Monday, June 30, 2008

Preserving El Barrio: Marina Ortiz

Anyone who is in NYC's El Barrio, probably knows Marina Ortiz, an independent journalist, local community activist and resident.
She is usually armed with a camera, shooting and documenting many of the people, stories and events in East Harlem.
This boricua is founder of East Harlem Preservation, a community advocacy group that monitors large-scale development, supports preservation, and fights privatization of public parkland. Ortiz is a watchdog of the rapid changes going on in El Barrio because of gentrification. The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently interviewed Ortiz on her push to save El Barrio, the so-called crown jewel of Puerto Rican and Latino culture in New York City.
"I was inspired to begin efforts to preserve the rich history, culture and architecture of Spanish Harlem and the greater East Harlem when the inevitable footprint of gentrification began to take its hold on our community," Ortiz was quoted as saying.
To read the article published in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Spring 2008 Diversity Scholarship Program Alumni Newsletter,
To learn more about her work with the East Harlem Preservation, check out her site at
Meanwhile, Ortiz also runs another important community project: Virtual Boricua. This is a website that focuses on Puerto Rican news, issues, culture, events and activism. To visit, go to It is a must see site for anyone interested in Puerto Rican culture, especially boricua New York. -- Clarisel Gonzalez

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Social Networking Space for Boricuas

In the Mailbox


Boricuation Cultural Foundation (BCF) spearheads a Boricua social network named Boricuation Cultural Space (BCS). Created to introduce and unite Puerto Ricans from all over the world. To bring them closer via the internet, for them to express themselves on a forum created for them by Puerto Ricans. The focus is not to exclude ourselves from other Latin nations, but to unite ourselves and express our struggles in identifying our own issues through communications and expressions on BCS, therefore educating ourselves and other nations on Puerto Rican history and culture.

We encourage everyone to join this special website, but remember to focus on educating and empowering each other so we can better understand ourselves. Bring your own taste of Boricua culture. Share and relate stories, photos, videos, comments, ideals and everything Boricua. We are all making history here and our history is vast and diverse, so let's get together and vibe on the real issues affecting our present day accomplishments and struggles. Let's address and document this special time in our history. At the same time we learn to progress, to move forward with the enlightenment of our history and culture together, united.

Thank you all in advance in joining us!

Visit to check it out.

Thanks to for providing this forum.


Jose Medina
Boricuation Cultural Foundation

Friday, June 27, 2008

Defending Cultura

Featured story

Simpsonville resident speaks out on burned Puerto Rican flag

Lisa Rodriguez says she doesn’t know of anyone having a problem with her heritage, so she was surprised to learn that someone had set fire to the Puerto Rican flag hanging on the side of her parents’ Simpsonville (South Carolina) home.
"We’re just representing who we are," she said Wednesday. "We’re not trying to harm anyone."
For more, go to

EDITOR'S NOTE: I had not heard about this until I read this report today. I am saddened and annoyed that someone would burn the Puerto Rican flag. Boricua and proud in Simpsonville y donde sea.

Calle Fortaleza-Viejo San Juan P.R.

On the Retire 21 Movement

Featured story

Yankees Insider: A man worth honoring

Inside their lockers in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse, Jorge Posada and LaTroy Hawkins have "Retire 21" stickers. They are part of a small but growing group that would like to see Roberto Clemente's No. 21 retired throughout Major League Baseball, as Jackie Robinson's No. 42 is. As much as Robinson did to change the game of baseball, many believe that Clemente had the same effect for Latinos.

"I don't think any of us would be here if he didn't go through what he went through, being a Puerto Rican and being a black Puerto Rican," Posada said.

To read more, go to,0,817627.story

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Puerto Rican Sun is a Bronx Gem

Originally uploaded by clarisel.

