Showing posts with label puertorico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label puertorico. Show all posts

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Puerto Rico Casita in the Bronx

The casita at St. Ann's Avenue 
(photo by Clarisel Gonzalez/exhibited at the Capturing the Bronx group show by the Bronx Photographers Collaborative at Metropolitan College (spring/summer 2017); Amalgamated's Vladeck Hall, fall 2017; and Poe Park Visitors Center, summer 2018 )

Thursday, October 12, 2017

PRSUN Mascot: Sol

My baby orange and white girl and PRSUN mascot, Sol, is a rescue from Puerto Rico. She was part of a colony of cats and a survivor of the streets of San Juan. She is my beautiful 14-year-old feisty girl. Thinking of the many homeless cats, dogs and other animals struggling for food and shelter on the island now more than ever.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Ways to help the People of PR Now

#prsun is in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Updates on what you can do to help are being made on our PRSUN group Facebook page at

Thursday, March 19, 2015

NPRChamber Releases Report on Puerto Rico's Economy

The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce (NPRChamber) today released its report on Puerto Rico’s economy, which discusses its currently distressed economic status, as well as some of the historical factors that have led to its current state.

Entitled “Puerto Rico’s Economy: A brief history of reforms from the 1980s to today and policy recommendations for the future,” the report further describes some of the structural reforms that have taken place over the last several decades, and concludes with a discussion of policy alternatives that should be considered for the present economy and into the future.

“Over the last decade, Puerto Rico has undergone a number of policy shifts that have impacted its economy. But these changes have been but a brief moment in the context of what really led to Puerto Rico’s current economy,” said Executive Director Justin Vélez-Hagan. “Only through hindsight can we begin to understand what has led to the economic environment of Puerto Rico today, and what changes might be better suited to long-term prosperity.”

Puerto Rico’s economy has been stagnating or contracting for nearly a decade, while unemployment remains more than double that of the rest of the U.S., leading to migration from the island at a rate higher than in any state in the country.

In addition, total debt has reached levels that many critics and economists now consider to be unsustainable, leading its legislators to recently ask the Federal Government for bankruptcy protections not currently afforded the municipality, as well as to push for Congressional action to permanently change Puerto Rico’s status from that of an American territory, objectives that will have nationwide ramifications.

Here is a link to the full report:

source: NPRChamber release

Friday, March 09, 2012

Saborea Puerto Rico 2012 Highlights Our Cuisine to the World

With dancers moving to salsa music on a colorful set reminiscent of Old San Juan, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company showcased the island's many tourist attractions at the recent New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.  

But they were also there to market Puerto Rico's traditional, diverse and exciting cooking scene, which they say is the best and most important culinary destination in the Caribbean. Gearing up for its fifth anniversary, they told attendees about Saborea Puerto Rico, a festival that will feature new and exciting activities highlighting Puerto Rico's culinary scene. The 2012 edition of this annual event, organized by the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association (PRHTA), will be April 21st and 22nd at Escambrón Beach in San Juan, PR. 

Chef Giovanna Huyke, who is known for her educational cooking TV shows on the island and is now the executive chef at Mio Restaurant in Washington, D.C., was at the travel show talking and demonstrating Puerto Rican cuisine to people from many different parts of the world. A goal, she said, is to elevate the perception of Puerto Rican foods in the culinary landscape, and Saborea Puerto Rico is helping to do that by highlighting chefs from Puerto Rico to a local and international audience.

Puerto Rican food, Huyke said, is also worth sharing with a worldwide audience because it is delicious with a lot of flavor, and it is not spicy. It can be healthy too, depending on how you cook and serve it, she said. "Not everything needs to be fried," she said, adding that many people have the misconception that Puerto Rican food is not healthy. Many Puerto Rican meals are based on vegetables.

In addition, she said, Puerto Rican food is very much influenced by the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Puerto Rican people. Fusion has always and continues to very much be a part of Puerto Rican cuisine.
"Puerto Rican food is evolving, and we are working to making Puerto Rican cuisine go to the next step," she said. "There's more openness, and there is a movement to raise awareness."

