Showing posts from January, 2009

Boricua astronaut is nuestro orgullo

Que orgullo, a boricua is getting ready to go to space. Un verdadero orgullo. Como dicen, boricua hasta en la luna. Featured story 1st Puerto Rican astronaut, Joe Acaba, carries pride in heritage Ralph Acaba will never forget the day his son Joe called to let him know his life had astronomically changed. "He called me at work, so I answered as I used to do, 'Hi, this is Ralph,' and my job title," said the father, who was a private-school administrator. "He said, 'Hi, this is Joe, astronaut.' There are very few things in life that one remembers forever." Nearly five years after that phone call, the Acaba family is counting the days until Joe's first trip aboard space shuttle Discovery, which is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 12. For the complete report, go to,0,1083698.story
Community calendar SAVE THE DATE. Next National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights meeting in NYC is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 11, at the Community Service Society, 105 E. 22nd St., Manhattan, 9th floor board room. For more information on the NCPRR, go to .

Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asis en Cabo Rojo, PR

The Santuario is a no-kill animal shelter in Cabo Rojo and it is in need of donations. According to the Santuario, this no-kill shelter "was created with the efforts of community members who saw the great need to protect the animals. It has not received any government help yet, despite its 9 years of operation. They have no water or electricity service but have an amazing volunteer workforce. It is quickly becoming one of the West coast's "Porta del Sol" sightseeing and tourist's visitor's points for animal lovers." For information, visit Here's how you can help: 1. Donate via Paypal: 2. Make a deposit to Banco Popular de Puerto Rico in the name of: Santuario de Animales SFA Route No. 021502011 Account no. 255-279166 3. Mail a donation to Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asis, Inc. P.O. Box 566 San German, PR 00683 source: Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asis

Moviegoers to get spooked at 'The HORRORphiles'

Edwin Pagan is the man behind the Latin horror revolution If you are into horror flicks, "The HORRORphiles," featuring the work of emerging Latino directors working within the genre is playing a series of horror movies tonight in New York City. Latin Horror, in association with Anthology Film Archives, presents a special edition of the NewLatino Filmmakers Screening Series - "The HORRORphiles." NewLatino Filmmakers is billed as the best and only independent Latino “cinematheque” showcase in New York City -- now in its 7th year. "The HORRORphiles" will run from 7-9:30 p.m. tonight at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at Second Street in the Lower East Side. The price is $6 at the box office. Tonight's "Horrorphiles" will feature "Monster Job Hunter" by writer/director Yehudi Mercado, "Sandman's Box," by writer/director Gilberto Flores, and "Repentance" by writer/director Julio Antonio Toro, all sh

Con Don Pedro

Con Don Pedro Originally uploaded by carlos aviles . Today's featured shot from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by carlos aviles .

PRSUN Poll: Majority don't live in PR but visit the island every year

The majority of Puerto Rico Sun blog readers who took part in a PRSUN snap poll said they do not live in Puerto Rico but that they visit the island every year. Forty six percent responded this way. Meanwhile, 31% said they do live in Puerto Rico. Another 23% said they don't live in Puerto Rico but plan to move to the island in the future. Nobody chose the other two options available. The question asked in the poll was: Do you live in Puerto Rico? Thanks to those who took part in PRSUN's snap poll.
Community calendar Check out this link for the spring lineup of Puerto Rican-related activities going on at Centro/the Center for Puerto Rican studies @ Hunter College, NYC. The calendar kicks off with "On and Off the Avenue," Loisaida N.Y.C. 1976-2009, an exhibition by Marlis Momber on February 5. Activities, which run until May, range from research seminars on such topics as migration, religion, voting and welfare reform to a meet the author series. For more information and the complete calendar,

Eddie Palmieri to perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Puerto Rico Sun readers get 25% off tickets with special code Jazz at Lincoln Center is presenting nine-time GRAMMY® winner Eddie Palmieri who will perform in February at the Rose Theater, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Puerto Rico Sun readers, if you take advantage of this special offer, you get 25% off tickets. Eddie Palmieri has reigned as a true mambo king for the past 50 years, absorbing the sounds of Puerto Rico and New York into his particular fusion of salsa and jazz. He revisits the music and sound of his influential 1960s La Perfecta orchestra with this latest edition of his ensemble, featuring energized new versions of La Perfecta-era salsa and fiery new Latin jazz compositions. Eddie Palmieri & La Perfecta II 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday, February 6-7 Rose Theater Jazz at Lincoln Center Broadway at 60th St., Manhattan Remember Get 25% off tickets! Use code “Jazz 25” and save now! Tickets Start at $30! 212-721-6500 CenterCharge Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office

