Sunday, January 30, 2005

Malecon de Arroyo

Malecon de Arroyo
Originally uploaded by GinoPR.
View scenic photos from Arroyo by Gino at his site at flickr.

El Tren

View photo collection of Puerto Rico's new Tren Urbano.
On Education

Advanced Placement Proves Gateway to College Success
More Students Succeeding on AP(R) Exams in All 50 States: New York, Maryland, Utah, Florida, California, and Massachusetts Lead the Way

Equity Gap Closed Among Hispanic/Latino Population

Washington, DC--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--January 25, 2005--As the Advanced Placement Program(R)(AP(R)) approaches its fiftieth anniversary (1), the College Board, the not-for-profit membership association that administers the AP Program, has released the first-ever Advanced Placement Report to the Nation, showing that all 50 states and the District of Columbia have achieved an increase in the percentage of high school students succeeding in college-level AP courses. Research shows that strong correlations exist between AP success and college success—students who succeed on one or more AP Exams are much more likely than their peers to complete a bachelor’s degree in four years or less.(2)
“When students are challenged in high school, they gain the confidence to go to college and succeed once there,” said College Board President Gaston Caperton. “We are very pleased with the results of the Advanced Placement Report to the Nation. AP students, parents, educators, and policymakers should be congratulated. More high school students than ever before are succeeding on college-level AP Exams, exams that are more rigorous than ever before.”
Across the nation’s public schools, 13 percent of students in the class of 2004 demonstrated mastery of an AP Exam by earning an exam grade of 3 or higher—the grade predictive of college success (3). Only 10 percent of the class of 2000 accomplished this goal.
New York is the first state in the nation to see more than 20 percent of its graduating class achieve a grade of 3 or higher on an AP Exam. The states of Maryland, Utah, Florida, California, and Massachusetts are close to this level of achievement, each with between 18 and 20 percent of students earning a score of 3 or higher on an AP Exam.
Although 37 states and the District of Columbia have lower results than the nationwide average of 13 percent, every single state and the District of Columbia saw a greater proportion of its class of 2004 score a 3 or higher than occurred within its class of 2000. AP achievements for each state’s class of 2000 and class of 2004 are detailed in the report. (See AP Report to the Nation, Table 1, page 5.)

AP Highlights from Around the Country

-- Nationwide, 13.2 percent of the class of 2004 scored 3 or higher on one or more AP Exams, up from 10.2 percent for the class of 2000.
-- States showing a five-year increase of between 4 and 6 percent include Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Colorado, Connecticut and Washington state, (see AP Report to the Nation, Table 1, page 5).
-- In New York State’s class of 2004, more than 21 percent of the students scored 3 or higher on one or more AP Exams.
-- Maryland, Utah, Florida, California, and Massachusetts, all had AP success rates between 18 and 20 percent for the class of 2004 (see AP Report to the Nation, Table 2, page 7).

AP and College Readiness
The U.S. Department of Education’s landmark 1999 study Answers in the Tool Box showed that a high school curriculum of “academic intensity and quality” such as is found in AP courses is a powerful predictor of bachelor’s degree completion. These findings were particularly pronounced among African American and Hispanic/Latino students who had taken AP or other rigorous courses (4). New research conducted by the University of California:Berkeley “emphatically supports” many earlier studies’ findings that an AP Exam grade of 3 or higher is “a remarkably strong predictor of performance in college.”
This study concludes: “The subject-specific, curriculum-intensive AP Exams are the epitome of ‘achievement tests,’ and their validity in predicting college performance should not be surprising.” (5)
“AP enables students to receive a taste of college while still in an environment that is more intimate and nurturing than the large lecture halls where introductory college courses are frequently taught,” said Trevor Packer, executive director of the AP Program.
“Effective AP teachers work closely with their students, giving them the responsibility to reason, analyze, and understand the material for themselves. As a result, AP students can develop new confidence in their academic abilities.”
While lauding the expansion of successful performance on AP Exams, the Advanced Placement Report to the Nation also notes that many more students enter college each fall than have first been prepared through successful completion of an AP course. Gaps currently exist in each state between the percentage of students who entered college in fall 2004—56.8 percent—and the percentage of students who had mastered an AP course—13.2 percent. (See AP Report to the Nation, Table 2, page 7.)
“Closing these gaps is one solution for improving college graduation rates,” said Caperton.