While chefs "are going beyond the traditional," Huyke said sofrito continues to be used as the base in many Puerto Rican dishes whether they are traditional or have a new twist. 

Chefs always play a pivotal role in Saborea, and this year will be no different. Students from local culinary schools and universities will have the opportunity to show off their skills, styles and creativity at The Next Culinary Wave. There’s also the always-popular Tasting Pavilion, where Puerto Rico’s best restaurants offer some of their finest creations to the public. And through the demo kitchens, top local and international culinary personalities will reveal their secrets and interact with fans. The 2012 chef’s roster already reads like a “who’s who” of dream gastronomic experts from the U.S., the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. 

After-hours events will also play a big part of this year’s gastronomic fest. On Friday, April 20th, the opening reception, A Privileged Taste of Saborea, will feature 19 renowned chefs hosting individual 12-14 person tables and preparing unforgettable dinners expertly paired with wine. And on April 21st, the “Sabor Puertorriqueño” sunset beach party will bring together local flavors, live music and varied entertainment with tapas-style fare in a casual ambiance. 

This year's Saborea Puerto Rico also brings a wealth of new, flavorful events such as the Libations Station, which will offer tastings of local and international beers and spirits. Guest vintners from Napa Valley will regale visitors with tastings of that region’s best and favorite harvests, while local treats and homegrown coffees will be the main event at Sweets & Brews. There will also be an area dubbed “Mercado Boricua” for local vendors to present both agricultural and artisanal products. 

“These additions have been designed to enhance Saborea’s local and international flavors while providing visitors with even more variety,” said PRHTA President & CEO Clarisa Jiménez. “Like the world of flavors it explores each year, Saborea Puerto Rico will continue to adapt to welcome new trends and ideas in the culinary landscape.”

Despite trends and new ideas, one of the most popular dishes among the tourists is mofongo even though chefs are making it in different ways, she said with a smile. 

"We really want to put an emphasis on the food," Jimenez said. "We really want to showcase Puerto Rico's cuisine and our competitive advantages.

"We want people to come and see the warmth of the people of Puerto Rico, the wonderful places to visit on the island and enjoy our wonderful food," she said. "They will have an unforgettable experience. Saborea Puerto Rico is a way to help people finally understand the richness of Puerto Rican cuisine."

For more information, visit

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Iguanas belong ‘au naturel,’ even in Puerto Rico

By Luis Chaluisan

Iguanas: they’re not common pets in New Jersey, thank the power, even though people occasionally decide this exotic (as in non-native) animal would make a great pet. It’s not so. Iguanas belong in their native habitat, where they have the company of other iguanas, the right temperature and food, and the chance to be an iguana “au naturel.”