'The Body of My Isla'

Inside the orchid eucalyptus bamboo heart of my Boriken roams the ghost of Tio Nando touching Titi Carmen on the shoulder before she cries herself to sleep every night. Thundering out of the dark eyes of the enchanted island is the coqui orkestra 5 million translucent tree frogs singing as they must aiming their love at the murderous F-18s dropping bombs and dripping poison on Vieques, residential bombing site. Roiling in the ocean blood of the home of my Taino antepasados y los que viven aun are the hopes and dreams of fruit and yautia vendors selling their wares from the backs of dented pickup trucks. This is the body of my island this is the blood of my love Amen Amen. Rick Kearns-Morales Poem reprinted with permission from the author Rick Kearns-Morales. See related entry posted today in this blog for more information about the author.

Taller PR in Philly presents author Rick Kearns of 'The Body of My Isla'

Meet the Author Series on January 31 presents award-winning writer, poet and musician Rick Kearns-Morales with his collection of poetry "The Body of My Isla." The collection published in 2007 deals with the author’s Puerto Rican heritage and identity. This event is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From the author's bio: Rick Kearns, aka Rick Kearns-Morales is a poet, freelance writer and musician of Puerto Rican and European background based in Harrisburg, Pa. As a journalist Kearns has written for daily, weekly and monthly news publications since 1986. In the last decade his work has focused on Latino and Native American issues. In 1998 he won Best Interview of the Year from the National Federation of Hispanic Owned Newspapers for his interview with Manuel Rodriguez Orellana, spokesman for the Puerto Rican Independence Party. Since 1999, his articles have appeared in national magazines and newspapers such as Hispanic, Native Peoples, Native Americas. Since February 2006,

RIP: Puerto Rico’s people champion Jose “Chegui” Torres

Jose “Chegui” Torres was known as a man who wore many hats because he did. Torres, a former light-heavyweight champion who became a boxing official and a writer of books about Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, died January 19 in his native Ponce. He was 72. Torres was laid to rest in Ponce. His wife of 48 years Ramonita Ortiz said he suffered a heart attack. Torres was honored as the hero he was on the island. The mayor of Ponce declared three days of mourning and ordered flags flown at half staff. Many in New York City where Torres lived for many years also mourned him. David Bernier, president of the United States Territory Olympic, spoke about Torres during a radio show, saying, “Puerto Rico has lost a great Puerto Rican, a very valiant person who aside from being a good boxer was a fine human being.” New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson said: “He cared passionately about this city and all New Yorkers. He gained notoriety in the boxing ring. Eventually, he will be remembered fo


COMIC: ALBIZU Originally uploaded by Silvered Capture/Regina Rodriguez . illustration by Regina Rodriguez who is also known as Silvered Capture This is a pretty popular Puerto Rican saying which generally means that people need to get their heads out of the sand and recognize all the stupidities they're committing and allowing our politicians to commit. -- Silvered Capture For more of Silvered Capture's work, go to her flickr site at Silvered Capture is a member of the Puerto Rico Sun photo group.

'Brown Hips, Red Lips & Hot Skins'

Community calendar Poetry performance of new work by Maria Aponte with musical accompaniment by Chacho Ramirez and Dwight Brewster January 30 Cemi Underground, NYC's East Harlem Click on image to view larger text and for more information.

Prez Barack Obama: 'We have chosen hope'

Here's an excerpt from President Barack Obama's inauguration speech: Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, w

Catalino “Tite” Curet Alonso: A Man & His Music

Latin music rejoices with the return of Tite Curet Alonso's music back on the airwaves after 14-year absence by Aurora Flores It was in Old San Juan’s “Bombonera” restaurant in 1977 when I spotted the traditional straw hat and signature daisheke on the man sitting at the counter. Catalino “Tite” Curet Alonso was holding a note pad and tape recorder when I sat beside him. He was reserved, diffident and guarded, until we began talking about Ismael "Maelo" Rivera’s, “Esto Si Es Lo Mio” that I was reviewing for Billboard Magazine. That’s when a glint appeared in his eyes, a smile crossed his face, and we bonded for that moment around talk of ‘Maelo, plena, bomba, poverty, race, politics, religion y música! Curet defined a revolutionary period in Latin music. His compositions brought out the best in the interpreter. Masterworks included Hector LaVoe’s “Periodico de Ayer” or “Juanito Alimaña,” Cheo Feliciano’s “Anacaona,” Pete El Conde’s “La Abolición,” Andy Montañez’ “El

Las Octavitas Barrio Fiesta

18 of 365: Las Octavitas Barrio Fiesta Originally uploaded by clarisel . A trovador performs with the Estampas de Borinquen musical group @ Las Octavitas celebration at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, organized by the executive committee of the Archdiocese of New York's San Juan Bautista fiesta. For more of my photos from last night's celebration at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center in NYC's El Barrio, go to (Click on the Navidad '08-Octavitas '09 photo set .)