2004 AP Program Snapshot

School Participation
Worldwide, 14,904 schools participated in the AP Program. 14,144 of these schools are located in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia; 760 of these schools are located outside of the United States or in U.S. territories.

Of AP schools in the United States, 11,196 are public schools (an increase of 417 schools since 2003) and 2,948 are nonpublic schools (an increase of 103 schools since 2003).

These schools offered an average of seven different AP courses.

Student Participation
-- Worldwide, 1,101,802 students took 1,887,770 AP Exams.
-- The mean AP Exam grade was 2.96.
-- Female participants: 56.2 percent
-- Male participants: 43.8 percent

AP Courses
Of the 34 AP Exams, the five taken by the greatest number of students were:
-- U.S. History (262,906)
-- English Lit. & Comp. (239,493)
-- English Lang. & Comp. (198,514)
-- Calculus AB (175,094)
-- U.S. Gov’t. & Politics (112,894)

Closing Equity Gaps in U.S. Public Schools
In the past, African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American students have been significantly underrepresented in the pool of AP examinees, but much progress has been made over the past five years. Most significantly, in U.S. public schools, the proportion of Hispanic/Latino students within the pool of AP Exam takers now matches the proportion of Hispanic/Latino students in U.S. public schools overall: Hispanics/Latinos made up 12.8 percent of the class of 2004, while an impressive 13.1 percent of AP Exam takers in the class of 2004 were Hispanic/Latino. (See AP Report to the Nation, Figure 1, page 9.)

“There is good news and progress is being made, but there is still work to be done to ensure that underrepresented minority students are encouraged to participate in AP classes,” said Caperton. “The College Board calls for schools to make every effort to ensure that their AP classrooms reflect the diversity of their student population,” added Caperton.

AP Potential(TM), a free Web-based tool available to school administrators, uses correlations between performance on PSAT/NMSQT(R) test questions and success on AP Exams to identify students likely to score a 3 or better on a given AP Exam. These data help educators ensure that no student who has the chance of succeeding in AP is overlooked. The state of Florida uses AP Potential to identify such students in its public schools, and has had great success in increasing the number of traditionally underserved students who are succeeding on AP Exams.
In U.S. schools, African American and Native American students remain significantly underrepresented in AP. Nationwide, African American students make up 13.2 percent of the student population, but only 6.0 percent of AP Exam takers, and Native Americans make up 1.1 percent of the student population, but only 0.5 percent of the AP examinee population. (See AP Report to the Nation, Figure 1, page 9.)
“Educators and caregivers must work to ensure all children have the opportunity to achieve,” said Dr. Joe A. Hairston, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. “AP is an important tool to help students prepare for and succeed in higher education.”
There have been major increases in African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American students scoring 3 or higher on AP Exams:
-- Between 1996 and 2004, there has been a 164 percent increase in the number of grades of 3 or higher earned by African American students on AP Exams (8,696 in 1996 versus 22,923 in 2004).
-- Between 1996 and 2004, there has been a 197 percent increase in grades of 3 or higher earned by Hispanic/Latino students on AP Exams (29,689 in 1996 versus 88,217 in 2004).
-- And among Native American students, there has been a 115 percent increase from 1996 to 2004 in grades of 3 or higher on AP Exams (1,416 in 1996 versus 3,048 in 2004).

(See AP Report to the Nation, Figure 3 on page 11 and Figures 4 and 5 on page 12.)

Part Two of the Advanced Placement Report to the Nation uses data from all schools participating in AP worldwide to identify schools currently leading internationally in AP participation and performance. Part Two also includes performance information for each of the AP subject areas.
The College Board's Advanced Placement Program enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Thirty-four courses in 19 subject areas are offered. Based on their performance on rigorous AP Exams, students can earn credit, advanced placement, or both for college.