Caribbean tourist attraction
During a recent vacation in the Caribbean, I saw lots of iguanas, which made it easy for me to continue to be fascinated by them – their myriad colors, especially the bright green of young ones; their long ring-tails; their front feet, especially, with long, curving finger-like appendages; their casual ability to “go out on a limb,” seeking a flower or a tender green leaf at the end of a branch that looks incapable of holding them.
And, these kids can travel too! If they need to get away, they can do it. They’re not graceful, but they’re fast.
Far from eating red hibiscus flowers in St. Thomas was the iguana I met years ago in Ewing, NJ. That poor guy lived alone in a glass tank in a store. What a life: a caged curiosity shoppers could look at. Weekends when the store was closed had to be worst for that iguana – not even any gawkers.
Here are a few “fun facts” about iguanas from information I’ve accumulated over years of watching them. 
  • In the Family Iguanidae, they’re a kind of lizard, and lizards are reptiles. Lizards have what their snake relatives lack: ears, eyelids, four legs. Their lizard tongues serve as both organs of taste and odor detection.
  • Tropical, omnivorous, arboreal, quiet and diurnal (daylight creatures; inactive in dark), iguanas can weigh 25-30 pounds and grow to six feet or more – mostly tail. They have pointy scales along their back and males have dewlap. Life span: about 20 years.
  • Iguanas may forage and bask in groups. They love to bathe, swimming like snakes with legs against their bodies. To elude enemies, they can stay under water for about 30 minutes.
Puerto Rico’s plan
Just before coming home, I was disturbed to see a sad story in the Virgin Islands Daily News about iguanas. The government of Puerto Rico plans to capture and kill them, then sell their meat. Reason(s): iguanas are not native to that island (even thought elsewhere in the Caribbean, they’re a protected species); they outnumber the human population . . . and (believe it or not) the bad economy makes the idea appealing.
So now Puerto Rico’s looking for a company to “process” iguanas that would be hunted or trapped and kept alive for the slaughtering process. As I see it, PR aims to treat iguanas the way “food animals” are treated here in the US and everywhere else factory farming takes place. Horrible.
Then again, I’m not too surprised. Only a few years ago, Puerto Rico earned notoriety for killing hundreds of pets – cats and dogs – in the most barbaric way.
Now the island is “moving right along” with iguanas, apparently no more enlightened, or compassionate, than before.

Luis Chaluisan is a contributing writer to PRSUN. He is the editor in chief of

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


If you are an artist, business or corporation interested in Comité Noviembre's Third Annual Puerto Rican Artisans Exhibition and Fair in New York City in November for Puerto Rican Heritage Month, go to for more information.

PRSUN plans to be there.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New: PRSUN Video

Puerto Rico Sun's newest project is PRSUN Video at flickr. Like the Puerto Rico Sun photo group at flickr, there is now a video group too showcasing short videos about Puerto Rico or Puerto Rican-related themes.

Today's featured video is by Luis Munoz. It is a true beauty of Old San Juan. Luis did a nice job.

To check out the PRSUN Video, go to

The demise of newspapers is not overrated

Featured Commentary

Late last year Entrepreneur magazine predicted that newspapers would be extinct within ten years. While this might be something you can't really see when you consider the Darth Vader-like death grip El Nuevo Dia has on the market here, elsewhere, however, this prediction is advancing quite nicely, thank you very much.

The last two months have seen a bloodbath at some of America's largest newspaper publishers, with substantial job cuts hitting a number of papers, including a high proportion of newsroom positions. The layoffs have visited McClatchy, Media General, the Tribune Co., the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, among others.

For those of you keeping score at home, here are how the layoffs stacked up:

Media General got things started in late May with its announcement that it would cut 810 positions across its properties in the southeast. As part of the reductions, the Tampa Tribune (along with its sister broadcast station WFLA-Channel 8) lost about 110 positions, or about 8% of the total 1,326, including at least 50 in the newsroom. Why for such drastic action? Media General's total revenues fell 10% in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2007, to $204.8 million.

The Washington Post cut 100 newsroom positions--or about 12% of the total 800--through a combination of voluntary buyouts and attrition. This followed two earlier rounds of buyouts in 2003 and 2006.

Gannett has also cut hundreds of positions since May, including 50 at USA Today, 55 layoffs at four newspapers in New Jersey, 150 buyouts at the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News (about 7.5% of the total 2,000) and an unspecified number of graphic design positions company-wide. This week Gannett announced that total revenues tumbled 9.9% in the second quarter of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007, to $1.72 billion, with President and CEO Craig Dubow admitting that "the weakening economy had a dramatic impact on our results."

In mid-June McClatchy announced that it was cutting 1,400 jobs, or about 10% of its work force--the single biggest cut in the mid-summer purge (so far). McClatchy's restructuring plan follows an earlier reduction of 13%--or around 2,000 employees--from 2006-2008. The company will have shed over 20% of its workforce in three years, when the second round of cuts is complete.

