Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Community News

Date: December 3rd, 2004
Category: CT

Rita Rivera Ortiz
Program Director
Leadership Greater Hartford
860.951.6161, ext. 15

400 Connecticut Latino Leaders To Convene for Third Summit Dirigiendo Con Nuevo Ritmo

November 22, 2004 (Hartford, CT)On December 3, Latino leaders from across the State will convene at the Hartford Marriott Hotel in Farmington for the third biennial Connecticut Latino Leadership Summit. Impacto Latino: Leading With New Rhythm, is an outstanding opportunity for learning, networking, and celebrating for emerging and current leaders in the Latino community.

The program features morning and afternoon workshops and keynote addresses from U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Johnson and Rossana Rosado, Publisher /CEO of El Diario- La Prensa.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the day concludes with a reception at 4:00 p.m.

Latino Leadership Development Network, in collaboration with Leadership Greater Hartford, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, The City of Hartford, C.A.L.A.H.E., The Latino & Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, Latina Roundtable, Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, SINA, Trinity College and the Hispanic Professional Network, organized the event.

Thanks to key event sponsors The Phoenix, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Bank of America, Aetna Foundation, Comcast, and SBM Charitable Foundation, registration is only $75, or $35 for students (18-25) and Senior Citizens (60 plus).

For more information and to register, please visit Leadership Greater Hartfords website at www.leadershipgh.org, or contact Rita Rivera Ortiz, at 951-6161, ext. 15.

Source: www.leadershipgh.org

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Friday, November 26, 2004

New: The Puerto Rico Sun online newspaper


Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Holidays!
Please take a moment.

Website: Puerto Rico Sun
URL: http://flickr.com/photos/clarisel/

Encourage users to give your site a rating on www.prosphotos.com. To
have people rate your site, have them go to this URL:

Thursday, November 25, 2004

3 Reyes Magos

3 Reyes Magos
Originally uploaded by RicanGeek.
Have a good Thanksgiving. The Christmas season has begun here in Puerto Rico, so happy holidays to all.

This photo of the Three Kings is by "RicanGeek," a boricua in San Francisco. Check out his work at flickr.

Thank you for your support.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Manuel Hernandez

Picture MH
Originally uploaded by Manny.
Education Corner

Where do we go from here?
By Manuel Hernandez

There has been a lot of talk about the results of the November 2nd elections and the role Latinos played in the general outcome.
According to the founder of The National Hispanic/Latino American And Migrant Agenda Summit, Peter Fontanés, “the victory of President George Bush has resulted in some very interesting developments, and they will certainly impact our communities in ways never before seen.”
I agree and foresee further developments in the days ahead. Notwithstanding all the post-election events and post-electoral debate, I am sure all agree that Latinos made an impact like never before and are now ready to contribute and take their place in American history. But where do we go from here?
Education is the key that unlocks the door to a new world of opportunities here and anywhere in the world. Without education, Latinos merely survive and risk their existence and role. Assessment is a process by which one learns more about oneself -what ones likes, what one does not like, and how one tends to react to certain situations. Knowing these things can help one determine which areas and situations need to be improved. Latinos have been assessed in all areas: crime, immigration, home ownership, business, health and education, just to mention a few.
Education is where we Latinos need to go. The core areas are parent school improvement, not just saying it but providing a sound and solid voice for Latino parents. City and state evaluations must include disaggregated student achievement data, academic objectives for each subgroup and the percentage of students not tested, high school graduation rates and the professional qualifications of teachers.
Education must be visionary and culturally sensitive. Federal involvement is needed in this area by supporting programs and activities that include academic enrichment services, art and music education, math, science and computer literacy tutoring services and mentoring programs. The key Latino role models which may include NBA Latino sports stars, entertainers, young Latino entrepeneurs, rising Latinos in business, education and publishing must be available to come in and reach out to the younger Latino teens in dire need of guidance and support. Additionally, programs that provide after-school activities for limited English-proficient students that emphasize language skills and academic achievement, telecommunications and technology education must be encouraged.
The vision for quality education is a good, engaged, caring and involved parent. Let us take advantage of The No Child Left Behind Act provisions which would help parents of English language learners make informed decisions about their children’s education, such as which program of study is best for helping them learn English and academic course work. There is a plan and it must be placed in action. We are all in awe of the Latino growth and unequivocal influence in all of America's institutions, but we Latinos must put priorities in order. After our loyalty to the Almighty and the Latino family, the education of our present and future generations must be the priority in the days ahead.