Puerto Rican Sun is on 156th Street and Fox Avenue in the Bronx. It is too bad that there is no sign with the name of this piece of public art or the artist who did it. That's a real shame because this is a piece of history in the Bronx. This steel sculpture of palm trees and the sun is by boricua artist Rafael Ferrer. Something should be done to better preserve this artwork that dates to 1979 and to better inform residents and visitors about its significance in the Bronx. Visitors just see this giant artwork, and there's no information posted. The Fox playground could be better kept too actually.

For more info. on the Puerto Rican sculpture, check out this link with some of the history

I, of course, love its name Puerto Rican Sun. After all, my blog is named Puerto Rico Sun as well as one of my favorite photo groups on flickr: Puerto Rico Sun at -- Clarisel Gonzalez

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

'Maldeamores' in the Bronx

Community Calendar

The Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA) in conjunction with SBX Industries LLC
is proud to present

Cinema el barrio film series
screening of

Starring Luis Guzman and executive produced by Benicio Del Toro

Maldeamores, a 2007 Puerto Rican film, tells three separate stories dealing with the ironies of love, involving a middle class family, a hostage situation, and an elderly couple.


7 p.m., Wednesday, July 2nd
HOSTOS Community College auditorium
500 Grand Concourse

HOSTED by Cindy SugaRusH

For more information regarding this event and/or other Programs, please contact us at

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Community Calendar

Click on image to see larger text.

Puerto Rico Govt. Pledges Commitment to Safeguard Air Access to Caribbean

Under 'One Caribbean' Banner, Governor of Puerto Rico Introduces Measures to Sustain Air Access to the Caribbean and a Multi-Million Dollar Investment Incentive Plan to Support Maritime Access to the Region

Anibal Acevedo Vila, Governor of Puerto Rico, addressed media and delegates at the first Annual Caribbean Tourism Summit (ACTS) in Washington, DC, today to present a plan that will preserve air access to Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean. The governor also introduced a Cruise Incentives Law that will continue to provide incentives to the maritime service providers who safeguard existing routes and/or expand their operations to the region.
The governor provided an update on a call to action issued by Puerto Rico to Caribbean nations to form a united front that will work with the airline industry to increase access to the Caribbean through the island, a bold move given the specter of the industry. As a result of these efforts, airlines such as Jet Blue, Air Tran, Continental and Delta have added service to Puerto Rico from cities like New York, Boston, Newark, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, among others.
Rising fuel costs had forced some airlines to cancel flights to the region, a decision that stands to cripple the hotel and cruise industries operating in the Caribbean.
"The gravity of the economic crisis facing the airline industry, and business in general, is especially felt in the Caribbean, a region that has benefited immensely from tourism," said Terestella Gonzalez Denton, Executive Director, PRTC. "In conjunction with Governor Acevedo Vila and our partners in the Caribbean Trade Organization, we are working hard to preserve air access to the region which is the backbone to our region's hotel and cruise industries."
The governor also announced the passing of a Law to expand his administration's Cruise Incentive Program, which allocates a yearly $10 million fund for the development of Puerto Rico's maritime industry. Coupled with a $300 million effort to modernize the island's port infrastructure, the initiative resulted in an 8.4 percent increase in travel to Puerto Rico over the last two years.
"I am very happy to announce that we've just signed a Law that extends our Cruise Incentive Program throughout 2010-2011," said the governor. "Even more important, this decree determines that on the eventuality that we manage a 20% increase by June 30, 2011, these incentives will automatically be extended to June 30, 2014."
The governor's address ended with an exhortation to the delegates at ACTS to work together on issues of air and sea access in the region.
"I've instructed the Puerto Rico Tourism Company to work together with the Caribbean Tourism Organization in the next few weeks, to face the connectivity issues resulting from the opening of new flights to the Island and what this means to passengers looking to have a multi-destination experience. Furthermore, we invite CTO to have a proactive discussion on how we can raise interest in our region to develop new maritime access alternatives and create new maritime routes to the Caribbean, using our Incentive Program as the basis for deploying innovative tactics."

source: PR Newswire press release

For more info. on tourism to Puerto Rico, visit

Picture Spot, Puerto Rico

Picture Spot, Puerto Rico
Originally uploaded by outtacontext.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Feliz Noche de San Juan Bautista

Camino a San Juan

Camino a San Juan
Originally uploaded by verodomica.