A Word About Comparing States and Schools
Media and others occasionally rank states, districts, and schools on the basis of AP Exam results, despite concern that such rankings may be problematic. AP Exams are valid measures of students’ content mastery of college-level studies in academic disciplines, but should never be used as a sole measure for gauging educational excellence and equity.

(1) The 2005-06 academic year will be the fiftieth anniversary of the AP Program.
(2) Wayne Camara. “College Persistence, Graduation and Remediation.”. College Board Research Notes (RN-19). New York, NY: College Entrance Examination Board, 2003
(3) Each AP Exam is scored using a five-point scale: 5—extremely well qualified; 4—Well qualified; 3—Qualified; 2—Possibly qualified; 1—No recommendation.
(4) Clifford Adelman, Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment (1999), U.S. Department of Education.
(5) Saul Geiser and Veronica Santelices, “The Role of Advanced Placement and Honors Courses in College Admissions.” (Berkeley: Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California), 2004

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Friday, January 28, 2005

A Woman's Beauty

A Woman's Beauty
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Featured website:

If you enjoy images of Puerto Rico, there is a new e-card feature at photopr. Stop in and send an e-card to family and friends.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Community news


Study Shows Disparate Treatment for Spanish-speaking Latinos at D.C. DHS Facilities
Washington, DC - At a news briefing on Monday, January 31, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), joined by representatives from the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC), the Equal Rights Center (ERC), and La Clínica del Pueblo, will release a study showing that Washington, DC's Department of Human Services (DHS) has failed to comply with federal and local laws obligating the city to provide interpretation and translation services to its large Spanish-speaking population. The briefing will be held at La Clínica del Pueblo, an independent bilingual, bicultural community medical clinic located at 2831 15th Street, NW, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
The report, commissioned by NCLR and conducted by the Equal Rights Center (ERC), documents the first ever use of paired testers to evaluate health care access. Speakers will discuss the concerns that led to the commissioning of the study of DHS's language services, explain how the testing was conducted, and report on its key findings, which conclude that Spanish-speaking Latinos are experiencing serious hurdles to accessing Medicaid benefits in the District. In addition, speakers will show the impact that these discriminatory practices at DHS have on the local Latino community and address the possible legal and regulatory remedies available to the local Hispanic population.
Participating in the briefing are: Elizabeth Almendras, a Spanish-speaking tester who participated in the study; Denise Gilman, Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project of WLC; Rabbi Bruce E. Kahn, Executive Director of ERC; Dr. Juan Romagoza, Executive Director of La Clínica del Pueblo; and Marcela Urrutia, NCLR Senior Health Policy Analyst.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Education: A Report

The following report was written, revised and submitted by: Manuel Hernández, Education Issues Chairperson, Erika Robles, editor and contributor and Burt Posner, contributor, to the National Hispanic/ Latino American and Migrant Agenda