Manny Hernandez contributes commentary about education issues to Puerto Rico Sun. Hernandez may be reached at 787-355-0099 or by mail: HC-01, Box 7717, Luquillo, Puerto Rico 00773.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Community News


New NCLR Publication Examines the Latino Vote in the 2004 Election

Washington, DC - Hispanic participation in the 2004 election, including exit poll numbers that have generated considerable debate and controversy over the last two weeks, is the subject of a new analysis released today by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.
"NCLR's analysis shows first that there was a record turnout of Latinos in this election, and second that Hispanic voters have clearly cemented their status as a swing vote," stated Janet Murguia, NCLR Executive Director and COO.
NCLR's paper examines a variety of exit poll data that show a range of support among Latinos: 31-44% for President George Bush and 53-67% for Senator John Kerry. The analysis concludes that, despite discrepancies among the various exit polls, when each poll is compared to its 2000 counterpart, it shows a seven to nine percentage point increase in support for President Bush. The document also includes a comparison of exit poll data from other presidential elections dating back to 1988. Finally, it notes the exponential growth in Latino voters in that same time frame. NCLR estimates that nearly eight million Hispanics went to the polls on November 2, a 27% increase since 2000 and more than double the number who voted in 1988.
The analysis is available free of charge. To access other election related information visit NCLR's website, www.nclr.org:

"NCLR - How Did Latinos Really Vote in 2004?"

source: NCLR


IRS Has Refunds for Hundreds of Puerto Ricans

Washington, DC – The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) is working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to alert taxpayers in Puerto Rico that over 700 Puerto Ricans who were owed refunds in 2004 did not receive them due to incorrect mailing addresses or other problems. Nationwide, nearly 87,500 income tax refund checks – totaling over $73 million – could not be delivered.
Refund checks can be reissued as soon as taxpayers correct or update their addresses with the IRS.
"If we owe you money, we'd like to get it to you," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "All you have to do is tell us where you are.”
Mari Carmen Aponte, executive director of PRFAA, said her Agency will help facilitate the dissemination of information to all Puerto Ricans who might be missing their refund checks. “We have posted on our website – www.prfaa.com – all the names of those Puerto Ricans who are owed refunds by the IRS. We know that you have worked hard to earn a living and want to make sure that every Puerto Rican receives what they are owed.”
“If you see your name or the name of someone you know on the list, you can click on the link on that page to go directly to the IRS website to track your undelivered refund check. On the IRS website, you will need to provide your social security number, your filing status (such as single or married filing jointly) and the refund amount shown on your 2003 tax return.” Aponte explained.
When that information is submitted online, taxpayers see Web pages that show the status of their refund and, in some cases, instructions to resolve potential account issues. “Where’s My Refund?” was developed through the IRS Business Systems Modernization program and delivered in the summer of 2002. Taxpayers used the online tool nearly 24 million times to track their refunds in 2004.
Taxpayers who believe they are owed a refund that was never received and are unable to access the internet may call IRS toll-free assistance line at 1-800-829-1040 to update their address.
The number of undeliverable checks decreased this year by 5,325, but the average refund, $836, increased compared with last year’s average of $722.
Taxpayers can avoid undelivered refund checks by having their refunds directly deposited into a personal checking or savings account. Direct deposit also guards against theft or lost refund checks. The option is available for both paper and electronically filed returns. More than 49 million taxpayers chose to direct deposit almost $120 billion in refunds this year. The number of direct deposit refunds was up 10.8 percent from last year.
Refund checks go astray for reasons that can vary with each taxpayer. Often, it’s because a life change causes an address change. If taxpayers move or change their address and fail to notify the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service, a check sent to their last known address is returned to the IRS.
Taxpayers who have moved since filing their last tax return can ensure the IRS has their correct address by filing Form 8822, Change of Address, with the IRS. Download the form or request it by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

Related Links:
“Where’s My Refund?” —
Form 8822, Change of Address —

Names of those Puerto Ricans who are owed refunds by the IRS — (go to www.prfaa.com and click there).