Save Public Broadcasting


Dear Friend,

We need your help to advocate for a public broadcasting system that offers more independent programming, harder-hitting journalism, and the educational, ad-free content that is missing from commercial media.

The Bush administration is pushing for severe cuts to the budget for public broadcasting. The House Appropriations Committee has the power not just to reject Bush's budget cuts, but to demand increased funding for public media to ensure they can continue to serve our local communities.

Go to the URL below to check out what's at stake and send a message directly to Congress urging them to stop the cuts. Take action on this alert from Free Press at:

Take action at:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Check out 'Independent Sources' on CUNY-TV

Originally uploaded by clarisel.
La Voz Hispana, a local newspaper, recently wrote an article about Mike Amadeo. Here, Amadeo, who runs the popular Casa Amadeo record shop on Prospect Avenue in the South Bronx, is given a copy of the newspaper to check out the story. His shop has a space set aside for community residents to pick up La Voz Hispana, a free community newspaper.

As a consumer, Amadeo prefers to get his news on radio. He also enjoys listening to news from Puerto Rico on WAPA America via his cable provider because it is news directly from the island.

Amadeo talks to "Independent Sources," a new show on CUNY-TV focusing on the ethnic media. The show premiered on Wednesday night and takes a look at how people from different communities use independent sources, including Asian, Jewish and Latino independent newspaper and other media outlets.

To watch, tune in at 8 p.m. tonight or 10 a.m. tomorrow on Channel 75, NYC.

I was also interviewed for the show representing Puerto Rico Sun and Bronx Latino, independent online media projects. -- Clarisel Gonzalez

(photo by Clarisel Gonzalez)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Northern Manhattan Artist Studio Tour

Community Calendar

Artists throughout Northern Manhattan will open their studios for a glimpse at how they create.
FREE Shuttle Buses!
Look out for the robin egg blue ARC Ft. Washington Senior Center Shuttle bus at the following shuttle stops (North/South):

Isham St. and Broadway
Isham St. and Sherman Ave.
Broadway and 204 St.
Broadway and Academy St .
Academy St and Sherman Ave.
10 Ave. and 202 St.
Nagle Ave. and Ellwood St .
Broadway and 187 St.
Ft. Washington Ave. and 190 St.
Ft. Washington Ave. and 187 St.
Ft. Washington Ave. and 185 St.
Ft. Washington Ave. and 181 St.
Ft. Washington Ave. and 177 St.
Ft. Washington Ave. and 170 St.
Ft. Washington Ave. and 162 St.
Broadway and 165 St.

For updates, visit:

Yonkers PR Parade is Sunday

Yonkers Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade And Festival

The Yonkers Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade & Festival will celebrate its parade this Sunday. The parade's grand marshal is Ray Negron author and member of the NY Yankee Organization
For the past 29 years, the Yonkers Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival has enabled Westchester Hispanics and other citizens to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture as well as acknowledge and pay tribute to the contributions Puerto Ricans and Hispanic have made to Yonkers, the state and nation.
For more information on the festivities, go to

The Power of the Sun

The Power of the Sun
Originally uploaded by -[ [ Yezi3 ] ]-.

Songwriters Rights Panel in San Juan

Opportunities and BMI presents Songwriter's Rights 101: Fundamentals for Every Composer. The chat will take place July 8 at The Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music (6 p.m.) and will present three attorneys with knowledge in music copyright.

Among the subjects to be discussed are the essential information every composer should be acquainted with, why and where to register songs, the difference between mechanical, synchronization and performance royalties, and recommendations.

