Monday, July 22, 2024

Puerto Rican Parade of Chicago

 

About Our Fest

Fiestas Patronales Puertorriqueñas will traditionally be held in the beautiful grounds of Humboldt Park located in “Puerto Rico Town” on Division Street where the Annual Puerto Rican Day People’s Parade will take place. After the parade you will flow right into the Festival & Carnival and continue the festivities!

PUERTO RICAN FEST

June 6 & 7 2024
4 PM - 10 PM​

June 8 & 9 2024
12 PM - 10 PM

VENUE | HUMBOLDT PARK
2800 W. Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622

Parade Day

46th Annual Puerto Rican People's Day Parade -Saturday, June 8, 2024, 2pm, Division St, corner of Campbell Ave

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Back to the Twilight Zone: A Puerto Rican Colony in Buffalo, NY

 

A Must-Read Book with a Politically Poetic Voice:

"Back to the Twilight Zone: A Puerto Rican Colony in Buffalo, NY" authored by poet, community activist, and journalist Alberto Cappas, is accessible in Kindle and paperback editions. The narrative examines the struggles of a community grappling with absent leadership and a deficit in collective familial empathy, which paves the way for exploitation and gentrification. It probes into the cultural dilution and the repercussions of political and economic dynamics on the Puerto Rican populace in Buffalo, NY. For those engrossed in societal issues, community advocacy, and the Puerto Rican narrative in Buffalo, this book offers a poignant exploration."

Available at Amazon and other leading social media outlets: Amazon.com: Back to the Twilight Zone: A Puerto Rican Colony in Buffalo, NY eBook : Cappas, Alberto: Kindle Store

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Puerto Rican Pernil Recipe

 

Pernil

Pernil, a traditional Puerto Rican dish, is a succulent and flavorful roast pork shoulder, marinated and slow-roasted to perfection. Bursting with Caribbean spices and aromatics, it's a dish that graces the tables during festive occasions, family gatherings, and holidays. This recipe aims to capture the essence of Puerto Rican cuisine, blending influences from Spanish, African, and indigenous Taíno cultures into a tantalizing culinary experience.

Ingredients:

For the Marinade:

  • 6 to 8 pounds pork shoulder (bone-in for best flavor)
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves

For Roasting:

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup chicken or pork broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Pork Shoulder:
    • Rinse the pork shoulder under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Place it on a cutting board and make several deep slits across the surface of the meat, about 1 inch apart. This helps the marinade penetrate deeply and ensures even cooking.
  2. Make the Marinade:
    • In a blender or food processor, combine garlic cloves, dried oregano, ground cumin, black pepper, paprika, adobo seasoning, salt, olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, white vinegar, and bay leaves. Blend until you achieve a smooth, fragrant marinade.
  3. Marinate the Pork:
    • Place the pork shoulder in a large, shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the pork, making sure to coat it thoroughly, including inside the slits. Massage the marinade into the meat, cover the dish or seal the bag, and refrigerate overnight for best results. Allow the flavors to meld and infuse into the meat.
  4. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Remove the marinated pork shoulder from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to take the chill off.
  5. Prepare the Roasting Pan:
    • In a roasting pan, arrange the thinly sliced onions and bell peppers to create a bed for the pork shoulder. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the marinated pork shoulder on top of the bed of onions and bell peppers.
  6. Roast the Pernil:
    • Pour orange juice and chicken or pork broth over the pork shoulder and vegetables in the roasting pan. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, ensuring a snug seal to lock in moisture.
    • Place the roasting pan in the preheated oven and roast the pernil for approximately 4 to 5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 190°F (88°C). For a crispy skin, uncover the pork during the last hour of cooking, basting occasionally with pan juices.
  7. Rest and Serve:
    • Once the pernil is cooked to perfection, remove it from the oven and let it rest, covered loosely with foil, for about 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and tender roast.
    • Carve the pernil into thick slices, serving alongside the roasted onions and bell peppers. Spoon any remaining pan juices over the sliced meat for added flavor and moisture.
    • Serve the Puerto Rican pernil hot, accompanied by traditional side dishes such as arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), tostones (fried plantains), or yuca con mojo (yucca with garlic sauce).

Conclusion

Puerto Rican pernil is more than just a dish; it's a celebration of culture, family, and culinary heritage. With its robust flavors and tender texture, this traditional roast pork shoulder is sure to become a favorite at your table. Embrace the rich tapestry of Puerto Rican cuisine with this authentic pernil recipe, and savor the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean with every bite. ¡Buen provecho!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V6HIGf64bA

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

4 Ways to Explore Puerto Rico This Summer

 

Puerto Rico, an increasingly popular tourist destination, is known for its lively culture, interesting history, spectacular natural beauty, and endless opportunities for adventure. Besides the postcard-perfect beaches, the island offers a myriad of immersive experiences that will appeal to every kind of traveler. So, if you too are looking for ideas for a summer escape here is a detailed look at four ways to explore the wonders of Puerto Rico.

Immerse Yourself in History and Culture

Start your journey in the heart of Old San Juan, a charming walled city with cobblestone streets, pastel-colored buildings, and imposing fortresses like El Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal. Explore the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and learn about Puerto Rico's colonial past. Wander through the lively plazas, take in the local ambiance, and indulge in delectable Puerto Rican cuisine. Do not miss the chance to witness the ceremonial changing of the guard at La Puerta de San Juan, a historic city gate.

You can also go to the Santurce district. Explore the colorful street art scene in Calle Loíza, a paradise for local artists. Experience the vibrant culture at La Placita de Santurce, a lively marketplace featuring fresh produce, local crafts, and delicious street food vendors. By night, the area transforms into a lively hub with trendy bars and restaurants offering a taste of Puerto Rico's contemporary cuisine and nightlife scene.

Visit Puerto Rico's museums to explore its rich history and artistic heritage. The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico has an impressive collection of Puerto Rican and international art. To learn the island's religious history, you can explore the Catedral Basilica Menor de San Juan Bautista, the oldest church in San Juan, boasting stunning architecture and religious artifacts.

Hike through Lush Rainforests

Want to escape the sizzling summer heat and enjoy the cool? The El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the US Forest Service system, is a must-visit. Having an area of over 28,000 acres, El Yunque is home to a diverse ecosystem with lush vegetation, waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife, including the endangered coquí frog, whose unique chirp fills the air.

Lace up your hiking boots and explore a network of trails for all levels of experience. The moderately challenging Yokahu Trail leads to the La Coca Falls, a waterfall amidst the rainforest. For a leisurely stroll, opt for the shorter Baño Grande Trail, which winds through a bamboo forest to a natural swimming pool, perfect for a refreshing dip.

Besides traditional hiking, El Yunque offers exciting adventure tours for adrenaline junkies, like ziplining through the rainforest canopy, guided canyoneering adventure, rappeling down waterfalls, and exploring hidden pools within the rainforest.

Hit the Beach and Explore the Underwater World

With over 300 miles of stunning coastline, Puerto Rico is a must-visit for beach lovers. Some of the most popular beaches include Condado Beach in San Juan, Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island, and Vieques Island's Sun Bay.

Relax on white-sand beaches, soak up the warm Caribbean sun, and feel the gentle caress of the clear, beautiful waters. For the ultimate relaxation experience, many beaches offer amenities like lounge chair rentals and umbrellas, and beachfront restaurants serve refreshing drinks and delicious island fare.

You can also explore the vibrant underwater world packed with life with a guided snorkeling tour. Puerto Rico has numerous coral reefs teeming with colorful fish, playful sea turtles, and an abundance of marine life and a snorkeling tour is the perfect way to explore all the beauty.