This report is the culmination of numerous hours of hard work by the
members of the committee. After a series of regional meetings and a
national conference, which was held in Chicago last June, the report was
voted on and approved by the Summit participants. Recommendations are
made at the end of the report. The report will be included in its
entirety.The report was part of a macro-report presented to The President of The United States, George Bush.
The Hispanic/Latino American and migrant 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
Hispanic students.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that Hispanic/Latinos have recently made
some major gains, disparities still exist in academic performance between Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic/Latino White students.
Gladly, dropout rates among Hispanic high school students has declined
somewhat giving testimony that, despite the many social, cultural and
economic barriers thrown their way, Hispanic/Latino parents have been
giving the education of their children a high priority. School delinquency and failure is strongly linked and related to the length of time a Hispanic family has lived in the United States and to the family'scountry of origin. Furthermore, educational advancement is a correlation of and positively associated with employment and earnings of Hispanic/Latino parents, yet earnings and employment rates are lower for these individuals than for their non Hispanic
white counterparts with the same amount of education. There is a positive relationship between education and salary for all racial/ethnic groups but the incomes of Hispanic/Latino men are lower than those of White men at most educational levels. About 2 of 5 Hispanic/Latinos 17 years old and over participate in adult education.
Interestingly enough, Hispanic/Latino students are less likely than their non Hispanic white counterparts to take advanced math and science courses but are just as likely to take courses in foreign languages.
Evidence indicates this may be due to the fact that the mathematical base is lost at the early stages of primary education. Knowing the Spanish language at home is not always a guarantee for these students to take what may seem an obviously easy course since the Spanish spoken at home is usually different from the “Castellano” taught at the school.
Hispanic/Latino students have retention and suspension/expulsion rates
that are higher than those of Whites, but lower than those of Blacks.
Despite the lower numbers of drop outs, Hispanic/Latino students still
have higher high school dropout rates and lower high school completion
rates than White or Black students.
On the other side of the coin, Hispanic/Latino students had higher NAEP
reading, mathematics, and science scores in 1999 than in the 1970s,
though their NAEP performance remains lower than White students. 1998
Hispanic/Latino high school graduates earned more credits than did 1982
graduates, especially in academic subjects. They also narrowed the gap
with Whites on academic credits earned. Hispanic/Latino students are
more likely than White and Black students to complete advanced foreign
language classes. More Hispanic/Latino students than in previous years
are taking Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. Over one-half of Hispanic/Latino students speak mostly English at home. Hispanic/Latino students are about as likely as non Hispanic white students to make the immediate transition from high school to college.
The birth rates of Hispanic/Latino female ages 15 to 19 are higher than
females from other racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic/Latino enrollments in
colleges and universities increased between 1980 and 2000, though a
smaller proportion of Hispanic/Latinos complete college compared to
Whites and Blacks. The most popular fields of study in which Hispanic/Latinos earned bachelor's degrees were business, social sciences/history, psychology, and education.
The role of teachers make a profound difference in educating children
and the use of bilingual teachers have been part of the tremendous
strides that have been made in educating Hispanic/Latino students.
Research shows that talented and dedicated bilingual teachers are the
single biggest contributor to the educational development of these
children especially in areas where role models are far and few between.
Teachers all too often do not get paid adequately for the professional
job they do. Worse is the lack of administrative and logistical support
that they need in order to deliver good academic performance from their
students. It is a sad state of affairs that there is no comprehensive
reward compensation system for teachers who perform well to increase
student educational achievements.
We need to recruit quality teachers for high-need schools and for
subject areas like math and science by offering pay hikes and also
establish a new teacher corps for recent college graduates. We also
recommend the implementation of high-quality mentoring programs that
pair new teachers with experienced teachers in the same subject area .which
will improve accountability. While every teacher should have protection
from arbitrary dismissal, no dysfunctional and inept teacher should
have a lifetime guarantee on their jobs. States should be encouraged to
develop efficient, prompt and equitable procedures for improving or
replacing teachers who do not perform well on the job.
We are especially concerned with recent tax code changes and funding
formulas that are impacting on our capabilities to afford the many
changes that will become imperative if we are to compete with the rest
of the world with a highly educated and highly trained work force.
Careful reconsiderations must be given to the establishment of
priorities for government spending especially in wasteful defense
spending, pork barrel projects and tax cuts that is draining our ability
to intelligently invest in our children’s education.
Parental involvement opportunities programs such as Local Family
Information Centers 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.

Manny Hernandez contributes commentary on education issues to Puerto Rico Sun. He may be reached at

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Puerto Rico in the BX!

Puerto Rico in the BX! I took this photo about May 2003 in The Bronx. I sent this greeting to my mom in Puerto Rico back then. Photo was taken in the Grand Concourse, near Yankee Stadium.

This is part of my Puerto Rico in The Bronx series at flickr.