The event is free, but registration is required. Information: (787) 287-8788 or

source: NALIP newsletter

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

'Yo Soy Latina' is not just a Chick Play


A friend of mine took me recently to a play called "Yo Soy Latina." I was a little skeptic at first thinking it was a chick play, but instead I experienced a very powerful message, freely bringing to the open to some of the stereotypes and prejudices that exist within our Latino nation. I urge you to take the time to so see the play for yourself.
It is very funny and very touching, especially for me being a black Hispanic. Although born and raise in the beautiful island of
Puerto Rico, I always felt unaccepted by Latinos here in the U.S. I'm asked still today if I'm West Indian, Dominican or black. I ask myself why is it so difficult for them to identify me as Puerto Rican?
I believe that it is because of these stereotypes and prejudices that keep Latinos from all over from coming together.
The link below is a web page which will provide additional information on this as well as other Latino plays. They added my comments they recorded about the play to their web. Let me know what you think of the play, I think you are going to love it…


Best Regards,

Walter Hernandez

Going Back to Nature. Pellejas River, Adjuntas, Puerto Rico

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Salsa Singer Victor Manuelle at SummerStage

Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Puerto Rico Sun was there for the outdoor SummerStage concert on Father's Day in NYC's Central Park. While fans represented many countries, the Puerto Rican flag stood out in the crowd. At one point, a fan gave Victor Manuelle a Puerto Rican flag of course.

Visit my site at flickr for more of my photos.

'Independent Sources'


Channel 75

Independent Sources is where viewers meet the ethnic press. Hosted by Garry Pierre-Pierre and Vianora Vinca, engages members of New York's ethnic and mainstream media in an insightful discussion of stories covered by ethnic newspapers, television and radio stations, and websites. Each half-hour episode also features an in-depth profile of an ethnic news organization or a reporter.

In the premier episode, Garry and Vianora are joined by Philip Kasinitz, Professor of Sociology at CUNY, and Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush of El Diario/La Prensa.

Independent Sources premieres on Wednesday, June 18 at 8:30 p.m. It repeats on Saturday, June 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 22 at 10 a.m.

CUNY TV, channel 75, is a cable channel serving the five boroughs of New York City with educational, cultural and public affairs programs. As part of The City University of New York, CUNY TV operates as a non-commercial station.

source: CUNY TV

EDITOR'S NOTE: I, representing PRSUN and Bronx Latino, was interviewed for this program. Clarisel

Monday, June 16, 2008

Time for Clarification: Puerto Ricans Need to End their Indecision

Featured Analysis

On June 9, the UN Special Committee on Decolonization considered yet again the status of the world’s oldest remaining colony, Puerto Rico. The Committee called on the United States to accelerate the process of self-determination for the island, an action that many Puerto Ricans regard as a crucially important step towards fulfilling their fifty-six year-old quest to achieve a majority opinion on the permanent status of the island. However, this is not the first time the UN has issued the same appeal.

For the last eight years, the UN Committee has called upon the United States to grant autonomy to Puerto Rico, but has yet to witness any changes. In response to the most recent resolution, Washington has reminded the international community that Puerto Rico democratically decided to enter into a free association with the United States in 1952. Accordingly, the persisting inconclusive political status of Puerto Rico is a domestic matter that has no place on the UN agenda. The United States has repeatedly stated that only the Puerto Rican people can decide the structure of their future political arrangement. If the United States is willing to resolve Puerto Rico’s status, why are Puerto Rican representatives annually attending a UN Committee that has repeatedly failed to produce results for them?

It seems that after 500 years of foreign domination, Puerto Ricans have grown accustomed to having others decide what is best for them. Its leaders can no longer blame outsiders for their continuing subordinate status. In 1967, 1991, 1993, and then again in 1998, Washington assisted the Puerto Rican government in the organization of referendums on the island’s future status, giving its people the opportunity to decide between statehood, independence, or the existing commonwealth. In each instance, Puerto Ricans voted overwhelmingly in favor of the status quo. However, the commonwealth status was never meant to be a permanent solution, but instead a first step towards independence. In fact, the 2005 White House report gave Puerto Rico only two options: integration as a federal state or independence.