Discover Vieques and Culebra

Leave the hustle and bustle of the main island and experience a slower pace of life on Vieques and Culebra, two serene island paradises located off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. They are accessible by ferry from Fajardo and are a great place to reconnect with nature, explore charming towns, and unwind on secluded beaches.

Vieques is known for its bioluminescent Mosquito Bay. You can kayak through the bay at night to see the breathtaking natural phenomenon as millions of bioluminescent organisms illuminate the water with an ethereal glow. Explore the charming town of Esperanza, known for its colorful buildings, art galleries, and delicious local restaurants. If you are a history buff, visit the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, a former US Navy bombing range that is now a shelter for endangered wildlife.

Culebra, the smaller and more secluded of the two islands, is home to pristine beaches like Playa Tamarindo, a private inlet with crystal-clear waters and soft white sand. You can also explore the laid-back town of Dewey and enjoy fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants.

Final Thoughts

Puerto Rico caters to all types of travelers. Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, a beach bum, or an adrenaline junkie, the island promises an unforgettable summer escape.

So get ready to experience the culture and natural beauty of Puerto Rico, immerse yourself in stunning natural beauty, and create wonderful memories in this charming island paradise. This summer, explore your adventurous side and let Puerto Rico enchant you!

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Juana Díaz Puerto Rico | La Ciudad del Mabí

 

Nestled in the southern region of Puerto Rico, Juana Díaz stands as a testament to the island's rich history and vibrant culture. Founded on February 25, 1798, by Don Juan Nepomuceno Díaz, this town has played a pivotal role in shaping Puerto Rican identity. With its captivating history, diverse landmarks, and deep-rooted traditions, Juana Díaz remains a unique gem in the Caribbean.

Early History and Founding

The story of Juana Díaz begins in the late 18th century when Don Juan Nepomuceno Díaz, a visionary and enterprising leader, set the foundations for the town. Established on the 25th of February in 1798, Juana Díaz was named in honor of Doña Juana Díaz de la Cruz, the great-great-grandmother of Don Juan Nepomuceno Díaz. The town's founding marked a period of agricultural expansion and economic development, laying the groundwork for its future significance within Puerto Rico.

Don Juan Nepomuceno Díaz, a prominent landowner and respected figure in the region, played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of Juana Díaz. His vision for the town was rooted in creating a thriving agricultural community that would contribute to the overall prosperity of Puerto Rico. Today, his legacy lives on in the town's vibrant culture, resilient spirit, and commitment to preserving its unique identity.

Town Colors

The colors of Juana Díaz symbolize the town's character and heritage. The traditional colors of green, representing the lush landscape and fertile fields, and gold, symbolizing the wealth and prosperity derived from agriculture, come together to create a visual representation of Juana Díaz's essence.

Sites of Interest

Juana Díaz boasts a wealth of historical and cultural sites that draw visitors from near and far. One such landmark is the Casa Cautiño, a neoclassical mansion built in the late 19th century that reflects the architectural grandeur of the era. The Plaza de Recreo, or town square, is another focal point where locals and tourists alike gather to experience the heartbeat of Juana Díaz. This central square encapsulates the town's history, featuring the statue of its founder and the iconic San Ramon Nonato Catholic Church.

Patron Saint

town, municipality, architecture, sights, structure 
San Ramon Nonato Church, Juan Diaz

The spiritual heart of Juana Díaz lies in its devotion to San Ramon Nonato, the patron saint of childbirth and midwives. The San Ramon Nonato Catholic Church, an architectural masterpiece, stands proudly in the town square, serving as a symbol of faith and community. The church's historical significance is deeply intertwined with the town's identity, as it not only serves as a place of worship but also as a repository of centuries-old traditions.

The presence of the San Ramon Nonato Catholic Church in Juana Díaz's town square enhances the town's charm and cultural richness. The church, dedicated to the patron saint, serves as a spiritual focal point and a gathering place for the community. The annual feast of San Ramon Nonato, celebrated with fervor and joy, brings the town together in a display of faith and cultural pride.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Juana Díaz, Puerto Rico, stands as a testament to the resilience, vision, and cultural richness of its people. From its founding by Don Juan Nepomuceno Díaz to the vibrant traditions surrounding San Ramon Nonato, the town encapsulates the essence of Puerto Rican history. As visitors explore the historical sites, bask in the town's colors, and witness the devotion to its patron saint, they become part of a tapestry woven with the threads of Juana Díaz's captivating past and promising future.

Local Sites of Interest

Kanela's Coffee Shop
Juana Díaz Cigar Shop
 

Friday, July 12, 2024

An Adventure Awaits at Carabalí Rainforest Adventure Park

 Craving an adrenaline rush amidst a lush rainforest paradise? Look no further than Carabalí Rainforest Adventure Park, Puerto Rico's premier destination for heart-pounding thrills and serene nature encounters. Nestled in the verdant foothills of El Yunque National Forest, just steps from the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, this action-packed hacienda promises an unforgettable escape for adventurers of all ages.

Where the Rainforest Meets Adventure

Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park welcomes you to Luquillo, a charming town on Puerto Rico's east coast. Imagine weaving through towering trees, feeling the cool forest breeze brush against your skin, and hearing the symphony of exotic birdsong fill the air. This captivating setting becomes your playground, offering a unique blend of adrenaline-pumping activities and tranquil nature immersion.

Gearing Up for Thrills

Carabali boasts a diverse range of experiences, ensuring there's something for every adventurer. Let's explore some of their most popular offerings:

  • Thundering Through the Rainforest on ATVs: Buckle up for an exhilarating ride on their powerful 600cc ATVs. Choose between one or two-hour tours, traversing muddy trails, crossing refreshing streams, and conquering hills as you soak in the breathtaking rainforest scenery. Don't forget your sense of adventure and prepare to get a little dirty!
  • Horseback Riding Through Untamed Beauty: Saddle up for a peaceful journey through the lush landscape. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a curious beginner, their gentle horses and experienced guides will ensure a comfortable and unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the rainforest as you witness hidden waterfalls and diverse flora and fauna.
  • Hitting the Gas at the Go-Kart Track: Test your driving skills on their exciting go-kart track. Challenge your friends and family to a series of races, weaving through tight corners and speeding down straightaways. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-time racer, the track promises pure fun and friendly competition.
  • Beyond the Adrenaline: Don't miss the opportunity to simply relax and enjoy the park's natural beauty. Take a leisurely stroll along nature trails, cool off in the refreshing waters of the Mameyes River, or simply unwind under the shade of towering trees. The park also offers a gift shop stocked with souvenirs and a restaurant serving delicious Puerto Rican cuisine, perfect for refueling after your adventures.

Planning Your Carabalí Adventure

Before your visit, be sure to check the park's website for operating hours, ticket prices, and availability of specific activities. Each activity has its own age and height restrictions, so ensure everyone in your group meets the requirements. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for outdoor activities, and don't forget sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat!

More Than Just a Park, It's an Experience

Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park is more than just a collection of activities; it's an experience that blends adventure, nature, and cultural immersion. From the adrenaline rush of the ziplines to the peaceful serenity of the horseback rides, the park offers something for everyone. So, gather your adventurous spirit, pack your sense of exploration, and head to Carabalí Rainforest Adventure Park for an unforgettable experience that will leave you breathless and wanting more.

Contact Information

CARABALI RAINFOREST ADVENTURE PARK

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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Kiosko 787 Puerto Rican Restaurant

 

Kiosko 787, a culinary haven where traditional Puerto Rican flavors are reimagined with a modern twist, offering a uniquely flavorful dining adventure.