Originally uploaded by clarisel.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Gourmet Hot Chocolate Drink Made From Rich Caribbean Ground Chocolate Makes Instant Cold Weather Treat for Hot Cocoa Lovers

PARLIN, N.J., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- JLL Corp., a New Jersey-based gourmet coffee company, announces the availability of Chocolate Cortes Caribbean Ground Chocolate through their online store, Tastes of the World ( Premium coffee houses are offering new hot cocoa drinks that are triple the fat and calories of the gourmet hot chocolate made from this premium powdered gourmet ground chocolate.
Legends from many cultures claim that consuming chocolate instills strength, health, faith and passion. Researchers have discovered that chemicals found in chocolate are beneficial to health. Theobromine is rich in antioxidants. Stearic acid helps prevent build-up of cholesterol in the circulatory system, lessening symptoms of high blood pressure. Phenylethylamine, (also produced in the human brain during emotional pleasure) is a scientifically proven aid in the control of human stress, believed to be responsible for the feeling we experience when in love.
For a limited time, if you sign up for the Coffee Talk Forums and pledge to donate toward disaster relief efforts through AmeriCares, Tastes of the World will offer a 10% discount toward future purchases through their online store. Members of the Coffee Talk discussion forum can comment on this rich, creamy hot cocoa, also used in baking.
For the best gourmet hot chocolate drink you have ever tasted, pour two tablespoons of Cortes Caribbean Ground Chocolate in a cup. Add 2 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until paste is formed. Add hot milk, stir and enjoy.
To prepare instant hot chocolate in microwave, pour two tablespoons of Cortes Caribbean Ground Chocolate in a cup. Add 2 tablespoons of water or milk and mix until paste is formed. Add one cup of milk microwave for two minutes.

About JLL Corp.
JLL Corp., a New Jersey-based gourmet coffee company, specializing in hard-to-find rare coffees, gourmet chocolate and premium Ceylon teas online, focuses on specialty products not readily available in the United States. JLL Corp. is committed to giving back by donating a portion of proceeds during their launch to the Asian Tsunami Relief effort through an agreement with AmeriCares. They've pledged to donate 5% of sales proceeds toward Tsunami relief efforts. Discounts of 10% on future chocolate purchases through the end of March go to those pledging direct Tsunami aid donations through AmeriCares when registering at the web site.

Register at .

About Sucesores Pedro Cortes, Inc.

In 1936 a family sharing the name of the well-known Conquistado dedicated itself to processing unique products derived from cocoa beans. Based in Puerto Rico, Don Pedro Cortes Forteza founded Sucesores Pedro Cortes, Inc. Three generations and sixty eight years later, Sucesores Pedro Cortes, Inc. has become one of the most enduring chocolate manufacturers in Puerto Rico, growing to a respected company with a 50,000-sq.-ft. facility, making eleven different brands in Puerto Rico and the continental United States. .
Phone: 1-877-895-2662

Source: JLL Corp.

Women are Less Likely than Men to Research Price when Buying a Used Car, Consumer Reports Pricing Study Finds

Study finds women also more likely to accept unnecessary dealer extras; CR Auto Price Service launches interactive Used Car Buying Kit to offer comprehensive online information package

Yonkers, NY--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--January 12, 2005--Women are much less likely than men to thoroughly research pricing information before buying a used car, a nationwide survey conducted by the Consumer Reports Auto Price Service has found.
Only 69 percent of the women surveyed said they had used a variety of sources to research used car prices before making a purchase compared to 86 percent of the men surveyed, according to CR’s Auto Price Service study. The study also found that men are more likely to negotiate the purchase price than women—with 76 percent of men saying that they had negotiated compared with 68 percent of women.
“Consumers—no matter if they’re male or female—will be able to strike a better deal if they go into the buying process armed with detailed pricing information, said Rob Gentile, Associate Director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Price Service. “Don’t expect to get a great deal on a used car if you haven’t researched what a used car is really worth.”
Consumer Reports’ Auto Price Service findings are based on a nationwide survey of nearly 14,000 adults. The survey, which was conducted in 2004, investigated the buying behavior of new- and used-car buyers.
The Consumer Reports’ Auto Price Service study also found that:
-- Thirty-seven percent of women surveyed visited a dealership without doing any type of prior research, compared to just 29 percent of men.
-- Men are more likely than women (62% vs. 45%) to consider a particular make of used car. Sixty-two percent of men said they went shopping for a specific make compared with just 45 percent of women. Consumers over the age of 55 are also more inclined than those in the 35 to 54 age bracket to shop for a specific make (67% vs. 45%).
-- Men spent a median of one month researching a used car purchase, compared to a median of 2.2 months for women.