Now that the status quo is no longer a viable alternative, Puerto Rican voters cannot continue badgering Congress to grant them independence or statehood if they themselves have been unable to decide between the two. In order to take control of their future and formalize their own decision, they must act now instead of looking to outsiders to solve their problems. Only after adopting their own plan of action can Puerto Ricans demand that Congress approve it. Until then, the only thing stopping Puerto Rico from achieving a permanent status are Puerto Ricans themselves. In this regard, reaching a decision will prove to be the island’s first act of self-determination.

This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Michelle Quiles

COHA or the Council on Hemispheric Affairs is a nonprofit, tax-exempt independent research and information organization. It was established to promote the common interests of the hemisphere, raise the visibility of regional affairs and increase the importance of the inter-American relationship, as well as encourage the formulation of rational and constructive U.S. policies towards Latin America. For more information,

source: press release

(Photo depicts scene outside the UN on the day of this year's hearing. Photo by Ismael Nunez)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

'In the Heights' Wins Tony

'In the Heights' on Broadway
Originally uploaded by clarisel.
A musical inspired in NYC's thriving Washington Heights neighborhood wins best musical in the Tony awards!
"In the Heights,'' also won for choreography, orchestrations, and original score.


Celebrate Fathers and Poetry in El Barrio

Américo Casiano Jr. is the founder and artistic director of NuyoRican School Original Poetry Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Casiano has won literary awards such as the 2003 New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry fellowship and the 1974 CAPS Poetry fellowship.

His forthcoming poetry volume is titled On the Stand: Poems by Américo Casiano Jr. to be published by Bronxeña Press, Bronx Council on the Arts (2004). His published anthologies include Bum Rush The Page: Def Poetry Jam (2001), New Rains Volume Nine: Our Fathers/Ourselves (1999), Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets’ Café (1994), and Nuyorican Poetry (1976).

Mr. Casiano has also been involved in television and film.

source: Hope Community

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lin-Manuel Miranda on 'In the Heights'

Boricua Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of 'In the Heights', talks about the inspiration for his hit Broadway musical, nominated for 13 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Lead Actor and Best Original Score. The Tony awards will be announced tomorrow night.
(source: IntheHeightsBroadway)

'In the Heights' Musical Montage

(source: IntheHeightsBroadway)

Celebrate In the Heights

Good luck to "In the Heights" at the Tony awards.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Emerging Photographers: Get Your Work Noticed!

WHEN: Tonight, 6-8 p.m.

WHAT: Come to En Foco's FREE professional development seminar, "Foot in the Door: Tips for Submitting your Work"

WHY: With so much competition, how can you make your work stand out? Learn about the tips, standard guidelines and procedures needed to apply for grants, artist residencies, exhibition and publication opportunities. Find out about El Taller Gallery's submission process, hear about awarded artist Terry Boddie on his experiences from a panelist's point of view, and lots of practical tips from En Foco's Marisol Díaz. En Foco is a Bronx-based organization dedicated to cultural diversity in photography.

WHERE: El Taller Boricua Gallery
Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center
1680 Lexington Ave at 106th, East Harlem

English Mind, Spanish Heart

I studied

Puerto Rican studies

at Fordham.

My beautiful mind

is English

and my heart is

Spanish. -- Samaris Ayala

Samaris, a writer from NYC's Lower East Side, contributes her pensamientos to Puerto Rico Sun.

El Morro Redondo (my first one)

El Morro Redondo (my first one)
Originally uploaded by #(J).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

In the Mailbox

Dear Friends and Members of the NoMAA community:

The 6th Annual Uptown Arts Stroll (NYC) has taken off and the response has been tremendous! There are many events left to go to and we ask that you join us in celebrating the best art that Northern Manhattan has to offer. Tomorrow kicks off weekend events showcasing the work of NoMAA’s grantees. For more information about these events and other updates on the Uptown Arts Stroll calendar, please visit and check out the printed guide distributed throughout the neighborhood.