The Tribune Co. is hitting all its big properties. The Chicago Tribune is cutting 80 newsroom positions, or about 14% of the total 578, and an unspecified number of jobs in other divisions like ad sales and production. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times is cutting 250, including 150 positions in the newsroom, or about 17% of the total. The Baltimore Sun is cutting 100 positions across its various divisions. Several of Tribune's smaller papers were hit especially hard: the Hartford Courant is losing 57 and the Orlando Sentinel 50 from its newsroom.

I think you get the idea here. But guess what? That's not the end of it. There were cuts announced at the Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Tribune, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the Palm Beach Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Wall Street, the Boston Herald, and the New York Times.


While I think that, like most other business trends and technologies, it's going to take some time before we start to see this at El Nuevo Dia, I think that it's coming. I've been noticing that the Dia has been on a bit of a diet lately. Many times throughout the week, the number of pages printed seem to be less and less. This is not a good sign for them. Between the lost revenue in their classified department, and now the shrinking paper, I bet they are in the red and losing blood quickly. While their sister paper Primera Hora has already let some people go, I've yet to see any from the Dia, but I'm guessing it's only a matter of time.

The demise of newspapers is a little alarming when you consider that we now have less journalists covering the news. Maybe it's retribution for the shitty job they've down covering the Bush administration and the Iraq conflict, but remember, less is always less. So less journalists means that there are fewer chances now that someone will have the balls to write the things that need to be written.

Help us Obi-Wan Blogobi, you're our only hope

While we may be less professionally prepared, the blogging community is quickly becoming our last hope. By separating the economic incentive from the desire to communicate the news (or at least from a bloggers limited perspective and reach), we can easily see a complete transformation of the news industry in progress. I see some real similarities between what is happening with news generation and what happened with Open Source Software and the rise of a community of developers motivated by scratching their own itch rather than a paycheck. Of course the dis-similarities make the two industries unique enough to demand much more research and analysis to better understand what new business models might be possible; business models that can potentially save the journalism industry.

Journalism, as pointed out by Al Gore in his new book "An End of Reason," is a critical piece of the democratic process. Without a well-informed citizenry, special interests will have it easy when they want to manipulate the remaining news mediums to their benefit. This my friends, is a very dangerous path we are on. In order for our democracy to have any chance of surviving we must find a way to keep its citizens informed. The Internet seems like that way. If that seems to be the simple answer, (for now), then we should begin to transform our news consumption habits. While you may not think of Dondequiera as a news source, I'd ask why not? Did you know that I studied journalism in a previous life and almost decided to work in that profession? Did you know that I've been blogging (writing) for 7 years now? What makes Dondequiera any different than El Nuevo Dia? Sure they have more reach and can cover more topics, but we are talking about quantity, not quality here.

I think that everyone should start to examine how they are incorporating blogs and other amateur news mediums into their lives and start to give them the support necessary to keep them around. Whether that is supporting the businesses behind those mediums (i.e., buying their products), making donations, telling your friends to subscribe to their RSS feeds, or beginning the two way conversation so essential to an informed citizenry; they need our help. The more choices we have when it comes to our sources for news, the better; let's all work together to grow as many as possible. -- Mc Don Dees of Donde Quiera

This commentary by Mc Don Dees was originally published in the Donde Quiera blog on July 19. Visit the blog at

Monday, July 21, 2008

.Flamboyán flowers.

Today's featured image from the Puerto Rico Sun photo group is by Mi nombre no es cLaRa bOw.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Father's quest for honor: a hero's journey

You know how we love to see movies or read books about people that inspire us? It's like when you see a movie about someone who struggles against all odds and even though they get hurt (physically or emotionally) they keep going. In the end they might not get exactly what they were shooting for, that is unless you are the director of the movie, and your goal was to move the viewer emotionally and reinforce in them that there is always hope.

Who hasn't seen those movies? But have you ever had a friend who was like that? Someone that no matter what they do, they always seem to see beyond what you or I can perceive and divine out a larger truth that, when revealed, inspires us, makes us ask more of ourselves? Well I have one, his name is Francisco Martinez, or Paco for short.