What! United States colonialism?

Pensamientos In 2008, the fact that there are about 4 million Latinos, mostly the residents of Puerto Rico, who are United States citizens but do not have the full rights of most American citizens emerged in dramatic terms. There was the oddity of the Democratic and Republican parties holding presidential primaries in Puerto Rico although the people of Puerto Rico, all US citizens, could not vote for president in the general election. In addition, although they are US citizens, the people of Puerto Rico do not send full voting representatives to the US Congress, but only one Resident Commissioner who cannot vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, and no one to the US Senate. Will President-elect Obama be able to resolve the status problem during his first term as he has pledged? We wish him luck on that one! -- Angelo Falcon, president and founder of the National Institute for Latino Policy, which is based in NYC. This article by Angelo Falcon was originally published in
Opportunity La Voz del Paseo Boricua in Chicago is looking for volunteer translators For nearly five years, La Voz has served as the newspaper of Chicago's vibrant Puerto Rican community. Monthly it distributes 10,000 copies throughout the greater Northwest Side of the city in the areas of Humboldt Park, Logan Square, West Town and Hermosa and beyond. The purpose of La Voz is to provide information and analysis on issues of importance to the city's Puerto Rican residents, such as housing, youth, culture, health, and community empowerment. Specifically, La Voz is a key part of the educational campaign, "¡Humboldt Park No Se Vende!" Currently, La Voz is seeking volunteer Spanish translators. As a completely volunteer-run newspaper, La Voz cannot offer monetary compensation, but it offers experience working with a local newspaper and a chance to contribute to the Puerto Rican community, anchored on Paseo Boricua. If you are interested in translating or supporting th


IMG_3133 Originally uploaded by clarisel . Little Mr. Puerto Rico King Joe @ the Artisans Fair & Exhibit in Bridgeport, organized by The Puerto Rican Parade of Fairfield County in Connecticut For more photos from the Bridgeport fair, go to (Click on the New England set)

Celebrate Las Octavitas in the Barrio

Navidad criolla Christmas is not over yet for many boricuas pues estamos en las OCTAVITAS. Join the Comite de la Fiesta de San Juan Bautista for las OCTAVITAS Dedicated to Rudy Vargas 6:30-10:30 p.m., Sunday, January 18 Julia de Burgos Cultural Center 2nd flr. Theater 1680 Lexington (btwn. 106 & 105th Sts.) NYC's El Barrio As we celebrate "La Fiesta de San Juan Bautista." featuring Zon del Barrio & Estampas De Borinquen with a "controversia" (vocal duels) by Trovadores Boricuas Admission: $15 Bring your instruments There will be food, raffles & refreshments. A recent study found Puerto Ricans to be the happiest people on earth. Some say it's because we celebrate the Christmas season (Las Navidades) longer than any one! Puerto Rico's holiday season begins with Thanksgiving and ends with Octavitas, the last holiday of the season, beginning 8 days after the Epiphany (Jan. 6, 3 Kings Day) and lasting for 8 more days! In Pu

San Juan - 21

San Juan - 21 Originally uploaded by gulshan . Today's featured shot from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by gulshan .

Cemi Underground's Luis Cordero chats with PRSUN Radio tonight

PRSUN Radio Tune in at 9 p.m. tonight for a chat with Luis Cordero, the owner of Cemi Underground, a cultural bookstore and gallery in East Harlem that features literature, arts and a host of community events highlighting boricua and Latino talent. We will chat on Cemi Underground's challenges, accomplishments and future plans. For more information on Cemi Underground, go to . Photo of Luis Cordero and Elena Marrero at the Viva Bronx festival last year. (photo by Ismael Nunez) UPDATE: Listen to show right here in this blog or go to .
Politics Obama vows to solve Puerto Rico's status It's a 110-year-old dilemma that Congress has never committed to solve: Puerto Rico's ambiguous political relationship with the U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to turn this around. In a letter sent earlier this month to newly elected Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuno, Obama pledged to "enable the question of Puerto Rico's status to be resolved" during his first term. For more, go to,0,5768559.story