The Used Car Buying Kit gives car buyers comprehensive information package
The only independent and unbiased source of auto pricing information on the Web, Consumer Reports’ Auto Price Service is helping car shoppers buy a reliable used car at the best price, with the Used Car Buying Kit. An interactive Web-based one-stop-shop for consumers who want to feel confident that they will select the right, reliable car and that they will be able to negotiate for and get the best price, the Used Car Buying Kit allows consumers to easily pick and compare models that fit their preferences, and gives unlimited access to exclusive CR Ratings, reviews, pricing reports, and reliability information. More information about the Used Car Buying Kit can be found at
The Used Car Buying Kit features:
-- Unlimited Used Car Price Reports - Learn the fair market value of a used car, whether you are buying, selling or trading-in, from a source you can trust.
-- Side-by-side comparisons of the years, makes and models you choose (1996-2003) - sort by CR ratings, price range, or vehicle type.
-- Consumer Reports Reviews and Ratings - of most used car makes and models (1996-2003)
-- The most reliable cars – Access Consumer Reports unique Reliability Ratings based on survey responses received from over 675,000 people.
-- Consumer Reports' Generation Comparison - Provides a vehicle timeline for when a make and model was redesigned.

Consumer Reports Auto Price Service provides all the pricing information—including information about customer and unadvertised dealer rebates and special financing incentives and the Consumer Reports Wholesale Price—and advice a consumer needs to get the best deal on virtually any new or used vehicle. Call the service toll-free at 800-395-4400 or visit to learn about the latest year-end deals.
Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. CR has the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication; CR’s auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To subscribe to Consumer Reports, call 1-800-234-1645. Information and articles from Consumer Reports can be accessed online at
(C) Consumers Union 2005. Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports is, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To achieve this mission, we test, inform, and protect. To maintain our independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. CU supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Los Reyes de Juana Diaz en Catano

Visita mi pagina en flickr para fotos de Los Reyes de Juana Diaz en su visita a Catano, P.R.

La visita de Los Reyes de Juana Diaz fue parte de la Fiesta Nacional de los Santos Reyes de Puerto Rico.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

San Juan

San Juan
Originally uploaded by GinoPR.
Feliz Dia de Reyes!!

The lights in Old San Juan still are shining bright.

Photo by GinoPR. View his photo collection "Navidad en San Juan" at flickr.

Here is a posting I received from a group I belong to

The Latin American and Latino Studies Program at UIC
cordially invite you to a book presentation:

Migration, Displacement, & Puerto Rican Familes

Assistant Professor of Latino/a Studies in the
Comparative American Studies
Program at Oberlin College

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

1402 N. Kedzie Avenue

Gina M. Perez offers an intimate and unvarnished portrait of Puerto Rican life in Chicago and San Sebastian, Puerto Rico -- two places connected by a
long history of circulating people, ideas, goods, and information. Perez'
masterful blend of history and ethnography explores the multiple and gendered
reasons for migration, why people maintain transnational connections with
distant communities, and how poor and working-class Puerto Ricans work to
build meaningful communities.
"This is a facinating account of transational migration as survival
strategy, one bound up in kin, region and economic restructuring. With the
theme of globalization in the everyday, the author deftly delineates the
interconnected worlds of Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood and the San
Sebastian, Puerto Rico, with each location serving as a safety valve for some
segment of the other's population."
--Vicki L. Ruiz,author of From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in
Twentieth-Century America

Copies of the author's book will be available for sale. Gina Perez will be
signing books after the presentation.