Briefly, I met Paco 13 years ago when we met at my first job in Puerto Rico. He later worked for me as I moved my way up in the company. In many ways, we were kindred spirits from the start as we were both veterans and as such, shared many beliefs instilled in us from our military service. But further than that, he was also someone who was always trying to better himself. He was never willing to rest upon his success, plus he was one of the few people I've ever met that loved computers more than me, which is saying a lot.

As we each went through many different challenges in our individual lives, he always remained a loyal friend. However, nothing could have prepared us for the life shattering loss of his son (Francisco G. Martinez, Pauito) to a sniper in Iraq. On March 20th, 2003 Paco's life descended into hell as the news of his son's death came knocking on his door.

As the war in Iraq raged on, so did the war within Paco's soul. When the news of Abu Ghraib broke across our television screens a transformation began within him. A staircase began to emerge that would lead him out of hell. As he followed his escape from hell, he discovered a way to transform his pain into service. He finally realized that in order to honor the sacrifice his son had made he must also follow him. So at 43 years of age, he re-enlisted into the Ari Force Reserves and began once again to serve his country.

Yesterday, Paco took yet another transformational step in his life and his story when he began a six month deployment to Iraq. Something quite interesting about this story is how available it is through Paco's blog, starting with the initial announcement of his son's death, up until the most recent announcement of his deployment to Iraq, all of it is online and available for you to experience. If you want to learn about duty, if you want to learn about service, if you want to see how far some people are willing to go to do what they think is right, I encourage you to follow Paco's story.

I hope you'll join with me to honor Paco's son, and to also wish Paco a safe and quick return from Iraq. You're also invited to follow along with his tour in Iraq because to the best of his abilities he has promised to share with everyone his experience through his blog. ¡Vaya Con Dios Paco! -- Kevin Shockey

This article by Kevin Shockey was originally published on July 14 in Donde Quiera. Check out this blog from Puerto Rico at Photos courtesy of Donde Quiera.

Here's a link to Paco's Blog:
Featured story

Green collar jobs in Puerto Rico: A well kept secret or are people simply misinformed

Although “green collar jobs” have existed in Puerto Rico for over ten years many people don’t know what the job title means and don’t realize that the existing jobs on the island could possibly become the industry of the future.

“Green Collar Jobs” have been around for a while, quietly tucked in Puerto Rican businesses, municipalities and non-profit sectors. The fact is that most Puerto Ricans, even those that are “green collar workers,” are unaware that they are in fact “green collar employees.”

To read the complete article, go to

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On Latino Policy

The National Institute for Latino Policy recently provided some interesting information on Puerto Ricans stateside and how the stateside population continues to outnumber those living on the island.

Here's an excerpt of an entry from the Institute July 14 bi-monthly newsletter, edited by Angelo Falcon:

Puerto Rican Population Stateside
Continues to Exceed that of Puerto Rico

In 2004, the Atlas of Stateside Puerto Ricans documented for the first time the stateside Puerto Rican population exceeded that of Puerto Rico in 2003 by 163,246. The latest statistics from the Census Bureau, from the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS), estimates that this gap has grown: in 2006 there were 3,987,947 Puerto Ricans living stateside compared to 3,745,007 in Puerto Rico, meaning that there are 242,940 more Puerto Ricans stateside than in Puerto Rico. Does this development have implications for the politics and policy issues of the Puerto Rican community as a whole?

Interesting question. What do PRSUN readers think?

Anyway, if you are interested in Puerto Rican and Latino policy issues, the Institute's bi-monthly e-newsletter is a wonderful resource. It regularly features items related to Puerto Ricans.

Go to to subscribe.

By the way, the National Institute for Latino Policy was formerly known as the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy. It changed its name as a way of better representing policy issues impacting Latinos.

The National Institute for Latino Policy is a independent nonprofit and nonpartisan policy center established in 1982 to address Latino issues.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Esperen, muchachos!