Queridos amigos y miembros de la comunidad de NoMAA:

El 6to Paseo Anual de las Artes del Alto Manhattan ha transcurrido con mucho éxito! Todavía quedan muchos eventos para disfrutar. Este fin de semana se llevaran a cabo varios eventos resaltando las obras de los artistas que recibieron la beca de NoMAA. Para estar al día sobre estas y otras actividades favor de visitar y ver la guía del Paseo de las Artes distribuida en varios locales de la comunidad.

¡Hasta pronto!

Sandra A. García Betancourt
Executive Director & CEO
Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA)

Puerto Rican Freedom Album Fundraiser 6/13-Oxygen Lounge,NY


PSA for the Freedom Album. the music compilation to raise funds and awareness for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Community Calendar

Lagrimas de Mis Madres
Starring Maria Aponte
with Chacho Ramirez
at 7:30 p.m.

June 12
Julia de Burgos Latino Center Theater
1680 Lexington Avenue @106th S, NYC's El Barrio

Info: 718-601-1163, Ext. 3

(Photo of Maria Aponte)
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade from the lens of Ismael Nunez

Ismael Nunez of East Harlem regularly shoots photos of community events and people in NYC, particularly within the boricua community. On Sunday, he, of course, was at the Puerto Rican parade. He says he had a great time though he acknowledges he left the parade by 12:30 p.m. because "it was HOT!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Featured story

Puerto Rico in independence bid

Mr Acevedo Vila said Puerto Rico should be able to choose its own status

Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila has called on the UN to back his people's right to self-determination.
Speaking to a UN committee, Mr Acevedo Vila accused the Bush administration of denying the US territory its democratic right to choose its own course.
Puerto Rico has been a US territory since the late 19th Century, but gained greater autonomy in 1952.
The UN panel voted to support a motion calling on the US to grant Puerto Rico the right to determine its own status.
Mr Acevedo Vila's appeal to the UN reflected a change in tone for the governor's party, analysts said.
For more of this report, go to

'Puerto York' Exhibit in the Bx

(photos by Christopher Lopez)

In the Mailbox


An exhibition of my photo work entitled "Puerto York" will have its opening reception June 17th, at The Bronx Borough President's Gallery. If possible, please come and support. Thank you and I hope to see you there. For more info please visit:

Enjoy your summer!



Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Written on a wall in the gentrifying El Barrio in NYC

Monday, June 09, 2008

Featured report

Denuncia 'desbalance democrático"

El gobernador de Puerto Rico, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, hizo historia al comparecer ante el Comité de Descolonización de la ONU, para denunciar la existencia de un "desbalance democrático" en la relación entre Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos.

Para escuchar el reporte completo, visita

(The (pro-commonwealth) governor of Puerto Rico Anibal Acevedo Vila made history Monday when he spoke before the United Nations' Decolonization Committee to denounce the "unbalanced democracy" in the existing relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States.)

See related story from the Orlando Sentinel:,0,3096523.story

Scenes from the PR Parade

For more photos, visit me at flickr at Also visit the Puerto Rico Sun group at flickr at

Sunday, June 08, 2008


On the National Puerto Rican Day Parade

Angelo Falcon, editor of Latino Policy, the e-newsletter of the National Institute for Latino Policy, wrote a column in his most recent newsletter about the parade and the media coverage.

He states:

"One of the largest parades in the city, with over 80,000 marchers and two million spectators, and generating great pride among the more than one million Puerto Ricans in the region, however, always gets bad press. Too many pre-Parade stories focused on such things as that there would be fewer police assigned to the Parade this year, but that they were deploying a special unit documenting all arrests made, like the more than 200 unjustified gang arrests that were made last year, or that shopkeepers plan to shudder up their stores along Fifth Avenue. But most disturbing were the reader comments to David Gonzalez's recent New York Times blog on the Parade (check out the comments at the end), prompting the New York Post's Sandra Guzman to comment, "And people complain about the Post?"