Welcome to Kiosko 787 Puerto Rican Take-Out, where we invite you to embark on a culinary journey that blends the heartwarming traditions of Puerto Rican cuisine with a dash of contemporary innovation. Our restaurant is a celebration of the island's rich culinary heritage, where vibrant flavors and time-honored recipes meet modern creativity to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

Nestled in the heart of Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY, Kiosko 787 is more than just a Take-Out restaurant; it's a testament to our passion for food and culture. With every dish we serve, we pay homage to the flavors that have been passed down through generations, infusing them with fresh perspectives and modern techniques to tantalize your taste buds.

Our menu is a carefully crafted tribute to Puerto Rico's gastronomic traditions, featuring iconic dishes like pernil, mamposteao, arroz con gandules and tripleta sandwiches prepared with the utmost respect for authenticity. But what truly sets us apart is our commitment to pushing the boundaries of flavor. Our talented chefs take these beloved classics and transform them into culinary masterpieces, offering a delightful fusion of tradition and innovation.

Upon visiting, you'll be enveloped by the vibrant ambiance that mirrors the lively spirit of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The building decor, the music, and the friendly faces of our staff all reflect the warmth and hospitality that our island is known for.
Whether you're a seasoned aficionado of Puerto Rican cuisine or a newcomer eager to explore its delights, Kiosko 787 is a place where tradition and modernity come together in perfect harmony. We invite you to join us on this gastronomic adventure, where each bite tells a story of our culture and creativity. Thank you for being a part of our culinary journey, and we look forward to sharing our passion for food with you.

Contact Information

Address: 488 Carroll St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone number: (347)599-2122
Hours:
Sunday, 12–7 PM
Monday Closed
Tuesday 11 AM–8 PM
Wednesday 11 AM–8 PM
Thursday 11 AM–8 PM
Friday 11 AM–8 PM
Saturday 12 PM–8 PM

Check Us Out

Visit Our Website
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Monday, July 8, 2024

Francisco Oller: A Pioneer in Puerto Rican Art

Early Life and Education

Francisco Oller (1833-1917) stands as a towering figure in Puerto Rican art history. More than just a talented painter, Oller was a pivotal figure who bridged the artistic gap between the Caribbean and the burgeoning Impressionist movement in Europe. His prolific career, encompassing various styles and themes, not only documented Puerto Rican life but also helped shape the artistic identity of the island nation.

Born into an affluent family in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, Oller's artistic talent was evident from a young age. He received his initial training under Juan Cleto Noa, a prominent local artist, before venturing to Europe in 1850. There, he immersed himself in the rich artistic scene, studying at the prestigious Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. Further honing his skills, he apprenticed under the renowned French Realist painter Thomas Couture and is believed to have been influenced by the works of Gustave Courbet, another prominent Realist figure.

Realism and Impressionism

Oller's early works reflected a strong Realist influence, focusing on meticulous detail and capturing the essence of his subjects. Paintings like "The Coffee Picker" (1856) showcased his ability to portray the everyday life of Puerto Ricans with a sense of realism and dignity. This period also saw him create still lifes and portraits, demonstrating his versatility and technical mastery.

However, Oller's artistic journey took a decisive turn during his extended stay in Paris from 1865 to 1874. This period coincided with the rise of Impressionism, a revolutionary movement that challenged traditional artistic conventions. Exposed to the works of Monet, Renoir, and Sisley, Oller began to incorporate elements of Impressionism into his style. His brushstrokes became looser, his palette lighter, and his focus shifted towards capturing the play of light and shadow on landscapes and figures.

 
'Plátanos Amarillos’ (ca 1893), Francisco Oller, oil on wood panel

This newfound Impressionistic influence is evident in his iconic masterpiece, "The Oxcart" (1884). The painting depicts a traditional Puerto Rican oxcart traversing a lush, sun-drenched landscape. The vibrant colors, loose brushwork, and focus on the interplay of light and shadow are all hallmarks of Impressionism. Yet, Oller retained a sense of realism, depicting the scene with a faithfulness that captured the essence of Puerto Rican life. "The Oxcart" stands as a testament to Oller's ability to bridge the gap between European artistic movements and his own Caribbean identity.

Puerto Rican Identity and Nationalism

Oller's return to Puerto Rico in 1884 marked a new chapter in his career. He became a champion of the Impressionist movement on the island, inspiring a generation of local artists. His paintings continued to explore various themes, including historical events like the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico, depicted in his powerful work "The Wake" (1890). He also tackled social commentary with pieces like "Maestro Cordero's School" (1890), which offered a glimpse into the realities of education for underprivileged children.

Throughout his career, Oller remained deeply connected to his homeland. He captured the beauty of the Puerto Rican landscape in works like "Hacienda La Fortuna" (1885), a vibrant portrayal of a sugar plantation. He also documented the bustling life of San Juan in paintings like "The Dance" (1886), which showcased the vibrant Afro-Caribbean cultural traditions of the island.

Legacy and Recognition

Oller's legacy extends beyond his artistic achievements. He played a crucial role in establishing a distinct artistic identity for Puerto Rico. By incorporating European trends like Impressionism while remaining true to his Caribbean roots, he paved the way for future generations of Puerto Rican artists to explore their own unique voices. Today, Oller's works are celebrated not only in Puerto Rico but also in major international museums, solidifying his position as a pivotal figure in the history of both Caribbean and Impressionist art.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Puerto Rican Society, Inc.

 

Puerto Rican Society, Inc.

St. Louis, MO

Our Mission: “To represent and uphold  Puerto Rican values and culture while supporting education and other charitable pursuits”

Our Story

The Puerto Rican Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation whose objectives include: supporting education scholarships for Hispanic/Latino students in the St. Louis metropolitan area, promoting the awareness of the Puerto Rican culture and traditions, ensuring self-improvement, providing social activities for its members and their guests, sponsoring and supporting events that will benefit the Puerto Rican community, and strengthening mutual understanding throughout the local community. Membership in the organization is open to all persons who subscribe to and work toward attaining the objectives of the corporation.

Nuestra Historia

La Sociedad Puertorriqueña es una corporación sin fines de lucro cuyos objetivos incluyen: apoyar becas educacionales para estudiantes hispanos/latinos en el área metropolitana de San Luis, promover la cultura y tradiciones puertorriqueñas, asegurar el crecimiento personal, proveer actividades sociales a sus socios e invitados, auspiciar y apoyar eventos que beneficien la comunidad puertorriqueña, y fortalecer el entendimiento mutuo entre la comunidad local. Todas las personas que se subscriban y trabajen para lograr los objetivos de la corporación podrán ser socios de la misma.

Puerto Rican Society Scholarships Overview

​The Puerto Rican Society, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, will award at least five scholarships of one thousand dollars ($1,000) to each student that meets its qualifications. Awarding scholarships is among the organization's major purposes.

​The scholarships of the Puerto Rican Society are awarded to Hispanic students from the St. Louis region with high credentials and superior academic qualifications that are US citizens and/or legal residents. Those meeting these requirements are encouraged to apply for the scholarships. One scholarship is reserved for a Puerto Rican student. The scholarships are not limited to members of the Puerto Rican Society.

​The scholarships are granted to students that continue their education in a college, university or other institution of higher learning, whether for study at the undergraduate or graduate levels. Every year the Scholarship Application Process will re-open in the month of March.

​The Scholarship Committee of the society is responsible for overseeing the awarding of scholarships. The Scholarship Committee selects a Scholarship Evaluation Council, which will screen and select the Hispanics that will be awarded the scholarships. Members of the Society cannot be members of the Scholarship Evaluation Council. The Scholarship Evaluation Council will re-convene in the month of June.

​For inquiries regarding our Scholarship opportunity contact us at admin@sprstlouis.com.

The scholarships' funds will be presented during the month of July.

