Monday, November 30, 2009

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Friday, November 20, 2009

WNYC - WNYC News Blog » Puerto Ricans in New York Struggling…Still

WNYC - WNYC News Blog » Puerto Ricans in New York Struggling…Still

Interesting article on Puerto Ricans in New York

Puerto Rican Artisan and Health Fair in the Bronx

Community calendar

The Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture at Hostos Community College will be transformed into a typical Puerto Rican plaza this weekend, with fountains, palm trees, piragua and coquito carts and artists, sculptors, vejigante mask makers and artisans selling traditional wares.

The transformation will take place tomorrow for Comité Noviembre’s fourth annual artisans fair. Over 30 artesanos puertorriqueños from throughout the United States and Puerto Rico will showcase their unique and traditional art at the fair. Musical and cultural acts will entertain throughout the day, and children and adults will have the opportunity to take part in workshops on mask-making, the history of the Three Kings Celebration, and the music of Puerto Rico and the Taíno Indigenous People. This year’s event also features a health fair to educate people about the chronic diseases that have a disparate affect on our community, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

The event is free to the community and will be held at the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, at 450 Grand Concourse, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. It is a great opportunity to kick-start the holiday shopping season and kick off a healthy New Year.

Each year the fair attracts thousands of people from across the New York metro area.

The event’s workshop schedule is as follows:
Artisans Workshops
11AM – Noon
• Taíno Storytelling
• Three Kings Celebration

Noon – 1PM
• Taíno Petroglyph Symbols
• Vegigante Mask Making

1PM – 2PM
• Taino Spirituality

4PM – 5PM
• Historical Overview of Boricua Music

Health Workshops
Workshops hosted by sanofi-aventis US

12Noon – 1PM
• Health & Flavor in the Latino Kitchen

1PM – 2PM
• Power Over Diabetes

2PM – 3PM
• Stay in Touch

The charge of Comité Noviembre is to promote, acknowledge, create awareness and take ownership of our rich culture, language, and history. Comité Noviembre is the collective effort of ten key Puerto Rican organizations: the Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly, ASPIRA of New York, the Association of Hispanic Arts, El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, El Museo del Barrio, Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights– Justice Committee, the National Institute for Latino Policy, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration which plan and coordinate el mes de la herencia puertorriqueña.

source: CN press release

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LLADRÓ Celebrates Puerto Rican Day with launch of Our Lady of Providence

As a photographer, one of my favorite subjects to shoot are religious icons. The Virgin Mary is on top of my list. Our Lady of Providence, the patroness of Puerto Rico, is, of course, one of my favorite images to photograph. Actually, I have introduced several people in New York City to Our Lady of Providence through my photography. One of my most popular photographs is an image I shot of Our Lady of Providence at St. Jerome's Church in the South Bronx, and one of my photos will be published in an upcoming religious book (TBA) and is currently on display at an art exhibit at the Bronx Blue Bedroom Project in the Bronx.
As you could imagine, I was so happy to learn that Lladró will launch a sculpture in her likeness at an event in New York City during Puerto Rican Heritage Month. I hope to be there.

Here's the press release:

Lladró, the world renowned Spanish producer of exquisite porcelain works of art, will launch a sculpture in tribute to the patroness of Puerto Rico, Our Lady of Divine Providence, at its boutique in New York City on November 19. The unveiling coincides with Puerto Rico’s celebration of Discovery Day.

The Spanish company honors Puerto Rican traditions and culture with this faithful depiction of the image of the Virgin with the Christ Child in her lap. Ángeles Lladró, member of the Lladró Board of Directors and daughter of one of the three founding brothers, explains that the company decided to create this sculpture during her last visit to Puerto Rico.

“I was so enthralled by the open nature of its people, very similar to the Spanish character in so many ways, and their appreciation of our brand, that we thought of making a piece to show our gratitude,” she says. “This faithful depiction of the image of Our Lady of Divine Providence is our best way to honor the Puerto Rican culture, tradition and religious devotion. It is a very touching scene, in line with other Lladró maternities, and I loved it right from the beginning.”

With this magnificent porcelain depiction of the Virgin, Lladró not only pays tribute to the people of Puerto Rico, but also celebrates two rich cultures united by the same roots.

Created in glazed porcelain and decorated with Lladró’s traditional spectrum of colors, the piece is noteworthy for its size, 16 1/2" x 7", considerably larger than other Lladró Virgins. The combination of white and blue, the colors symbolizing the purity of the Madonna, with ocher tones, further reinforce the splendor of an image venerated mainly by the order of the Servants of Mary.

