentic Puerto Rican drinks.

The surrounding areas including Cayo Enrique and Mata la Gata boast a wide species of aquatic marine life and coral reefs and offer several activities including scuba diving, snorkeling, and sailing.

Relax at Flamenco Beach

Featuring a vast beach with white sand and turquoise blue water, Flamenco Beach is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Puerto Rico. This beach has virtually no waves, making it great for snorkeling, swimming, relaxing, playing in the sand, or simply relaxing on the beach.

In recent times, a huge tourist influx has resulted in increased amenities including lifeguards, camping areas, showers, changing rooms and restrooms, and parking.

Experience luxury at Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort

Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort, situated at an ideally central location near downtown Ponce, has everything one could wish for.

With luxurious rooms, exquisite delicacies, a fitness center, water slide, whirlpool spa, casino, and a breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea, this resort offers exclusive amenities for an unforgettable stay.

This is heaven for casino lovers, with Hilton's casino offering a great variety of games.

If you do not feel like going to the casino, you can always play these games at online platforms such as Casino777 which offer both classic and modern games including poker, slots, blackjack, and roulette.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Choosing A Bankruptcy Lawyer


Bankruptcy Attorney

When is it Time for Bankruptcy?

We like to succeed as human beings and sometimes succeeding is harder than others. We face many obstacles especially financially. It may be that we lost our job, or medical expenses took all our savings on top of everything else that goes on. We constantly try to correct things only to see no end. A last resort for many of us financially is bankruptcy. When you have made the decision to file for bankruptcy there are several things you need to know, including finding a qualified lawyer to handle your affairs.

Unless you are a lawyer and know first hand about bankruptcy, you will need a professional to help you through this difficult time. A bankruptcy lawyer can answer any questions you may have. They will also provide you with the forms you will need to fill out and advice on how to proceed before you file for bankruptcy. There are non- exempt assets in a bankruptcy that you may loose. A lawyer can try to help you keep the most precious items within the boundaries of the law.

When you try to choose a bankruptcy lawyer, as with anything you will want to research your options. Just picking up a phone book and dialing a number may not be your best option. You may ask your personal lawyer to suggest someone qualified in bankruptcy law. You may look on the Internet for a few phone numbers and then interview the lawyers. The American Bar Association can also help you find a lawyer. It is important to screen your choices in lawyers ask about the cases he or she has dealt with in the past without asking them to reveal any information about the people involved. Ask the person about your situation and what they may recommend.

You can always check with a few people before making the ultimate decision. Referrals are often the best way to find a great lawyer. You have a lot at stake with a bankruptcy because you do not want the case dismissed based on the wrong information. A lawyer can help you get the documentation you will need to appear in court. He or she will appraise you of the questions a judge may ask you and explain other statements that he or she may make regarding your case.

Bankruptcy Takes Time

You may find a year later after starting proceedings you are just going to court and in another six months or less you will have the courts ruling. During this time, you can ask your lawyer about any information that may come up. If you are trying to work with a few creditors, a lawyer can help you if the collection agencies are harassing you by fielding calls.

A bankruptcy lawyer is there to help you through a difficult time. They are available to help relieve the stress of an unknown prospect and gain you the bankruptcy you need to start your life fresh. When you choose a lawyer, it is important to take the time to research them, their case record, and find out if they have any referrals. You want the best when dealing with financial trouble.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Your Access To Free Credit Reports


credit report

What Is A Credit Report?

For most people having good credit is a necessary part of their financial well being. Your credit history has a large impact on the ability to receive a mortgage, car loan and credit cards. Most of time your credit rating is based and formulated using information that is found on your credit report. If you are new to having credit or finally realized how important credit can be, here is some information on what a credit report is and its importance in the credit process.

A credit report is a document that is used to summarize your financial reliability. Usually credit reports compile information that includes current loans and credit cards you have, your payment history, your outstanding debt and other personal information such as your current and previous address, full name, aliases, and companies or lenders that recently requested your credit report.