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Friday, April 5, 2024

April Horoscopes from Boricua.com

 April Horoscopes

April Horoscopes

Welcome to April's cosmic forecast! As the sun transitions through the zodiac sign of Aries, igniting the fiery energies of initiative and determination, let the celestial dance guide you through the month ahead. Explore what the stars have in store for your astrological sign in April's horoscopes.

Aries (March 21 - April 19): Your pioneering spirit shines brightly as you embrace new opportunities with vigor. Trust your instincts and take bold steps towards your goals. However, remember to temper your impulsiveness with patience, especially in matters of the heart. Nurture your relationships with sincerity and understanding. Balance your ambition with self-care to ensure a harmonious month ahead.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20): This month brings a blend of stability and transformation. Embrace changes in your career path with confidence, but be cautious of impulsive decisions. Your financial instincts are sharp, guiding you towards lucrative ventures. In relationships, communicate openly and listen attentively to foster deeper connections. Take time for self-reflection to align your desires with your actions, paving the way for personal growth and fulfillment.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20): Your natural curiosity leads you on exciting intellectual journeys. Embrace new perspectives and opportunities for learning, whether through travel, study, or engaging conversations. Stay adaptable in your approach to challenges, and trust in your ability to find innovative solutions. Nurture your relationships with sincerity and understanding, and don't hesitate to express your true thoughts and feelings. This month offers rich potential for personal and intellectual growth.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22): April heralds a period of emotional renewal and self-discovery. Dive deep into introspection and embrace vulnerability as you explore your innermost desires and fears. Trust your intuition when navigating relationships, but don't be afraid to set boundaries for your emotional well-being. Take time for self-care and nurture your creativity; it's through expressing yourself authentically that you'll find true fulfillment this month.

Leo (July 23 - August 22): This month will ignite your passions and drive for success. Embrace opportunities for leadership and innovation in your career, but remember to collaborate and listen to others' ideas. Your charisma shines in social settings, attracting new connections and strengthening existing bonds. Stay mindful of your financial decisions and avoid impulsive spending. Balance work with leisure to maintain harmony and vitality throughout the month.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22): April encourages you to embrace spontaneity and adventure. Step out of your comfort zone and explore new horizons, whether through travel, learning, or trying new experiences. Trust your instincts in matters of the heart, but also communicate openly and honestly to avoid misunderstandings. Focus on self-care and balance to maintain your physical and emotional well-being amidst the excitement of this transformative month.

Libra (September 23 - October 22): For you, this month brings a harmonious blend of creativity and introspection. Dive deep into your artistic pursuits, allowing your imagination to soar freely. Nurture your relationships with sincerity and empathy, prioritizing meaningful connections over superficial interactions. Take time for self-reflection to align your desires with your actions, fostering personal growth and emotional balance. Trust in the universe's unfolding and embrace the beauty of the journey ahead.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21): This month ushers in a period of transformation and empowerment. Embrace change fearlessly, as it paves the way for personal growth and renewal. Dive deep into your passions and ambitions, harnessing your inner strength to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. Trust your intuition in matters of the heart, but also communicate openly to deepen your connections. Embrace vulnerability as a catalyst for profound emotional healing and connection.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21): April invites you to broaden your horizons and seek new adventures. Embrace opportunities for travel, learning, and exploration, as they bring profound growth and expansion. Stay open-minded in your interactions, as diverse perspectives will enrich your experiences. Focus on maintaining balance between your ambitions and your need for freedom. Trust in the journey and allow spontaneity to guide you towards exciting discoveries.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19): For you, this month encourages a blend of ambition and introspection. Focus on your career goals with determination and strategic planning, but also make time for self-reflection and spiritual nourishment. Embrace opportunities for deepening intimacy in your relationships, but ensure boundaries are respected. Take care of your physical health through regular exercise and nourishing habits. Trust in your inner wisdom to navigate the month's challenges with grace and resilience.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18): April inspires innovation and collaboration. Embrace your unique perspective and share your ideas with others, fostering creativity and collective progress. Stay open to unexpected opportunities that may lead to exciting breakthroughs in both your personal and professional life. Nurture your friendships and community connections, as they offer support and inspiration. Keep an open mind and embrace change with enthusiasm, knowing it leads to growth.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20): his month brings a blend of intuition and practicality. Trust your instincts as you navigate career decisions, but also ground your dreams with careful planning and attention to detail. Embrace moments of solitude for reflection and spiritual connection, allowing your intuition to guide you towards deeper understanding. Nurture your relationships with empathy and compassion, strengthening bonds through genuine communication and understanding.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Puerto Rico's Act 22: A Tax Oasis with Mixed Blessings

 tax incentives

Puerto Rico's Act 22, also known as the Individual Investors Act, has become a hot-button topic. Enacted in 2012, the Act aims to stimulate the island's economy by attracting high-net-worth individuals with significant tax breaks. But has it been a boon or a bane for Puerto Rico? Let's dive into the Act's impact and how Puerto Ricans themselves view it.

The Allure of Act 22: Tax Breaks Galore

Act 22 offers substantial tax incentives to individuals who establish bona fide residency in Puerto Rico. These incentives include a 100% exemption on capital gains taxes and interest and dividend income earned from sources outside Puerto Rico. This makes the island an attractive tax haven, particularly for entrepreneurs, investors, and retirees from the mainland US.

The Economic Impact: A Double-Edged Sword

Proponents of Act 22 argue it has boosted the Puerto Rican economy in several ways. Firstly, it injects new capital into the island's financial system. New residents invest in real estate, businesses, and local ventures, creating jobs and stimulating economic activity. Secondly, increased spending by these residents benefits local businesses and the service industry. Finally, the Act generates additional tax revenue through property taxes and sales taxes paid by new residents.

However, critics point out potential downsides. Some argue that wealthy newcomers displace local residents from the housing market, driving up property values and rents, making it harder for Puerto Ricans to find affordable housing. Additionally, concerns exist that Act 22 benefits don't always trickle down to all sectors of the economy, primarily favoring tourism and high-end services.

The Likes: A Glimpse of Hope

Many Puerto Ricans view Act 22 with cautious optimism. They appreciate the potential for economic growth and job creation. The influx of new residents can revitalize struggling communities and provide much-needed investment. Additionally, the Act can attract skilled professionals who can contribute to the island's development.

The Dislikes: Concerns and Skepticism

However, skepticism also exists. Some Puerto Ricans worry about potential gentrification and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. There are concerns that the tax breaks primarily benefit the wealthy newcomers rather than the broader population. Additionally, some question whether the Act attracts genuine residents who contribute to the community or simply tax haven seekers with little interest in Puerto Rico beyond its financial offerings.

The Road Ahead: Finding the Right Balance

The future of Act 22 remains uncertain. The program has been amended in recent years to address concerns and ensure compliance. It's crucial to find a middle ground that attracts new residents while ensuring the benefits reach all Puerto Ricans. Increased transparency and accountability can help ensure Act 22 fosters sustainable economic development that benefits the entire island.

Beyond the Act: A Call for Diversification

Ultimately, Act 22 should be seen as one piece of a broader economic development strategy. The island needs to focus on fostering a diversified and resilient economy that doesn't solely rely on tax breaks. Investing in education, infrastructure, and local businesses can create long-term growth that benefits all Puerto Ricans.

Conclusion

Act 22 presents both opportunities and challenges for Puerto Rico. Recognizing both perspectives of Puerto Ricans living on the island is crucial. Striking a balance between attracting new residents and ensuring local communities thrive will determine the ultimate success of this controversial tax act.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Paradise Lost? Act 22, Airbnbs, and the Struggle for Affordable Housing in Puerto Rico

 affordable housing

Puerto Rico, a vibrant island territory of the United States, faces a complex challenge: a shortage of affordable housing. This issue has intensified in recent years, fueled by two factors: Act 22 and the rise of Airbnb rentals. Let's delve into how these seemingly disparate forces are contributing to the housing crisis in Puerto Rico.