This presentation is part of our LECTURES IN THE COMMUNITY SERIES in collaboration with Hispanic Housing, The Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Women and Children First Books.

This event is free and open to the general public.
Refreshments will be served.

For information please call 312.996.2445.

Marta Ayala
UIC Latin American & Latino Studies Program
Lectures in the Community Coordinator
University Hall (MC219)
601 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, IL 60607-7115
312.996.4729 312.996.1796 Fax

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Catedral de San Juan

Catedral de San Juan
Originally uploaded by GinoPR.
Look how pretty La Catedral de San Juan. This is part of the "Navidad en San Juan" photo collection by Gino. Also, has a lovely collection from El Yunque.

El Sol Entrando

El Sol Entrando
Originally uploaded by clarisel.

Photo by Gilda Padilla

Tuesday, January 04, 2005



Dora the Explorer Inspires Kids with Bilingual Adventures
Top Rated Television Program Comes To Popular Restaurant Chain With A Series of Collectible Toys

Dora the Explorer toys available at participating BURGER KING(R) restaurants nationwide reinforce that being bilingual is a skill children should embrace.
(HISPANIC PR WIRE - CONTEXTO LATINO)--Hispanic parents no longer need to worry that their children will lose their affinity for the Spanish language when going to school or watching English television. These days, kids are embracing Spanish even more due to the widely popular star of Nick Jr. series Dora the Explorer. With her best friends Boots, Backpack and Map, Dora, a seven-year-old Latina heroine enthralls kids of different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. In a short time, she has helped show kids the power and pride in their own culture and language.


Currently the number one preschool show on commercial television, Dora the Explorer has become a breakthrough Hispanic character. She represents the very best of the bilingual and bicultural lifestyle in this country and helps kids to learn as she entertains them.
Through repetition and verbal prompts, young viewers are encouraged to play and explore along with her, speaking both Spanish and English words aloud. The show helps English-speaking children learn a new language, while it reinforces the use of two languages among bilingual children. Dora and her friends illustrate that being able to speak another language is valuable and should be embraced.
Educators and psychologists have reported there are benefits to being bilingual and that learning a second language at an early age has a positive effect on intellectual growth, leaving children with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and improved listening skills. For the Hispanic family, being able to communicate in their native language allows children to embrace their culture and heritage with pride and also be closely involved with older relatives who may not speak English.


In recognition of the show's success, Burger King Corporation, a company committed to supporting and promoting cultural diversity, is teaming up with Dora to take her message across the country. The restaurant company is providing a series of four educational, bilingual toys inside its Kids Meals at participating BURGER KING restaurants nationwide, beginning in January -- reinforcing the lessons children learn by watching the show. The meals will contain items for kids to explore the world: Backpack's bilingual memory cards, a Dora lantern figurine, Boots Monkey Measure and a Swiper Magic Basket with a bug's eye lens.
"Burger King Corporation is more than food and restaurants. Families often want to enjoy the experience," says Sope Aluko, multicultural marketing manager, Burger King Corporation. "We recognize the importance of celebrating culture and our Dora promotion is a great way to celebrate cultural diversity."
"Dora is beloved by kids from all different backgrounds and instills a particular pride in the Hispanic community," said Pam Kaufman, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Marketing. "We appreciate Burger King's commitment to the Hispanic community and the program they have created to support bilingualism."
Now mom and dad can feel even better when treating their children to a meal out at BURGER KING(R) restaurants. Not only will the kids enjoy the menu choices offered, they can continue to learn and explore with Dora. In addition, for those who want to get up close and personal with Dora, she will be appearing at BURGER KING restaurants in the New York tri-state area, southern Texas, southern California and Chicago -- giving kids the chance to meet their favorite heroine.
Visit a BURGER KING restaurant near you for fun Dora toys, and encourage your kids to watch Dora the Explorer on Nick Jr.
Jan 4, 2005 15:31 ET

Puerto Rican Media/Community Group Urges FCC to Yank License of Univision Station in San Juan
Cites 'Cultural Insensitivity,' Failure to Serve the Community