The Latin phrase on the porcelain base, "Tu honorificentia populi nostril," or "You are the glory of our people," is taken from Tota Pulchra Es, the 4th century anonymous “canto” that includes texts dedicated to the Virgin from biblical books.

Worship of Our Lady of Divine Providence originated in Italy in the 13th century. It was a very popular devotion that later passed to Spain, where a shrine was built in her honor in Tarragona, Catalonia. When Gil Esteve Tomas, a Catalan priest, was appointed bishop of Puerto Rico in the mid 19th century, he brought this devotion with him to the island. In a decree signed in 1969, Pope Paul VI declared Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence as the patroness of the island of Puerto Rico.
During the reception, the sculptor of the piece, don Nacho Aliena, will demonstrate the techniques that he employs in executing his work. He will be available to answer questions about the design of the Virgin of Divine Providence.

The suggested retail price is $1,500. Lladró will donate 10% of all sales during the New York City celebration to the Puerto Rican Family Institute (PRFI), a non-profit organization responding to the needs of the growing Latino population both on the U.S mainland and in Puerto Rico since 1960.

“We are so proud to join with Lladró in launching this Virgin,” says María Elena Girone, President and CEO of the PRFI. “The Virgin not only symbolizes devotion and faith in Puerto Rico, but also reminds us of our mission to help the needy, the essence of our organization.”

About Lladró
Lladró was established by the brothers Juan, José and Vicente Lladró in 1953, and has a presence in more than 120 countries. Lladró has proprietary shops in the most important commercial centers in the world: London, New York, Beverly Hills, Singapore, Hong Kong, Moscow, Tokyo, Miami, Las Vegas, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, where the company is headquartered. For further information on Lladró visit

About the Puerto Rican Family Institute
The Puerto Rican Family Institute, Inc. (PRFI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the functioning and self-sufficiency of diverse marginalized communities, and to prevent the disintegration of families. It is a humanitarian services agency that promotes programs dealing with families, provides cultural services to children, youth, adults and families, and that respects all races, cultures and personal identities. The identify and community of each individual, independently of how they define themselves, serve as the foundation for the cultural services offered by the Institute. The principal services include psychological care, preventive care, education, mental health, care for AIDS sufferers, case management programs, home care, crisis intervention, and Head Start. PRFI operates about 48 programs throughout New York, Jersey City, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

(NOTE: I was having problems with Blogger and hope to upload the image of the sculpture soon.)

source: CapitalWirePR press release

To view some of my photos, visit my "Our Lady" photo set at

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The 2010 Census and Puerto Ricans

Community calendar

Research Seminar
The 2010 Census and Puerto Ricans: Statistical Policy Issues and Politics
Presenter: Angelo Falcon, President, National Institute for Latino Policy
Refreshments will be served
6 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 12
Centro Conference Room 1437 East Bldg. at Hunter College in Manhattan
For more information,

Monday, November 09, 2009

PRSUN Radio chats with Comite Noviembre's Teresa Santiago

PRSUN Radio puts a spotlight on Comite Noviembre, an organization that celebrates a host of activities in New York City for Puerto Rican Heritage Month. I chat with CN's Teresa Santiago tomorrow at

November is Puerto Rican Heritage Month in NYC and a key woman behind many of the cultural, civic and artistic celebrations going on is Teresa Santiago. For more information about the nonprofit Comite Noviembre, go to

To listen live, the interview is at 9 p.m. tomorrow. After it airs, the show will be archived and available online.

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UPDATE: Listen to my interview with Teresa Santiago at

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Puerto Rican-related opportunites at Centro

Centro - Request for Proposals

Submission Deadlines: November 15th - for Spring semester

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) seeks proposals for cultural and educational activities that contribute to the study and interpretation of the Puerto Rican experience in the United States. Proposals must address Centro's core mission of advancing knowledge about the Puerto Rican experience in the United States.


Request for Historical Preservation & Research Partnership Proposals
Application deadline for Spring 2010 Grants: Nov. 18, 2009
Application deadline for 2010-11 Grants: Jul. 1, 2010

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) seeks partners to collect archival material, conduct research and disseminate knowledge about the history of Puerto Rican communities and individuals in the United States. Centro will provide limited funding on competitive bases to awardees for initiating projects for the development and collection of data and for the analysis of existing or new archival materials

Source: Centro

NOTE: Please make sure to let Centro know you learned about this opportunity in Puerto Rico Sun. Support independent community media.