Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year. Puerto Rico Sun wishes you peace, love, good health, prosperity, happiness and ... in the new year.


Thursday, December 28, 2006


Vital Old San Juan

Leslie Jones

Contributing Writer

The aromas of tostones (fried plantains) and asopao (a traditional chicken-and-rice soup) drift out of local eateries.

Visitors pause in front of colourful storefront displays, and a sea of pedestrians and cars moves past. Narrow cobblestone streets beckon in each direction I turn, while the sounds of salsa resonate from a nearby plaza, enticing me to move a little closer.

My longtime friend Lori and I are on the first port of call of a week-long Caribbean cruise. It's a crystal-clear Sunday afternoon in the old town district of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The city of San Juan is made up of three distinct areas: Old San Juan, the beach and resort area and outlying communities. Old San Juan, founded in 1508, is the second-oldest city in the Americas.

An infectious energy fills the air as the sounds of the park rotunda's steel drums intensify. Children play nearby as adults gather to visit. Passing tourists stop to listen, snap a few photos and dance awhile.

Music is almost as vital to Puerto Ricans as the air they breathe.

For more, go to

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Three Kings rule in Puerto Rico

The Dallas Morning News

JUANA DIAZ, Puerto Rico -- It's Bethlehem in the New World. The Three Kings seem to be everywhere in Puerto Rico. In art stores. Souvenir shops. On the wall of a bakery. Among gamers in San Juan's Pool Palace. Beside expensive watches in a jeweler's display.

They even have their own museum in this small city five miles northeast of Ponce in southern Puerto Rico.

That isn't to say Christmas itself is trumped by the island's love of the Wise Men reputed to have visited the baby Jesus in the manger. Puerto Ricans are wild about that holiday, celebrating it with joyous abandon, decorating homes, plazas and buildings as early as the beginning of November, and reveling in family gatherings and Christmas Eve church services. Festivities stretch through the second week of January.

For more, go to

Thursday, December 21, 2006

In Latino tradition, Three Kings is an important part of Christmas. Mark your calendar.



Friday, January 5, 2007

Starting at 11:00 a.m.

Press Invited at 10:30 a.m. to Parade Line-Up with Three Kings, 30 Madrinas and Padrinos

106th Street between Madison and Park Avenues

NEW YORK, December 2006 – On Friday, January 5, 2007, El Museo del Barrio once again brings the spirit of the holidays to el barrio and to all of New York City with the 30th Anniversary of El Museo’s Annual Three Kings Day Parade and Community Celebration. The parade kicks off at 11:00 a.m. at 106th Street and Madison Avenue, continuing through East Harlem up Third Avenue to 116th Street, then heads west and culminates at La Marqueta Plaza, located along Park Avenue between 116th and 115th Streets. Following the parade, the Three Kings will offer a gift to each of the children marching in the event.

As the most festive event of the holiday season in Latin America and the Caribbean, Three Kings Day is a time to rejoice with family, friends, and community. This year’s parade will continue to celebrate the strength, vitality and diversity of New York City and convey the hope and joy associated with this Latino holiday. Thousands of New Yorkers will cheer on school children from across the city as they march alongside live camels, donkeys and sheep, floats, festive musicians and large colorful puppets representing the Three Kings. Pre-registered school groups begin the morning with a theatrical holiday program in El Museo’s Teatro Heckscher before joining in the parade.

El Museo is proud to announce this year’s Three Kings: Jesús “Papoleto” Meléndez, a recipient of a 2001 Fellowship in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts and one of the pioneers of the Nuyorican poets’ movement; and Freddy Rodríguez, the visual artist who designed the recently inaugurated Flight 587 Memorial in Belle Harbor and whose work is included in both of El Museo’s current exhibitions, ¡Merengue! Visual Rhythms / Ritmos visuales and This Skin I’m In: Contemporary Dominican Art from El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection. The third King will be announced the week of the parade. Representing the 30 years of this time-honored tradition, 30 long-time friends of El Museo del Barrio are serving as padrinos and madrinas in this anniversary parade celebration. This esteemed group includes activists, artists and community leaders.

Please join our esteemed Reyes magos along with local residents, New York City school children, their teachers, and the general public in this special celebration. All are invited to march, and registration will take place at 9:30 a.m. on the day of the parade in the courtyard of El Museo del Barrio. There is no charge for participation and costumes are optional. Anyone interested in bringing their musical talents to the parade by playing their own güiro, clave or maracas should please contact El Museo, and advance registration for groups is recommended by calling 212.660.7144 or sending an email to

Three Kings Day Celebration Continues on Saturday, January 6, 2007

All are welcome to continue El Museo’s 30th Anniversary Three Kings Day celebration on Saturday, January 6 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. at a holiday presentation for families at El Museo’s Teatro Heckscher. Lilia Veiga will lead a special edition of the game show Juguemos Todos, offering gifts and prizes to winners. Scholastic characters Maya & Miguel will make a guest appearance, and then at 3:00 p.m. El Museo presents Cuatrisimo, a program exploring the evolution of one of Puerto Rico’s national stringed instruments, the cuatro, by Jose Obando, Salsa Consultant of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Obando will explain the history of the cuatro from its 8th-century Moorish-influenced form, to its emergence as a distinctly New World instrument. His program, accompanied by a live performance, will trace the instrument’s cultural history and demonstrate its many variations.