Happy PR Day

Originally uploaded by clarisel.
This was shot in last year's Puerto Rican Day Parade. Puerto Rico Sun will be at today's parade, so expect new photos.

Happy National Puerto Rican Day Parade everyone!

!Que viva Puerto Rico!

Featured story

National Puerto Rican Day fest to be celebration of success

"Like countless Puerto Ricans before me, I traded the mountains and gentle coastlines of Puerto Rico for New York's skyscrapers and subways in the early 1970s.
"Ours is a migrating community - traveling from our city to return to an island that holds our hearts with an unwavering allegiance." -- labor leader Dennis Rivera, this year's parade grand marshal

To read his full report in the Daily News, go to

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Artist Spotlight: Classical Guitarist Jose Antonio Lopez

Boricua classical guitarist Jose Antonio Lopez performs Sunday night at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City. His show follows the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in the city. Here he plays "Misionera." Click on the video to enjoy his music and for more information about the show.

Congratulations to Lopez for representing boricuas at Carnegie Hall. This is quite an accomplishment. -- Clarisel Gonzalez

Sol the Mascot

Originally uploaded by clarisel.
Sol is the mascot of this Puerto Rico Sun project. She is a strong, sweet, feisty, curious boricua cat. She was born in Puerto Rico. NYC is home now.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Community Calendar

in NYC's El Barrio tomorrow in celebration of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade

For more information, visit La Voz Hispana
Featured resource

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan is this Sunday and the New York Post's Tempo section recently published a short guide with suggestions of the best places to view the parade for anyone going. The parade is one of those boricua and New York traditions that people should consider going to at least once in their lives.

Go to this link for the article "Puerto Rican Day Parade Essentials."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008



"America, it is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past...this is the moment when the tides of the oceans begin to swell and our planet begins to heal." - Barack Obama

My head is reeling with so many conversations shared with so many people from family to friends to colleagues to associates and mere acquaintances and complete strangers; people with whom I would otherwise never have shared a meaningful conversation.
I call them Barack moments. Moments that caused me to bond with people out of pure joy and PRIDE. Moments of anger in being mocked by people who could not believe, refused to believe that a Black man could be nominated, that a Black man can be President of this country in their lifetime. Moments of shame when confronted with the internalized racism of certain Puerto Ricans and Latin@s of different cultural backgrounds who revealed a particularly annoying mentality and a level of ignorance that prevented them from hearing his message or mine.
In the very beginning I told myself that this was progress yes, but that it would be politics as usual. But as the race progressed, the man captured me. He captured my imagination. His stance, his tenacity made me proud and inspired me to hope. To believe in change, yes, we need to turn the page...not just slogans but things I've said my own damn self. The man captured me and I will support him 100%. I am not an idealist.
One friend said to me, "we've got to support him even if he winds up breaking our hearts."
Yes, man. We've got to support him even if he breaks all our hearts like politicians often do because that is often what they are forced to do. Politics is a dirty job.
But being a leader who dares to stir things up, to CHANGE the status quo, that is truly honorable. In the past that has caused many a Black leader to lose his life. My hope is that this country can turn the page on that too. You have got to respect this man. You have got to support this man. This is a historical moment. IT IS DONE. HE DID IT. YES WE CAN!! WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS!!! Feel the magic of it. Feel the electricity in the atmosphere. Don't pay attention to how the media wants you to view this moment. Just feel this moment and know that we are all witnesses to history in the making. And that this bonds us, that Barack Obama bonds us ALL together, whether you like it or not.

-- Mariposa

Mariposa is an award winning poet from the Bronx. Visit www. myspace. com/poetatremenda to read more about her and her work. Mariposa originally published this article in her MySpace blog.