Act 22: A Double-Edged Sword

Act 22, also known as Act 60, is an economic development program designed to attract investors and entrepreneurs to Puerto Rico. The program offers significant tax breaks to individuals who relocate to the island and establish a business there. While Act 22 has undoubtedly boosted the island's economy, it's not without its downsides in the housing market.

Here's How Act 22 can Impact Affordability

Increased Demand: Act 22 beneficiaries tend to have higher incomes. Their arrival creates a surge in demand for housing, particularly in desirable tourist areas. This competition with local residents drives up prices, pushing affordable options further out of reach.

Limited Inventory: Some Act 22 participants choose to buy properties as part of the program's requirements. This removes potential long-term rentals from the market and shrinks the pool of available housing, especially for middle-income earners.
The Airbnb Effect: Hospitality Over Habitability

The popularity of Airbnb has transformed the tourism landscape in Puerto Rico. While short-term rentals can offer economic benefits for some homeowners, their widespread presence can exacerbate the housing crisis:

Reduced Long-Term Rentals: Property owners, lured by the potentially higher income from short-term rentals, convert long-term rentals into Airbnbs. This reduces the number of apartments and houses available for year-round residents.

Gentrification on Steroids: The influx of tourists seeking trendy Airbnb stays can lead to gentrification. Local residents are pushed out of certain neighborhoods as property values and rents rise due to the increased demand for short-term rentals.
A Perfect Storm: Act 22 and Airbnbs Working in Tandem

The combined effect of Act 22 and excessive Airbnbs creates a perfect storm for affordable housing. With increased demand from Act 22 participants and a shrinking pool of long-term rentals due to Airbnbs, competition for the remaining housing stock becomes fierce. This pushes prices even higher, leaving many Puerto Ricans struggling to find a decent and affordable place to live.

Finding Solutions: A Path Towards Balance

The situation isn't without potential solutions. Here are some ways to address the housing crisis:

Act 22 Reform: Consider requiring Act 22 beneficiaries to purchase properties in designated areas outside of high-demand tourist zones. This could help distribute the impact and prevent gentrification.

Airbnb Regulations: Implement stricter regulations on short-term rentals. Limiting the number of nights a property can be rented per year, requiring licensing, and increasing taxes on multiple listings are potential options.

Investment in Affordable Housing: Increase government investment in building and subsidizing affordable housing units. This can provide much-needed options for low and middle-income residents.

Conclusion: A Sustainable Future for Puerto Rico

The dream of owning a home or finding a decent rental apartment is becoming increasingly difficult for many Puerto Ricans. By acknowledging the impact of Act 22 and Airbnbs on the housing market, policymakers and stakeholders can work together to create a more balanced system. Striking a balance between economic development, tourism, and the needs of the island's residents is crucial for a sustainable future where everyone has access to affordable housing. Only then can Puerto Rico truly be a paradise for all.

Friday, March 15, 2024

the Rainforest Inn Bed and Breakfast

 Nestled within the lush greenery of El Yunque Rainforest in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, the Rainforest Inn Bed and Breakfast stands as a serene oasis, offering an unforgettable escape for nature enthusiasts and tranquility seekers alike. This charming retreat is more than just a place to rest; it's an immersive experience that allows guests to connect with the vibrant ecosystem surrounding them.

A Unique Retreat

The Rainforest Inn is not your typical bed and breakfast; it's an eco-friendly haven that seamlessly blends luxury with sustainability. Guests are greeted by the soothing sounds of the rainforest and the refreshing scent of tropical flora as they step onto the property. The inn consists of six uniquely designed rooms, each offering panoramic views of the lush landscape.

The rooms at Rainforest Inn are designed to provide comfort while maintaining a close connection to nature. The eco-friendly architecture ensures that each room is well-ventilated and naturally lit, reducing the need for excessive artificial lighting and air conditioning. From the private balconies, guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the rainforest, creating a perfect setting for relaxation.

Activities

For those seeking adventure, the Rainforest Inn provides a gateway to the wonders of El Yunque Rainforest. Guests can explore hiking trails, discover hidden waterfalls, and observe the diverse flora and fauna that call the rainforest home. The inn offers guided tours, providing valuable insights into the ecology and cultural significance of this unique environment.

The El Yunque National Forest, where the inn is situated, is home to countless species of birds, insects, and plants. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the opportunity to spot rare and exotic species right from their balconies. The inn also arranges special birdwatching tours for enthusiasts eager to explore the diverse avian life.

The Rainforest Inn is committed to environmental sustainability and conservation. The property employs eco-friendly practices such as rainwater harvesting, composting, and energy-efficient technologies. The owners actively participate in local conservation efforts, supporting initiatives aimed at preserving the delicate balance of the rainforest ecosystem.

Culinary Delights

The inn's culinary offerings are a highlight for guests. The on-site restaurant sources fresh, local ingredients to create a menu that reflects the vibrant flavors of Puerto Rican cuisine. From traditional dishes to modern culinary creations, the chefs at Rainforest Inn showcase their passion for sustainable and locally sourced food.

Beyond providing a unique and immersive experience for guests, the Rainforest Inn is deeply involved in the local community. The owners collaborate with nearby businesses, artisans, and farmers to support the regional economy. Guests have the opportunity to participate in cultural excursions and interact with the vibrant communities surrounding the rainforest.

The Rainforest Inn Bed and Breakfast in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, offers more than just a place to stay – it provides an opportunity to connect with nature, support local communities, and contribute to the conservation of the precious rainforest ecosystem. Whether you're an avid nature lover or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, the Rainforest Inn invites you to embrace the beauty of El Yunque and create lasting memories in this enchanting corner of the world.

 

Contact Information

Website https://www.rainforestinn.com/

Email Bill & Renée: info@rainforestinn.com

Direct line: (925) 391-3131

Toll free1 (800) 672-4992

Our physical address (not USPS) is:

Rainforest Inn 019 Cam Caribe, Rio Grande, 00745 (El Yunque National Forest)

Opening hours: 8am to 7pm

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Rio Grande Puerto Rico

  

La Coca Waterfall

A Tapestry of History and Culture

Nestled on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, the town of Rio Grande stands as a testament to the island's rich history and vibrant culture. With its founding dating back centuries, this town has evolved into a captivating blend of tradition, natural beauty, and community spirit.

Rio Grande's roots trace back to its official founding on July 16, 1840. However, the area's history predates this significant date, as indigenous Taino communities once inhabited the region. The Taino people, with their rich culture and agricultural practices, left an indelible mark on Rio Grande's landscape.

Early History

The town's early history is marked by a tapestry of influences, including Spanish colonization and the sugarcane industry. The founder of Rio Grande, Don Jose Francisco Rivera, played a pivotal role in shaping the town's destiny. Rivera's vision for a thriving community centered around agriculture and trade laid the foundation for Rio Grande's growth.

The colors of Rio Grande symbolize the town's identity and spirit. Vibrant hues of blue and green dominate the town's official color palette, reflecting the natural beauty that surrounds Rio Grande. The blue represents the nearby Atlantic Ocean, while the green signifies the lush landscapes and tropical vegetation that thrive in the region.

Local Sites of Interest

Rio Grande boasts a myriad of sites that captivate both residents and visitors alike. One of the town's crown jewels is the El Yunque National Forest, a lush tropical rainforest that stands as a haven for biodiversity. With its cascading waterfalls, dense foliage, and unique wildlife, El Yunque provides a breathtaking backdrop to Rio Grande's everyday life.

 

The town square, a focal point of community life, encapsulates Rio Grande's cultural and religious significance. The central plaza is adorned with a statue of Don Jose Francisco Rivera, paying homage to the town's founder. The Catholic church, a cornerstone of the square, stands as a testament to the enduring religious traditions that have shaped Rio Grande.