Musical genres such as the Seis, Aguinaldo, Danza, Bomba, Plena and Salsa will be featured during the Saturday program. Musicians from New York and Puerto Rico, including Yomo Toro, who was part of the former Fania All-Stars, Luisito Rodriguez, Felix “Junior” Vega, Willie Martinez, Cristian Rivera, Ana Flores, Alfredo Torres and Johnson Morales will demonstrate the cuatro’s musical heritage in a lively concert.

The program is presented in tandem with an exhibition of Puerto Rican stringed instruments at the musical instruments gallery of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: a modern bordonua and a 19th-century Jibaro guitar. A Puerto Rican gourd or güiro is also included in the exhibition. The Jibaro guitar, decorated with West African motifs, reminiscent of textile patterns, was donated in 1915 to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is one of only two such instruments that survive. Seating for this theater program at El Museo will be first-come, first-serve, and admission is FREE.

Parade Sponsors and Organizers

El Museo del Barrio’s 30th Annual Three Kings Day Parade is made possible with the generous support of Con Edison, Mount Sinai Hospital, NY State Senator José Serrano and NY State Assembly Members Adam Clayton Powell IV and Peter Rivera. The program is supported, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the NY State Council on the Arts, a state agency. El Museo would like also to thank the staff at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, NBC Today Show Holiday Toy Drive and Scholastic, Inc. Media sponsors for our Parade and Celebration are TIEMPO New York, Univision 41/Telefutura 68, WADO 1280 am.

This year’s parade is organized by Lili Santiago Silva, Theater Manager, and by the entire staff of El Museo del Barrio. In addition, many volunteers contribute vital help and support throughout the planning of this time-honored community event.

About El Museo del Barrio

El Museo del Barrio is New York’s leading Latino cultural institution, representing the diversity of art and culture in the Caribbean and Latin America. As the only museum in New York City that specializes in representing these cultures, El Museo del Barrio continues to have a significant impact on the cultural life of New York City and is a major stop on Manhattan’s Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue. El Museo del Barrio was founded in 1969 by a group of Puerto Rican educators, artists, parents and community activists in East Harlem’s Spanish-speaking El Barrio, the neighborhood that extends from 96th Street to the Harlem River and from Fifth Avenue to the East River on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

El Museo del Barrio's varied permanent collection of 6,500 objects from the Caribbean and Latin America includes pre-Columbian Taíno artifacts, traditional arts, twentieth-century prints, drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, as well as photography, documentary films and video. Through the sustained excellence of its collections, exhibitions, publications and bilingual public programming, El Museo del Barrio reaches out to diverse audiences and serves as a bridge and catalyst between Latinos and Latin Americans, their extraordinary cultural heritage, and the rich artistic offerings of New York City.

El Museo del Barrio is located at 1230 Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets and may be reached by subway: #6 to 103rd Street station; #2, #3 to Central Park North station or by bus: M1, M3, M4 on Madison and Fifth Avenues to 104th Street; local crosstown service between Yorkville or East Harlem and the Upper West Side in Manhattan M96 and M106 or M2. Museum hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 11AM to 5PM. Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Suggested museum admission: $6 adults; $4 students and seniors; members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult enter free. To learn more about El Museo del Barrio, please visit our website at or call 212-831-7272.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Sun-Sentinel, Fri, 15 Dec 2006 0:23 AM PST
Execution review ordered
Florida's beleaguered death penalty may have been thrown into limbo Thursday, a day after what critics called the botched execution of a convicted killer from Puerto Rico who took 34 minutes and two doses of lethal drugs to die.

To read more,,0,7986524.story?coll=sfla-news-florida

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Merry Christmas to all the supporters of the Puerto Rico Sun project.

Check out the beautiful array of photos in the Puerto Rico Sun group at flickr.

Felicidades hoy y siempre.


P.S. Have any ideas for the "PRSUN TV" show (that airs in the Bronx)? Feel free to e-mail me at

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Ethnic Divide for Diabetes: City's Puerto Ricans Far More Likely to Die
of Illness, Study Says

For more info., visit

By Judith Graham, Chicago Tribune Dec. 7--Puerto Ricans in Chicago are
three times more likely to die of diabetes than white residents and
almost twice as likely as black residents, according to a study that is
spurring calls for action among community leaders.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Our Little Tree
By Samaris Ayala

My sisters christmas tree
No matter how small or tall
the tree, she always gave us
a tree with much love
To have a small tree
was not an embarrassment
it was really decorated
and loved with much sentiment
My sisters christmas tree
a story possessed each ornament
Even when we were having
a difficult struggle
We never felt we were in trouble
because we had an "arbol."

c 2006 Samaris Ayala

Samaris can be reached at