Obama without Hillary is Change


Sen. Barack Obama is the best candidate for president. He should not name Sen. Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Obama is running on a ticket of change and having Clinton as his VP takes away from that message. Obama for Prez! -- Clarisel Gonzalez

Photo courtesy of

El Batey

El Batey
Originally uploaded by kua.


Featured story

Obama clinches Democratic nomination, Clinton open to VP

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, becoming the first black candidate to lead a major party into a campaign for the White House. Vanquished rival Hillary Rodham Clinton swiftly signaled an interest in joining the ticket as his running mate.
For more,

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Puerto Rican day in Hartford, Connecticut

Originally uploaded by clarisel.
On Sunday, June 1, boricuas in Connecticut partied in a parade and in a caravan of cars in the streets of Hartford as well as at the Coqui festival at Bushnell Park. Puerto Rico Sun was there.

Originally uploaded by clarisel.

For more photos of my day in Hartford, go to

Flamboyán Tree in Bloom

Flamboyán Tree in Bloom
Originally uploaded by sadlahens.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Spotlight: Entrepreneur Nestor Rentas

Nestor Rentas proudly carries Puerto Rican flags at his Taino Mayor boricua store at 855 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. This store is reminiscent of Puerto Rico accessory shops on the island. While customers shop at Taino Mayor, they could enjoy the sounds of songs like "En Mi Viejo San Juan" and "Soñando con Puerto Rico" playing. Rentas is keeping culture alive in the Bx, and this week is a busy one at Taino Mayor because of Sunday's National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. Rentas says people come from all over looking for Puerto Rico items. His shop sells everything Puerto Rico, including flag earrings, hats, souvenirs from the island, music by boricua and Latino artists and musical instruments.

Rentas is a local Bronx celebrity. He has a popular TV show on Bronxnet, a local community media outlet, named "Mi Pueblo es Tu Pueblo." He says his show is one of the oldest on Bronxnet. -- Clarisel Gonzalez
In the Mailbox


Love the site. I was wondering if you knew the name of salsa band that was on TV during the primary campaign. Not sure if it was with Clinton or Obama but the lead singer wore white hat and had sun glasses. At least that narrow’s it down to about 100 singer in the capital alone?

I would love to know their name. I love salsa music, as well as Ricky.

Best wishes

George from London

Sunday, June 01, 2008

In the Mailbox

Dear Editor: A lot of talk has been going on about the Puerto Rico primary (June 1), and how it shouldn't be taken seriously because islanders can't vote in the general election, but I couldn't help but notice that it has more delegates to the Democratic convention than Montana or South Dakota. But then, the country is called the "United States of America," not the "United States and Territories of America!"

I say it's time Puerto Rico became a state. The islanders are American citizens, they're run by the American government, so it should be a state. Also, they use American money and stamps - unlike, say Bermuda, which uses its own postal currency and its own dollar, not the British pound sterling.

Besides, we've had a 50-star flag too long. :-)

Steve from New Jersey


Originally uploaded by clarisel.
All eyes are on Puerto Rico today for the heavily contested Democratic presidential primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory or what some call "colony," Puerto Ricans on the island can vote in the primary but not in the actual race for U.S. president in November.

Major Garrett, a correspondent for Fox News, files a broadcast report from San Juan, P.R. on the eve of the primary.

Update: Hillary Clinton wins Democratic primary in Puerto Rico. See related stories:;_ylt=AvD9VwnTXlZjAihGYW78qC5h24cA

Featured story

Five things to watch in Puerto Rico

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is counting on a big win in today’s Democratic presidential primary (in Puerto Rico), one day after a party ruling left her presidential campaign on the ropes.

A landslide victory would bolster Clinton’s argument to superdelegates that she has received more votes than Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and is better equipped to win important Latino votes in a general election matchup with presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.

For more on the five things, go to