Rio Grande's patron saint, Saint Anne, holds a special place in the hearts of the townspeople. Celebrated annually on July 26, the Feast of Saint Anne brings together residents in a vibrant display of religious devotion and cultural festivities. The streets come alive with processions, traditional music, and local cuisine, creating an atmosphere of joy and unity.

Patron Saint Church and Town Square

The Catholic church in the town square, dedicated to Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Carmen, serves as both a place of worship and a cultural landmark. The architecture reflects a blend of colonial and Caribbean influences, creating a visually stunning testament to the town's enduring faith. The church's interior is adorned with religious art and artifacts, providing a glimpse into Rio Grande's spiritual heritage.

Beyond its religious significance, the church square serves as a gathering place for the community. Locals and visitors alike come together to share moments of reflection, celebration, and connection. The church square is not just a physical space; it is a living testament to Rio Grande's sense of community and cultural pride.

In conclusion, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, stands as a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of history, culture, and faith. From its Taino roots to the vision of its founder, the town has evolved into a unique blend of tradition and modernity. The colors, sites of interest, patron saint, and the Catholic church in the town square all contribute to the rich narrative of Rio Grande. As residents continue to celebrate their heritage and welcome newcomers, Rio Grande remains a shining example of Puerto Rico's enduring spirit.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Emancipation Day in Puerto Rico: Celebrating Freedom and Cultural Resilience

 

Introduction

Emancipation Day in Puerto Rico is a significant and deeply rooted celebration that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the island territory. This day holds profound cultural and historical importance, reflecting the resilience and strength of the Puerto Rican people in their pursuit of freedom and equality.

Historical Background

Emancipation Day in Puerto Rico traces its roots back to March 22, 1873, when the Spanish government, which then controlled the island, enacted the Moret Law. This historic legislation granted freedom to enslaved individuals born after September 17, 1868. The law aimed to gradually abolish slavery in Puerto Rico, aligning with a global shift towards recognizing the inherent rights of all individuals.

The Moret Law, named after Spanish politician Segismundo Moret, represented a crucial step towards dismantling the oppressive system of slavery that had plagued the island for centuries. However, it's important to note that full emancipation did not occur until March 22, 1873, making this date a pivotal moment in Puerto Rican history.

Cultural Significance

Emancipation Day is not merely a historical event; it is a celebration of resilience, cultural identity, and the enduring spirit of the Puerto Rican people. The abolition of slavery marked a turning point, paving the way for a new era of freedom and self-determination.

Throughout the years, Emancipation Day has become a day of reflection and remembrance, honoring the struggles of those who fought against the chains of slavery and acknowledging the contributions of Afro-Puerto Ricans to the island's rich cultural tapestry. The day is marked by various cultural events, including music, dance, art, and traditional ceremonies that pay homage to the African roots embedded in Puerto Rican heritage.

Celebrations and Traditions

Bomba y Plena

Emancipation Day is celebrated with a blend of historical reverence and cultural festivities across Puerto Rico. Communities come together to organize parades, concerts, and art exhibitions that showcase the diversity of Puerto Rican culture and the resilience of its people.

One of the prominent features of the celebrations is the Bomba and Plena music and dance. These traditional Afro-Puerto Rican art forms serve as a powerful means of expression, connecting individuals with their African ancestry while celebrating the triumph over oppression. The vibrant rhythms and movements of Bomba and Plena embody the spirit of freedom and unity, providing a unique and captivating experience for both locals and visitors alike.

Moreover, various educational initiatives take place during Emancipation Day, fostering awareness about the island's history and the ongoing efforts to preserve and promote its cultural diversity. Schools, museums, and community organizations collaborate to organize workshops, lectures, and exhibitions that highlight the significance of Emancipation Day in shaping Puerto Rico's collective identity.

Conclusion

Emancipation Day in Puerto Rico serves as a poignant reminder of the island's journey towards freedom and equality. Beyond its historical roots, the celebration embodies the strength, resilience, and cultural richness of the Puerto Rican people. As the island continues to navigate the complexities of its history and identity, Emancipation Day stands as a beacon of hope and a testament to the enduring spirit of a community that has overcome adversity to embrace its diverse heritage.

Friday, March 1, 2024

The Jones Act: A Legacy of Protectionism and its Impact on Puerto Rico

 

Enacted in 1920 as part of the Merchant Marine Act, the Jones Act remains a contentious cornerstone of US maritime policy. This law mandates that all goods transported by water between US ports must be carried on US-built, owned, and crewed vessels. While proponents hail it as a vital tool for national security and maritime industry support, critics point to its significant economic and social burdens, particularly on Puerto Rico and other non-contiguous territories. Exploring the Act's history, rationale, and impact on Puerto Rico reveals a complex interplay of economic protectionism, national security considerations, and the welfare of island populations.

Birth of a Nation's Maritime Ambition

Emerging from the ashes of World War I, the United States witnessed a decline in its once-mighty merchant marine. Senator Wesley Jones, concerned about national security and economic competitiveness, championed the Merchant Marine Act, with the Jones Act forming a crucial section. The Act aimed to revitalize the US maritime industry by reserving domestic waterborne commerce for US vessels, effectively barring cheaper foreign competition. The rationale rested on national security concerns, emphasizing the need for a robust domestic shipbuilding industry and trained American crews in times of war.

Puerto Rico: Caught in the Crossfire

Puerto Rico, acquired by the US in 1898, became subject to the Jones Act. However, the island's unique status as a non-contiguous territory presented challenges. Under the Act, goods shipped between Puerto Rico and the mainland had to be transported on US vessels, significantly raising shipping costs compared to foreign alternatives. This inflated the price of everyday goods for Puerto Ricans, impacting their cost of living and overall economic competitiveness.

Short-Term Effects: A Rising Tide of Prices

The immediate impact of the Jones Act on Puerto Rico was a surge in consumer prices. Studies estimate that the Act increases goods prices in Puerto Rico by 15-20% compared to the mainland. This price hike affects all aspects of life, from basic necessities like food and fuel to construction materials and manufactured goods. The higher cost of living hinders economic development, discourages investment, and disproportionately burdens low-income communities.

Long-Term Consequences: A Ripple Effect on Development

Beyond immediate price increases, the Jones Act hinders Puerto Rico's long-term economic growth. The inflated cost of imports makes it challenging for local businesses to compete with mainland counterparts, stifling entrepreneurship and innovation. Additionally, the Act limits the island's ability to attract manufacturing and other industries due to the higher cost of importing raw materials and exporting finished goods. This stagnation impedes job creation and overall economic diversification, perpetuating a cycle of dependence on mainland imports.

Challenges and Debates

Over the years, the Jones Act has faced numerous challenges and debates. Critics argue that the economic costs outweigh the national security benefits, especially in the era of globalized trade and modern naval capabilities. Proponents counter that a strong domestic shipbuilding industry remains crucial for wartime contingencies and that the Act guarantees high-paying jobs for American seafarers. The debate reflects a complex tug-of-war between economic efficiency and national security priorities.

Seeking Solutions: Balancing Interests

Finding a solution to the Jones Act conundrum requires navigating a delicate balancing act. While recognizing the Act's potential national security benefits, exploring options to mitigate its economic burdens on Puerto Rico and other territories is crucial. Potential solutions include waivers for specific goods, exemptions for non-contiguous territories, or subsidies to offset shipping cost increases. Ultimately, policymakers must weigh competing interests and design a policy that fosters both economic prosperity and national security for all US territories.