PRFAA, which serves as the mainland offices of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, facilitates and promotes economic and public policy initiatives important to the growth and empowerment of all Puerto Rican communities. The agency is headquartered in Washington, DC and currently operates 12 regional and satellite offices in New York City, Newark, Boston, Springfield, MA, Philadelphia, Hartford, Orlando, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Houston. The Washington, DC office is located at 1100 17th Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036 and can be reached at (202) 778-0710 or via the web at www.prfaa.com.

source: www.prfaa.com

La Providencia

La Providencia
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Los Catolicos celebramos La Virgen de la Providencia, la patrona de Puerto Rico, hoy en su dia.
Nov 19, 2004 08:00 ET

20,000 Reached in Nationwide Bus Tour to Increase Number of Latinos Attending College

The Sallie Mae Fund Hosts Last of 125 Workshops, Community Events Nov. 19-20 in Miami

RESTON, Va., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sallie Mae Fund's 23-city, coast- to-coast bus tour, On the Road: The Paying for College Tour, concludes this weekend in Miami with a series of events and workshops for Latino families.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041119/DCF002 )

The nationwide bus tour has helped educate more than 20,000 Latino students and parents on planning and paying for college through more than 125 workshops and community events. In Florida alone, nearly 2,000 people are expected to participate. Workshops attended by 150 students will be held this morning at Coral Park Senior High School in Miami.
"The Sallie Mae Fund has shown that knowledge of financial aid can mean the difference between attending college or writing it off as hopelessly out of reach," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). "I challenge Hispanic families to capitalize on this financial aid because, as college graduates, Hispanics can play an increasingly important role in our country's future."
The Sallie Mae Fund also will host workshops at ASPIRA North tonight, and Maria Celeste Arraras, popular Telemundo news personality, will join the tour tomorrow afternoon at the Miami Beach Convention Center (details at http://www.salliemaefund.org/). The Fund also sponsored an "Idea Lab" this week to provide educators with a forum to discuss higher education access issues affecting minorities.
The bus tour, which began in Los Angeles on Sept. 8, was launched in the wake of the largest-ever survey of Latino perspectives on financial aid, which was commissioned by The Sallie Mae Fund and conducted by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California. The survey results, announced in March, revealed that awareness of financial aid options is critically lacking in the Latino community, and that this lack of awareness is hampering college attendance. Half of all Latino young adults and more than half of all Latino parents did not receive any financial aid information in the K-12 years.
The survey showed that Latino families prefer to learn about financial aid from in-person meetings or workshops, provided by guidance counselors or financial aid experts. Financial aid experts, and more than 60 student- serving organizations, and Latino community-based groups nationwide partnered with The Sallie Mae Fund to bring financial aid information to Latino families how and where they want to receive it. The free Spanish-language workshops (with simultaneous English translation) are designed to help answer questions and provide information to Latino students and their parents. A college scholarship was awarded at every workshop, with a total of $60,000 in scholarships awarded to date.
"We knew from our research that thousands of Latino families were not receiving financial aid information in their desired format," said Susan Corsini, vice chair of The Sallie Mae Fund. "These families embraced The Fund's workshops and events -- a clear sign that this type of initiative can be tremendously powerful in helping more Latinos prepare for college."
"Many Latino young adults believe they can't go to college because college has not been part of their family history. If we can communicate a message of opportunity, college will become a source of pride for so many more Latino families," said Ruth Gammon-Stennett, associate director, ASPIRA North Miami.
Latinos represent the largest and most rapidly growing ethnic minority group in the state, making up nearly 17 percent of the Florida population. By the year 2014, more than one out of every three public high school graduates in Florida will be of Latino descent, according to projections by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education.
The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae, achieves its mission -- to increase access to a postsecondary education for America's students -- by supporting programs and initiatives that help open doors to higher education, prepare families for their investment, and bridge the gap when no one else can. For more information visit http://www.salliemaefund.org/.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041119/DCF002
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN2
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: The Sallie Mae Fund

CONTACT: Hugh Rosen of The Sallie Mae Fund, +1-703-984-6227, or

Web site: http://www.thesalliemaefund.org/

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Orgullo Boricua

Orgullo Boricua
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Featured Site (www.elboricua.com)

Next week all my English students from grades 4 to 9 will get school assignments related to Puerto Rico, where they will use their bilingual abilities. I am using a wonderful tool: www.elboricua.com, a bilingual cultural site for Puerto Ricans.