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Citing "cultural insensitivity" and failure to live up to required local broadcast standards, an alliance of Puerto Rican media unions and community groups is urging the Federal Communications Commission to deny license renewal to the island's largest television station, WLII in San Juan, which is operated by U.S. media conglomerate Univision.
The Alliance of Puerto Rican Artists and Support Groups, whose acronym in Spanish is APAGA, charged that Univision has all but dropped local production of telenovelas and game shows in favor of canned programming from Mexico and Venezuela, the source of most of Univision's production. Puerto Rican programming has dropped from about 50 programs a week down to only three since Univision took over in 2002 under a local marketing agreement with station owner Raycom Media.
Besides causing substantial job loss locally, the station's shift to foreign news and entertainment programming has had an insulting and damaging impact on Puerto Rico's culture and language, APAGA stated.
Puerto Rican actors have lost their jobs because Univision considers their accents "too Puerto Rican," clashing with the "internationalized" accents of the network's programming that chiefly is directed at people who speak "Chicano or Mexican Spanish," APAGA stated.
Even the station's local newscasters have been pressured to alter their accents, which "degrades the culture and linguistic value of Puerto Rico," according to APAGA.
Insensitivity to local usage has even, unwittingly, introduced obscenity to the station's broadcasts, APAGA noted. A commonly used Spanish word "bicho" means insect or bug in Mexico and much of the U.S. -- but in Puerto Rico it is slang for the male sex organ. "Children in Puerto Rico are taught not to use the word," but "then they hear it on local television," the petition states.
The lack of a local community focus at WLII, and its repeater station, WSUR in Ponce, has even been potentially life-threatening, the group charged. With its news coverage directed from Univision studios in Miami, the station reported on the hurricanes bedeviling Florida but gave the islanders no advance warning of the approach of Hurricane Jeanne, which hit Puerto Rico dead-center on September 15, according to the petition.
More evidence of Univision's tin ear for the local community was its coverage of the shocking defeat of the U.S. Olympic basketball team by the Puerto Rican team last August. While islanders were taking great pride in their team's upset victory, WLII sportscasters based in Miami were bemoaning the event as a loss for the U.S.
"This failure to cover our news from our perspective does not serve our community or localism in broadcasting," said Angel Baez, executive secretary of Newspaper Guild Local 33225, which represents technicians and news department employees at WLII and is affiliated with APAGA. Baez cited the examples of the hurricane and Olympic coverage in one of three statements by individuals appended to the petition.
The petition calls on the FCC to hold license renewal hearings in Puerto Rico, noting that, "The cultural and linguistic implications of the situation are best understood in Puerto Rico." Citing the facts presented in its own petition, APAGA urged commissioners not to renew licenses for WLII and sister station WSUR.
The APAGA petition to the FCC is available at the web site of The Newspaper Guild, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America representing 40,000 media workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Go to

Source: Communication Workers of America

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Hands to S.E. Asia

Hands to S.E. Asia
Originally uploaded by Velvet G.

Photo by "Velvet G." View his photo collection at flickr.

First sunset of 2005

First sunset of 2005
Originally uploaded by somebonnie.
Photo by Somebonnie.

Look how pretty! The best in 2005. This sunset is from South Boston.


In celebration of heritage, you are invited to a traditional Three Kings Day celebration in Washington, DC.

When: Thursday, January 6, 2005
Time: From 6:30 P.M. - 11:00 P.M.
Where: The Galleria Lafayette Center 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC (Between L & M Streets)
Parking is available on 1121 21st Street NW (Between L & M Streets)
Metro: Blue or Orange Line to Farragut North or West Metro Stations

While there is no fee for this cultural activity, in the spirit of the epiphany we will be accepting new children's book donations. Books will be donated to local Latino organizations serving children and youth.

This activity is sponsored by:
The Aspira Association Institute for Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
National Puerto Rican Coalition

Contact us by email or phone 202-835-3600 ext. 137
Please RSVP.