The Jones Act serves as a case study in the complex interplay of protectionist policies, national security concerns, and the economic well-being of specific populations. As Puerto Rico grapples with its economic challenges, finding common ground between competing interests remains essential to ensure a brighter future for the island and its residents.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

José Campeche: A Brushstroke of Identity in Colonial Puerto Rico

 

José Campeche y Jordán, born in 1751, emerges not only as the first known Puerto Rican visual artist but also as a beacon of artistic talent and cultural representation in the midst of colonial society. His life, intertwined with the social and political tapestry of 18th-century Puerto Rico, left an indelible mark through his vibrant portraits and religious imagery, capturing the essence of a complex era.

Campeche's story begins in San Juan, where he was born to Tomás Campeche, a freed slave, and María Jordán, a Canarian native. This mixed heritage placed him in a liminal space within the rigid social hierarchy, yet it fueled his artistic pursuits. His father, a skilled gilder and restorer of religious statues, nurtured his early interest in art. Additionally, the presence of Luis Paret y Alcázar, a banished Spanish court painter, became a pivotal influence, providing Campeche with invaluable guidance in technique and style.

Though primarily self-taught, Campeche quickly blossomed into a renowned portraitist. His subjects ranged from governors and wealthy families to members of the clergy and even mixed-race individuals, often overlooked in colonial society. In capturing their likenesses, he went beyond mere physical representation. His brushstrokes imbued each portrait with a sense of personality, dignity, and even defiance.

Capturing the Crème de la Crème

Prominent figures like Governors Miguel de Ustáriz and Ramón de Castro adorned his canvases, their stern expressions and opulent attire reflecting their power and status. The "Portrait of Doña Petronila Dandereau" stands as a testament to his skill in depicting female subjects. Her confident gaze and intricate lace dress speak volumes about her social standing and personal strength.

However, Campeche's legacy lies not just in his portrayal of the elite but also in his depiction of ordinary people. Works like "Free Women of Color with Their Children and Servants in a Landscape" offer a rare glimpse into the lives of mixed-race families, often hidden from official portraits. Their relaxed postures and vibrant attire create a sense of intimacy and challenge dominant narratives of power and race.

Faith and Art

Religious paintings also held a significant place in Campeche's repertoire. Works like "The Vision of Saint Francis" and "The Ex-voto of the Holy Family" showcase his mastery of biblical narratives and evoke a sense of devotion and spirituality. While adhering to the conventions of religious art, he incorporated subtle elements of local flora and landscapes, subtly weaving Puerto Rican identity into his sacred works.

A Legacy Beyond Canvases

Campeche's impact transcended mere aesthetics. His art served as a powerful tool for cultural representation. He defied expectations by depicting people of color with dignity and complexity, challenging the prevailing racial and social hierarchies of the time. His portraits captured the spirit of a burgeoning Puerto Rican identity, showcasing not just the island's elite but also its diverse populace.

Despite the scarcity of information about his personal life, Campeche's artistic legacy continues to resonate. His paintings hang in esteemed institutions like the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, serving as a bridge between Puerto Rico's colonial past and its contemporary identity. In a world where representation matters, Campeche's story remains an inspiration, reminding us of the power of art to challenge norms, capture individuality, and celebrate the richness of cultural diversity.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Florida Puerto Rican Parade and Festival

 

2024 Florida Puerto Rican Parade

Downtown Orlando April 27th 20204
Dedicated to the town of Juncos

The Florida Puerto Rican Parade, Festival and related activities were established to promote the Puerto Rican community culture, heritage, values and its contributions to the State of Florida.

It is our goal to promote the achievements made by Puerto Ricans in Business, Health, Music, Science, Sports, Arts and Government. Puerto Ricans from throughout Florida cities and surrounding states are encouraged to attend. Friends and families of participants and spectators are invited to join in this annual celebration which has become a milestone event for families from across the region and Puerto Rico to get together.

The 2024 the parade and festival will be held on April 27, 2024 in downtown Orlando and is preceded by a week of multiple activities. dedicated to the Municipality of Juncos “La Ciudad del Valenciano” and the theme of the parade is “Civic Engagement and Responsibilities” that include; registering to vote, voting in elections, volunteering in community organizations, serving in statutory boards and committees, participating in government politics, and holding public office. It also includes; obeying the laws, serving on juries or as witnesses in court.

[envira-gallery id="17478"]

On April 25th, 2024 we celebrate our annual Gala/Scholarships Awards Dinner! This year we honor and dedicate the parade to the Municipality of Juncos “La Ciudad del Valenciano”.

Join us and savor a delicious traditional Boricua dinner while enjoying top-notch entertainment provided by special guests in addition to the city being honored and the Scholarship recipients.

The theme of the parade is “Civic Engagement and Responsibilities” Civic leaders will be recognized and students will be awarded scholarships. Don’t miss out on this highly anticipated evening!

Date: Thursday, April 25, 2024

Time: 6 pm Reception

7 pm Awards Dinner and Scholarships Presentations

Location: DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld 10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

The Florida Puerto Rican Parade, Inc. (FLPRP), is a 501 © (3) non-profit charitable organization established in 2016 to promote the Puerto Rican community culture, values, heritage, and contributions to the State of Florida. The Scholarships Fund Program Committee was created to identify and provide financial support to students entering or already in a college institution. It is the goal of FLPRP to offer scholarships to qualified students each year based on financial need, scholastic merit, leadership, achievements, and other factors.

Parade Route

For More Information visit our website: https://floridapuertoricanparade.org/
Address:
80 Cedar St, Hartford, CT 06106
Phones:
(787) 938-6367
 
E-mail:
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Taking a Community to Puerto Rico

 TAKING A COMMUNITY TO PUERTO RICO!

From El Batey Puerto Rican Center
Buffalo, NY 14207

We have an army of individual donors! People who want to contribute out of the kindness of their heart. This means so much to us because it is a personal donation and a loving gesture!

And your contributions make such a huge difference, they fill in the gaps that are so incredibly necessary to reach our goal! I won't list all of them because -the way my brain works will forget someone.

But you know who you are, and we see and appreciate your donation. Every time we get a call, a text a ping on our donations platforms we jump for joy! To us, it means that you see us, and you value us and most importantly want to see the kids make it to Puerto Rico!

Please Consider making a Donation HERE

Desde nuestro corazon a el de ustedes!
GRACIAS GRACIAS GRACIAS
Nuestra comunidad dentro y fuera de Bufalo se ha botado!

Friday, February 23, 2024

The Many Benefits of Growing Your Own Food in Puerto Rico

 

Puerto Rico, with its vibrant culture and fertile lands, holds immense potential for growing delicious and nutritious produce. Yet, over 85% of the island's food is imported, making it susceptible to price fluctuations and supply chain disruptions. This reality motivates many Puerto Ricans to explore a different path: growing their own food.

Taking charge of your food through a home garden offers a multitude of benefits that go beyond simply saving money at the grocery store.

1. Freshness and Flavor: Homegrown produce tastes unmatched. Reaping fruits (and vegetables!) directly from your garden guarantees peak freshness and flavor, as compared to produce that travels long distances and sits on shelves for days. You'll savor the true essence of Puerto Rican cuisine with locally adapted varieties bursting with nutrients and sun-kissed goodness.

2. Healthier You, Healthier Planet: By minimizing reliance on industrial agriculture, you reduce your carbon footprint and exposure to harmful chemicals. Growing organically empowers you to control what goes into your food, promoting overall health and well-being. Imagine enjoying a salad laced with homegrown lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers, knowing exactly how they were nurtured.

3. Resilient Island, Secure Food System: In the face of natural disasters like hurricanes, a strong local food system becomes crucial. Growing your own food fosters self-reliance and strengthens the community's ability to bounce back from challenges. Imagine your garden flourishing even after a storm, providing much-needed nourishment to your family and neighbors.