The site offers wonderful resources, ranging from Puerto Rico-related lesson plans for teachers to food recipes and interesting articles.

Visit the elboricua site. I recommend you stop in.

November 19 marks "El Dia de Descubrimiento" de Puerto Rico (Discovery Day), a local holiday here on the island. Puerto Rico was "discovered" November 19, 1493, by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the Americas.

Community News

Did you know that stateside Puerto Ricans (3.9 million) outnumber those in Puerto Rico (3.6 million) for the first time in history? That's according to a new study. Read about it.

by Angelo Falcón

(Washington, DC: Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration), 130 pp.

To download an abridged version of the report without the state and local maps, visit this link:


To get a free hard copy of the full 130-page report mailed to you, order from PRFAA:
Celeste Diaz Ferraro at 202-271-7263 (cdiaz@prfaa.com) or Maite Rivera at 202-271-7272

Highlights of the Findings:
Stateside Puerto Ricans (3.9 million) outnumber those in Puerto Rico (3.6 million) for the first time in history
Stateside Puerto Ricans send an estimated $1 billion a year in remittances to their families and relatives in Puerto Rico
The aggregate income of Stateside Puerto Ricans ($55 billion) exceeds that of Puerto Rico ($43 billion)
The concentration of Puerto Rican communities stateside are presented in 12 states and the District of Columbia at the state and metropolitan levels in more than 90 maps.
In 2002, the average individual income for Stateside Puerto Ricans was $33,927, compared to $48,687 for non-Latino Whites
63 percent of Stateside Puerto Ricans ages 25 and over graduated from high school, compared to 84 percent of non-Latino Whites.
Stateside Puerto Ricans have a family poverty rate of 23 percent, compared to 6 percent for non-Latino Whites and 45 percent for Puerto Rico.
The poverty rates for single female-headed families were 39 percent for Stateside Puerto Ricans, 20 percent for non-Latino Whites, and 61 percent in for Puerto Rico.
21 percent of Stateside Puerto Ricans are in professional-managerial occupations, compared to 36 percent of non-Latino Whites.
Stateside Puerto Rican women have the closest of any racial-ethnic minority of income parity to the men of their own group: their income was 84 percent that of Stateside Puerto Rican men.
The implications of this study for Puerto Rico and Stateside Puerto Ricans are outlined as well in this report.
About the Author:

Angelo Falcón, a political scientist, is the Senior Policy Executive of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, where he directs the PRLDEF Institute for Puerto Rican Policy. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Columbia University School of Public and International Affairs. He is also co-editor of the recently-released book, Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City (Princeton: Marcus Weiner Publihers, 2004). The Atlas of Stateside Puerto Ricans was commissioned by the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration and is released jointly with PRLDEF.

To arrange an interview with the author, contact Myra Estepa at the PRLDEF Institute for Puerto Rican Policy at 212-739-7499 or mestepa@aol.com.
Myra Y. Estepa
Policy Networking Program Coordinator
99 Hudson Street, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10013
(212) 739-7499 (Direct)
(212) 431-4276 (Fax)

"Querer ser libre es empezar a serlo"

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Want to know how the sun is called in other languages?

Go to the Sunrise, Sunset -- Anything Sun photo group at flickr, to find out.



Sunset at Zandvoort Beach

Sunset at Zandvoort Beach
Originally uploaded by uruandimi.
Among the beautiful sun shots in the Sunrise, Sunset -- Anything Sun photo group at flickr.

Photo by "uruandimi"

Monday, November 08, 2004

"Old San Juan in Silhouettes"

An excerpt from an article posted at the photosofpuertoricosun site. On images from Old San Juan and more, photosofpuertorico wrote: "Clarisel carefully 'painted' them just with pure shadows and silhouettes, producing very compelling images from ordinary objects."

Stop in and enjoy the photo gallery at www.photosofpuertorico.com.

Site has a wonderful array of photos of La Isla del Encanto from a talented pool of photographers. Definitely worth a visit.