PRSUN Heads to CT for Three Kings Exhibit

I plan to go to Bridgeport, Connecticut this weekend to take part in the Three Kings exhibit. I plan to exhibit my photography as well as promote Puerto Rico Sun Communications, a community-minded independent multimedia social entrepreneurship. The exhibit, which was postponed from last weekend because of bad weather, will be held on Saturday, January 17. The Puerto Rican Parade of Fairfield County is organizing the event, which will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Chase Wellness Center, 1071 East Main St. I was invited to exhibit my work by the organization’s president, Diana Calderon Torres, a new member of our Puerto Rico Sun social network. She says they have about 22 artists and craftspeople lined up for the event. If you go, make sure to stop by my table.
Community calendar Al-Juriya English/Spanish film...Puerto Ricans witness the occupation of Palestine In light of the events in the Middle East, Cemi Underground presents this film. 3 p.m., Saturday, January 17 Cemi Underground, NYC's El Barrio Suggested donation: $5 For more information, go to .
Community calendar "Pregones Theater Music Emsemble" to perform in NYC's El Barrio 'Theater Music, Afro Caribbean Music, Spiritual Music' performance Camaradas El Barrio in East Harlem 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 14 To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:


IMG_0425 Originally uploaded by Silvered Capture . Today's featured shot from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by Silvered Capture .


Stairs Originally uploaded by kikepic . @ Mt Britton, El Yunque, PR Today's featured image from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by kikepic .

My mom prepares pasteles

9 of 365: My mom prepares pasteles Originally uploaded by clarisel . Christmas may be over, but for many boricuas the celebration is not over. They celebrate las Octavitas. Feliz Octavitas.

Three Kings celebration in El Barrio with a Mexican twist

Q&A with El Museo del Barrio's Gabriel Higuera 038 Originally uploaded by prsuncom Gabriel Higuera is of Mexican and Cuban heritage, lives in Brooklyn and works at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem as the coordinator of public programs. He describes himself as a writer, educator and organizer. Today his play inspired by the Mexican tradition of pastorelas will debut at the museum’s Heckscher Theater. Set in East Harlem, the shepherd in the theater play is replaced by a tour guide, leading a flock of visitors through an entertaining and informative journey through the history and sites of the neighborhood. Some surprises are revealed as the tour winds to a close. The theater play is part of the museum’s Three Kings Day celebration today, which will also include live parrandas with Eddie Alicea y Su Trio de Epoca. Admission is free, but space is limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. The event runs from 3 to 5 p.m. I recently met up with

Taking a stroll in El Barrio

IMG_2890 Originally uploaded by clarisel . El Barrio means... NYC's El Barrio is decorated with signs like this, promoting leaders in the world of arts, politics, culture and other areas. The leaders featured are diverse, but there are several that highlight prominent boricuas. Here's one featuring El Maestro. Take a stroll and check it out.
Featured story PR gov declares fiscal emergency, spending cut Puerto Rico's new governor Luis Fortuno on Thursday declared a fiscal emergency because of the U.S. Caribbean island's darkening budget forecasts and a towering deficit of $3.2 billion. For the complete AP report, go to this link

Join the Puerto Rico Sun social networks

If you are on Facebook, you are invited to join the Puerto Rico Sun group at . Or, join the Puerto Rico Sun social network at or http://www.puertoricosuncom . Stay connected. See you there.

Bosque Susua @ Sabana Grande

Bosque Susua @ Sabana Grande Originally uploaded by Lacaos . Tonight's featured shot from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by Lacaos .

So I was taught -- Poem by Mia Hernandez

So I was taught that my Island is beautiful Rich in culture, its food and music full of life and fire That we have waterfalls, rainforests, mango and platano trees…ah, and the coqui That we are a unique people Proud and strong Full of fight Brave warriors That our island is only 100 miles long and 40 miles wide of…beauty So I was taught I remember running through the dirt roads and backyards of family members as I vacation each and every summer I remember the aroma of Abuelitas cafecito The aroma that would pull me by my nose and drag me into the house For a taste of its richness Mmmmmmmmmmm, café yaucono con leche I remember her yuca, yautia, malanga and bacalao dishes made with love and delicately put together con un poguito de arroz blanco y tocino I remember running free Arms stretched out The sun shining in my face Sitting under a palm tree Swinging in a maca Just free So I thought I was taught That this was mine It was for me Because after all I am a Boricua and this

Flags will be Flown at Half-Staff Friday in honor of Bronx Hero

New York Governor David A. Paterson has directed that flags on State government buildings across New York be flown at half-staff on Friday, January 9, in honor of Bronx resident and United States Marine Lance Corporal Alberto Francesconi, who died January 1, 2009 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Francesconi, a boricua, was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division of the II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp LeJuene, North Carolina. He died while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I wish to extend our condolences to the family, friends, and fellow Marines of Lance Corporal Francesconi,” states Paterson. “Lance Corporal Francesconi’s service to the United State of America will be honored and valued forever.” Paterson has directed the flags on all State buildings to be lowered to half-staff in honor and tribute to our state’s soldiers who are killed in action. source: press release


happiness Originally uploaded by minno. . Today's featured image from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by minno. I like that minno titled this photo "happiness."