4. Rediscovering Traditional Roots: Puerto Rico boasts a rich agricultural heritage. Growing native and historically significant crops like "yautía" (malanga), "aji dulce" (sweet pepper), and "guayaba" (guava) allows you to reconnect with your ancestral foodways and preserve valuable biodiversity. Picture yourself nurturing these traditional crops, carrying forward a legacy of cultural connection.

5. Fun and Rewarding Hobby: Gardening is a delightful activity, connecting you with nature and providing a sense of accomplishment. Witnessing the seeds you sow transform into vibrant plants and then delicious food fosters a deep appreciation for the cycle of life. Imagine the joy of sharing a plate of homegrown vegetables with loved ones, knowing you brought them to life.

Ready to Cultivate Your Own Eden?

Starting your home garden journey in Puerto Rico is easier than you might think. Here are some resources to get you going:

  • Desde mi Huerto: This seed bank offers high-quality, organic, and regionally adapted seeds, empowering you to grow with success.
  • Para la Naturaleza: This non-profit organization promotes sustainable agriculture and offers workshops and resources on various gardening techniques.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): The USDA provides invaluable resources on starting and maintaining gardens, including climate-specific advice for Puerto Rico.
  • Comunidad Agrícola Ecológica de Puerto Rico (CAEP): This community of farmers and food systems advocates offers practical guidance and networking opportunities.

Remember, even a small balcony or patch of unused land can be transformed into a productive garden. Start with easy-to-grow crops like herbs, leafy greens, and cherry tomatoes. Explore native varieties suitable for the island's climate and soil conditions. As you gain experience, gradually expand your repertoire and experiment with different techniques.

Growing your own food in Puerto Rico is not just about filling your plate; it's about cultivating a more sustainable, resilient, and flavorful future for yourself and your community. So, grab your gardening gloves, embrace the adventure, and witness the magic unfold in your own little piece of paradise.

Bonus Tip: Join local community gardens or farmer's markets. Connect with other passionate growers, share experiences, and learn from each other's successes and challenges. Together, you can cultivate a vibrant network that nourishes not just your tables, but also your island spirit.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

2024 Ram 1500 Review: Still Riding High, But is it Enough?

 

The 2024 Ram 1500 remains a strong contender in the full-size truck segment, but with major updates coming down the pike for 2025, is it still worth your consideration? Let's delve into its strengths, weaknesses, and what the future holds.

Strengths

Interior Excellence: The Ram 1500 boasts one of the most luxurious and comfortable interiors in its class. High-quality materials, thoughtful design, and ample space make it feel more like a premium SUV than a work truck, especially in higher trims.

Smooth Ride and Handling: Thanks to its coil-spring suspension and refined steering, the Ram 1500 delivers a surprisingly smooth and controlled ride, even when unladen. It easily outshines most competitors in terms of comfort and handling.

Powerful and Efficient Engines: While the lack of the diesel option might sting for some, the remaining V6 and V8 engines offer a good balance of power and efficiency. The mild-hybrid eTorque system provides a welcome boost to fuel economy, especially in city driving.

Tech-Filled Features: The Uconnect infotainment system is user-friendly and packed with features. Available options like a large touchscreen, digital gauge cluster, and head-up display further enhance the tech experience.

Weaknesses

Max Towing Capacity: Compared to its rivals, the Ram 1500 falls short in terms of maximum towing capacity. While still capable for most everyday needs, heavy-duty haulers might find themselves looking elsewhere.

Price Point: Higher trim levels with all the bells and whistles can quickly climb into luxury car territory. While the interior justifies the price for some, budget-conscious buyers might find better value elsewhere.

No Major Updates for 2024: With a significant redesign expected for 2025, the 2024 model feels like a holdover year. If you're looking for the latest technology and features, waiting a year might be the wiser choice.

The Verdict

The 2024 Ram 1500 is a refined and comfortable truck with a luxurious interior and capable powertrains. However, its towing capacity lags behind competitors, and the lack of major updates for 2024 makes it feel like a transitional model. If you prioritize comfort, a smooth ride, and a tech-laden cabin, the Ram 1500 remains a good choice. But for those seeking the latest features, maximum towing capacity, or the best value, waiting for the 2025 redesign might be the better move.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

 

SAVE THE DATE, 7th Earth Day - Taino Dance for Ataabey

Come Wearing Flowers!
Puerto Rican Cultural Center AREYTO!!
COME WEARING FLOWERS!
We're honoring Ataabey (Mother Earth) with Taino dance & songs!
7th Earth Day - Taino Areyto Dance for Ataabey!
YUKAYEKE YARA CU!
Sunday, April 21, 2024 - 2-5pm
FREE EVENT - in our Batey!

BRING YOUR BEACH CHAIR & MARACA !!

Join Yukayeke Yara Cu and Guaytiao as we dance AREYTO and sing songs in Taino dedicated to Ataabey (Mother Earth) -- under the Pecan Trees of our Batey! Interactive activities will share ways the whole family can build a relationship with Nature -- everyday! Don't forget your maraca! There will be Areyto - Taino ceremonial dance and song - all afternoon! More details and guest presenters announced this Spring!

This joyful gathering will take place outdoors in the Batey of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, 701 Tillery Street, Austin 78702. Our entrance is in back facing the lawn, steps away from free parking.

YUKAYEKE YARA CU (Tribe of the Sacred Place) is a Taino tribe of blood descendants and Guaytiao proudly serving Central Texas. YARA TAINO & GUAYTIAO is the Indigenous community of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Since 2008, our Cultural Center defends and shares Taino Heritage everyday.

Live in Central Texas? Contact us to become involved!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

National Puerto Rican Agenda

 

Bridging Change-Makers together to Unite, Educate and create solutions for the Puerto Rican people

Our Story

The National Puerto Rican Agenda (NPRA) was created as a nonpartisan alliance of stateside organizations, elected officials, community leaders, and citizen volunteers. Born out of a collective desire to strengthen our capacity and elevate our impact in addressing Puerto Rico’s extended economic crisis and promoting Puerto Rican political and civic participation in Puerto Rico and the United States, NPRA brings together a rich tapestry of advocacy efforts at the national, state, and local levels.

Our vision is a world where island-based and state-side Puerto Ricans are engaged and empowered to pursue public policies that provide an equitable and sustainable future where our communities can heal, grow, and thrive. We believe that providing a forum that brings together diverse stakeholders and bridges collaborative initiatives, we can accomplish a common goal – improving the lives of Puerto Ricans everywhere.

To get there, we must organize our public policy advocacy efforts, in the diaspora and on the island, in support of legislation and policies that remove the barriers of economic, educational, and healthcare inequities.

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Our Mission

The mission of the National Puerto Rican Agenda is to unite, educate, and create solutions for the Puerto Rican people in the United States and Puerto Rico. We seek to work with the government, candidates, political parties, organizations, and, most importantly, the public to make the mission of this organization a reality.

Alongside our mission to unite, educate, and create solutions for the Puerto Rican people in the United States and Puerto Rico, the National Puerto Rican Agenda has taken up an ambitious agenda on central issues concerning Puerto Ricans in the United States and Puerto Rico.

On July 24, 2016, at the First Constituent Assembly in Camden, New Jersey, over 200 people gathered to solidify the direction and work of the newly formed NPRA. Together, the attendants established a position on a number of central issues affecting Puerto Ricans. The agenda was revised and approved at the July 14, 2018 Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2024 Biennial National Convention - March 15 & 16, 2024

When
March 15 and 16, 2024

Where
Taller Puertorriqueño
2600 N 5th St
Philadelphia, PA 19133

Contact
Jimmy Torres Velez
jimmy.torres.velez@gmail.com
787-504-3723

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