Saturday, November 06, 2004

Caminito in La Boca

Caminito in La Boca
Originally uploaded by lujan.
Check out the latinoamericanos! photo group at flickr. Beautiful images from different Spanish-speaking countries.

This photo is by lujan. It is a "caminito" in Argentina.

Woman with a View

Woman with a View
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Culture & Identity


By Clarisel Gonzalez
Puerto Rico Sun

SAN JUAN - I was told yesterday that I am not Puerto Rican.

Neither is Jennifer Lopez or Marc Anthony I was told.


Well, I was told by a "real Puerto Rican" that none of us are Puerto Rican because we were not born on the island.

I was offended.

This "Puerto Rican sister" told me that Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and no other person born in New York or anywhere in the states is a "real Puerto Rican." "You just see yourselves that way," she said. It was not the first time I heard comments like that about Nuyoricans, but it was the first time that someone told me that to my face.

I heard this coming from the mouth of what I perceived to be a boricua sister who doesn't see me as boricua. I don't see her as a sister anymore even if she was born on La Isla del Encanto and sees herself as a "real Puerto Rican."


I have been living on the island on and off since 2000, but I have identified as Puerto Rican all my life. My mother and father moved to New York City in search of better opportunities just like many Puerto Ricans did. They had me in New York, and I grew in the South Bronx. But they instilled in me a deep love for the island.

And, I grew up bilingual, bicultural.

As a journalist, a large part of my mission has been striving for better and fairer coverage of Latino issues and more opportunities for journalists. That is why I am now running this Puerto Rico Sun cultural blog.

As a teacher, I have served Hispanic students in Trenton, N.J., and on the island.

I currently work as an English teacher in Santurce's Barrio Obrero, and my students are Puerto Rican and Dominican. I see it as a way of giving back to mi gente.

Now, I am told I am not even a "real Puerto Rican."

I disagree.

I am a proud Puerto Rican. I am American. I am a New Yorker.

I know who I am, and I am giving back to mi gente.

Or, should I just go home to New York (where I belong) to do that?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Education Corner

The Road To Freedom
By Manuel Hernandez
The November 2nd elections defined Latinos as the vote that marched through the road to freedom. With the highest turnout ever, Latinos have finally opened the gates to their pathway. The road to freedom provoked a lot of before, during and after electoral debate, but Latinos met the challenge and cruised to victory. With an increase of 5 percent of the Republican vote from the 2000 elections, it is clear and present that Latinos will have an opportunity to voice issues and concerns and make their presence felt in all avenues of the American highway.

The Latino preschool, elementary, secondary and high school population is growing and has now become part of an important story of the largest minority ethnic group in the United States. Much of the recent rise in minority enrollment in elementary and secondary schools may be attributed to the growth in the number of Latino students. The issue of education is key to Latinos, who are less likely to receive a quality education than most other Americans. In one of his recent political rallies, President Bush stated "the role of government is to help people realize a dream, not stand in the way of dreams." The road to freedom is rough and bumpy, but Latinos dream and have realized that their dreams are founded in the educational empowerment of the people.

After they numerically proved in the past elections that they should not be taken for granted, the education of Latinos must be a top priority for the President's administration. Census projections go as far as placing them over the 100 million mark by mid-century, but the numbers are meaningless unless Latinos decelerate high school drop out rates, national testing scores and other educational pit stops. However, despite the fact that Latinos have recently made some major gains, disparities still exist in academic performance between Latinos and non- Latino White students.

In the Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass by Terry M. West, young Frederick's owner prohibits his wife to read to him because it was dangerous and against the law. The words of the slave owner sank deep into Douglass' heart and motivated him to read, learn and educate himself. The rest of Douglass' legacy is recorded in American history. Latinos must decisively take advantage of this moment in history and drive through the road to freedom. The road to freedom is a pledge to educate and empower children and send them on an envisioned road to promote the educational excellence that all of them deserve. A generation after the historical “I Have A Dream” speech has paved the way to provide all America’s children with quality education and excellent academic standards.

Manny Hernandez contributes commentary about education issues to Puerto Rico Sun. Hernandez may be reached at 787-355-0099 or by mail: HC-01, Box 7717, Luquillo, Puerto Rico 00773.