The Three Camels

IMG_3042 Originally uploaded by clarisel . The camels made it to the Three Kings Parade in East Harlem after all. Mayor Bloomberg was there too, but I think the camels stole the show. They were my favorite part of the parade. Sorry mayor.

@ the Three Kings Parade in El Barrio

IMG_3005 Originally uploaded by clarisel . For more of my photos of today's Three Kings Parade in East Harlem, go to Click on the Navidad '08-Reyes '09 photo set. Puerto Rico Sun wishes you a Happy Three Kings Day. May the bright star guide you always .

Feliz Dia de Reyes

IMG_2934 Originally uploaded by bajounpalmar . Today's featured shot from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by bajounpalmar .
Navidad Criolla Three Kings Parade in El Barrio is Tomorrow The camels are back! El Museo del Barrio is thrilled to announce that El Barrio community members together with government officials have rallied to save the camels. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will lead Tuesday’s parade together with the Three Kings and some 1,500+ children. This morning, Commissioner Guillermo Linares of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs came to El Museo’s aid by identifying a possible donor, local developer Atlantis Management Group, to help fund the camels. At the same time, local Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito and East Harlem activist Gloria Quinones made a heartfelt appeal to the neighborhood and raised additional funds. Together, these donations mean that the Three Kings will once more march with their camels (and sheep!) through El Barrio. “This is a gift in the true spirit of the Three Kings—the community saw our need and came to our aid,” states Julian Zugazagoitia, director of El Museo del

Latino Sports Remembers Clemente

Marking the anniversary of the death of one of Puerto Rico's giants, Latino Sports in the Bronx recently had an exhibition in honor of Roberto Clemente, the fallen baseball player. December 31 is not only New Year's Eve. It is a day to remember Clemente, who was more than just an athlete. He was a humanitarian who died on his way to help others. On December 31, 1972, Clemente had taken upon himself to direct personally a relief mission to earthquake torn Nicaragua. Bound to Nicaragua, Clemente and four others loaded a small DC-7 plane with food and supplies that never got past the San Juan, Puerto Rico border as the plane almost immediately crashed into 30 feet of water in the Caribbean Sea. During the month of December, Latino Sports on the Grand Concourse celebrated its 2008 21 Days of Clemente exhibit at the clubhouse. Latino Sports is among those involved in the movement to retire of Clemente's 21 from Major League Baseball in tribute to the legacy of Clemente. For

La 116

IMG_2848 Originally uploaded by clarisel . East Harlem, NYC Today's featured photo from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group.

A Barrio Parranda

IMG_2836 Originally uploaded by clarisel . A parranda hits the streets of NYC's El Barrio on Saturday afternoon. Albert Medina and the East River Northern Renewal presented the parranda, which they hope will become an annual tradition. A group of musicians and singers walked the streets of El Barrio and ended up at La Marqueta, which back in its heyday was a thriving marketplace. For more of my photos of the Barrio parranda, visit Click on the Navidad '08-Reyes '09 set .

ring in the new year with music

ring in the new year with music Originally uploaded by davelightseer . Tonight's featured shot from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by davelightseer who states: "In addition to traditional food, Puerto Ricans love to make music during the New Year's celebrations."
Navidad Criolla Hi, if you are in East Harlem, here is an event going on right now. Group is planning to do a parranda at 2:30 p.m. to La Placita de la Marqueta. Click on image for larger text. I will try to go over in a little while to shoot some photos.


IMG_2833 Originally uploaded by clarisel . ON TV -- Luis Fortuño swears in today as Puerto Rico's governor, delivering a message of hope despite the island's economic crisis.

Puerto Rico's New Governor

Luis Fortuño of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party swears in today as Puerto Rico governor. For coverage of today's activities in Puerto Rico, go to or tune into WAPA America. News straight from Puerto Rico.

1 of 365: Happy New Year

IMG_2791 Originally uploaded by clarisel . Hi, for the rest of the year, I plan to take a picture as part of my Clarisel's Photo a Day project. To follow my daily photo journey, visit my flickr group at or go to my Clarisel's Photo Place blog at . By the way, this 2009 calendar is available for purchase at PRSUN's shop at Proceeds help support the Puerto Rico Sun cultural news project. Happy New Year PRSUN readers and supporters.