Credit reports are a very useful tool for companies and lenders to determine if a person they are either loaning money to or can be providing a job or an apartment for is reliable and stable with their finances. For instance, if you would like to apply for a credit card, when filling out the application, you sign a waiver giving the credit card permission to pull your credit report and analyze it. From this point the credit card company will look at your credit report to see if you have lots of other credit cards, the debt that you owe on those credit cards and if in the past were you late paying the monthly bills for the credit cards.

Credit reports are instruments used by lenders and other entities to protect themselves against risk. While a credit report with lots of negative info can be bad for the person that is applying for a loan or apartment, credit reports are in most cases very helpful for consumers that keep up on their payments and are financially responsible. These consumers are able to acquire import loans such as mortgages and business loans that can help them reach their life goals.

Because credit reports are so important to the process of acquiring loans and a big factor in renting an apartment or applying for a job, it is extremely important that consumers know as much as possible on how credit reports are used, how they are scored and strategies on how your credit report can show you as being financially responsible.

Your Access To Free Credit Reports

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

That's right; you are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. In addition to consumers who are eligible for a free credit report through the Annual Credit Report Request Service; consumers in some states are eligible for a free credit report under state law. The following states have laws that make free credit reports available to consumers: Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont.

Commonly called a credit report, what a credit report is really is a credit file disclosure. A credit file disclosure includes a record of anyone who has received a consumer report about you within a certain period of time. These are often referred to as "Inquiries". The credit file disclosure includes certain information that is not included in a consumer report about you to a third party, such as the inquiries of companies for pre-approved offers of credit card companies, or medical account information.

A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.

You are also entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, like denying your application for credit, employment or Insurance. You have up to 60 days to request your report after a decline. You're also entitled to one free report a year if you're unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of identity theft.

For more information, see Your Access to Free Credit Reports at

Monday, May 2, 2022

Santeria: The Survival Of An Ancient African Religion


Many perceive Santeria as a bizarre an undesirable amalgamation of primitive, pagan beliefs and Roman Catholicism. Many believe the religion to be a dangerous, perhaps even Satanic, variation of Voodoo featuring zombies, indiscriminate animal sacrifices and other totems that make those from “first world” religious backgrounds uneasy.

The truth behind Santeria is far less ominous. Santeria is a legitimate religion with roots that trace deep back into history.

European colonization of the “new world” brought with it the importation of slavery. Many slaves were Yoruba’s (that territory lies in what is now a part of modern-day Nigeria). The Yoruba practiced a highly evolved religion that included multiple Orishas, which can be roughly understood as beneficial forces akin to saints in Christian religious practices or lesser deities in polytheistic religions. Yoruba understood the concept of “Ashe,” the life force of every person, and developed a number of worship and celebration rituals.

Slaveholders found the idea of Yoruban religious practices add odds with their own ostensibly Christian belief structure. Fearing the unique customs of the Yoruba and understanding the risk its unfettered practice could have upon the institution of slavery, European colonists in the Americas attempt to destroy the faith and while the Catholic Church worked to convert slaves to Christianity.

Yoruba drumThe religion we now call Santeria, however, did not die. It went undercover instead. Yoruba slaves worshipped the Orishas, but they disguised the figures as Catholic saints. While dancing to the sacred Yoruba drums would not have been tolerated, considerately praying before a representation of a Catholic saint was encouraged. In reality, those prayers were not directed to the Christian martyrs, but to the Orishas. This practice is the source of the name “Santeria,” a Spanish word referring to the worship of Saints.

Yoruba continued other rituals and practices of their faith covertly, as well. Due to the historical context, the traditions were necessarily cloaked in secrecy. This allowed the religion to survive, but gave it an air of mystery that survives today.

Santeria does involve a level of mysticism to which many from Judeo-Christian backgrounds are not accustomed and limited animal sacrifices under specific circumstances (primarily chickens) can be practiced by Santeros. However, those who perceive the faith as a dark and dangerous force are incorrect. Santeria represents the survival of peaceful and ancient traditional African religion against tremendous odds. It is still practiced today in many parts of the Caribbean and the United States.