Esperen, muchachos!
Originally uploaded by Jorge Rodriguez.
From the Puerto Rico Sun photo group, today's featured image is by Jorge Rodriguez.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lee y Sueña Tour de Lectura

In the First Person

When I first came to Puerto Rico, one of the first things I tried to find were the libraries. The first one I found was when I moved to Caguas when I discovered the location of the Caguas Municipal Library by accident. At the time the only book stores of any merit were Thekes in Plaza Las Americas and Bell , Book, and Candle. As someone who has spent most of his life with his nose in a book, this was, uhh, a big shock. I remember wondering to myself, how does everyone find a good book to read, or where can they find research materials to read for a project?

I know know the truth of the situation. The reason why there aren't really any good public libraries (well which really isn't true there is the Bucapla Library and the Manati Library), the real reason is that the majority of the populace doesn't read anything deeper than the El Nuevo Dia, which is quickly being replaced by the photo-heavy Primera Hora.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who believes that this might be the root cause of a lot of the challenges we face on the island. So when I heard about the First Lady's program to reinforce reading to children, "Lee y Sueña", I was impressed and pleased.

The Read and Dream Program is an initiative of the Office of the First Lady. It is attached to the Department of Family and is developed by ASPIRA, Inc. de Puerto Rico. It was created in 2006 with the aim to provide parents and caregivers the tools needed to develop the habit of reading to their children every day.

This weekend and next "El tour de lectura" will make stops in the Jardin Botanico de Rio Piedras and the Parque Luis Muñoz Rivera. This Saturday, July 12th, at the Botanical Gardens, celebrities such as Elwood Cruz, Jessica Cristina, and Karen Cintrón will lead families in the reading of entertaining stories. In addition there will be marionettes and theatrical shows.

Then next weekend, Sunday July 20th, at the Bosquecito in the Luis Muñoz Marin Park, the tour will make another stop. The same activities are planned. Both activities are scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and last until 4 p.m.

For more information call (888) 359-7777 or visit the programs website at -- MC DON DEES

This article by MC DON DEES was originally published in Donde Quiera at Visit this blog.
Featured story

Puerto Rico, The 51st State in the Union?
Closer to Washington, by its own choice

With 4 million Puerto Ricans on the island, and another 4 million in the United States, Puerto Rico is experiencing an unusual situation that many wish to change. Supporters of statehood and those affiliated with the Commonwealth are beginning to see a new tendency, which, while not exactly pushing for independence, leans toward Washington.
To read the full report by Javier del Rey Morató, go to the Safe Democracy Foundation site at

Thursday, July 10, 2008

La Perla

La Perla
Originally uploaded by #(J).
From the Puerto Rico Sun photo group, this La Perla shot is by #(J).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Puerto Rican Music Roots & Beyond Project

From left, Leticia Rodriguez, executive director of La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc., and Hector Ortega, a class participant, at a July 6 event in NYC's East Harlem that focused on Puerto Rican roots music.

La Casa as well as El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College is working with William Cepeda, a renowned composer, trombonist, educator, producer and artist, on a project titled “Puerto Rican Music Roots and Beyond.” The New York State Music fund and the National Endowment for the Arts is helping to fund the project.
The goal is to promote Puerto Rico’s musical heritage to a wide audience throughout New York State, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere. The project will document four genres (Bomba, Plena, Danza, and Musica Jibara) by recording the concerts and other project activities to be used in the creation of DVDs and CDs for educational and commercial release. La Casa is located at 1230 Fifth Avenue, Suite 458. It is a nonprofit, cultural and educational institution. For more information, visit Ismael Nuñez

(photo by Ismael Nuñez)

Monday, July 07, 2008


Originally uploaded by chente922.
Featured photo

From the Puerto Rico Sun photo group pool, image by chente922

"Some retired gentlemen playing domino at the Plaza del Mercado in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. It's really interesting how well they are at this game, analyzing every move since the beginning." -- Chente922