Puerto Rico House for Sale - $80K US

Purchase your piece of paradise in Palmas Baja on Puerto Rico's south side. It was my parent's retirement home and can be yours for only $80,000 (US).

The tropical home has 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a living room, dining room and kitchen, and a bonus room.

Also featured is a water tank, carport, shed, gated driveway, porch and lush tropical plants.

On a quiet dead end street w/mountain views, the home is near the Guamani River, routes 179 and 15, and just 1 mile North of Guayama's famous Plaza Cristóbal Colón, Bellas Arte and Casa Cautiño Museum.

Situated close to everything, it's just minutes to Route 52 (Ponce to San Juan), coastal Route 3 and aqua green Caribbean beaches (Arroyo, Patillas, Salinas). For example, EL Legado Golf Resort 3 mi, Jobos Bay Reserve 5mi, Port of Arroyo 5mi, Lake Carite 8mi, Lake Patillas 10mi, Guavate Forest 15mi, Cayey 12mi, Carite Forest Reserve-Blue Water Pool 20mi, Ponce 38mi, City of Humacao 35mi, Tibes 'Taino' Ceremonial Center 40 mi, San Juan 50mi, El Yunque Rainforest 53mi, Fajardo 58mi (and the ferry to Vieques and Culebra), La Parguera EcoTourism Center 60 mi.

Offered at $80,000 (U.S.)

Gerry Vazquez

About Guayama:
Bewitched In Guayama (by J.A. del Rosario, Puerto Rico Herald - 3.19.04)
Guayama, Puerto Rico Metropolitan Area (a listing of local camping, hiking, backpacking, lakes and beaches by Hikercentral.com)
Casa Cautiño Museum
Interamerican University - Guayama Campus"
Centro de Bellas Artes
Plaza Cristóbal Colón


Philly's Joaquin Rivera - R.I.P.

"Saludos Familia:

It is with great sadness and personal loss that I announce the death of un gran companero de lucha por los derechos de los puertorriquenos en EEUU/a great loss of a brother in the struggle of PRs civil rights Joaquin Rivera. He passed away from a heart attack in Philadelphia.

Joaquin was a resident of Philadelphia since 1965 and from a very early age he played guitar. He was a member of the Philadelphia Young Lords, the Puerto Rican Alliance and founding member of the National Congress for PR Rights (NCPRR). He was also the founder and leader of Los Pleneros del Batey, a group that performed around the country and at all NCPRR Convention including in Philadelphia last month. In addition, Joaquin was a counselor at Olney HS where he also was the faculty advisor to the Aspira Club for decades.

The PR community has lost a tremendous cultural worker but his legacy will live on. Pray for him and his famly".

With a heavy heart,
Victor Vazquez

Philadelphia Folklore Project: Joaquin Rivera (1946 - December 6, 2009)
Philly.com: Joaquin Rivera, 63; music was his life


Do American Indians Look "Hispanic" or Do "Hispanics" Look American Indian?


- There is a problem in the U.S. with the label Hispanic.
- The problem is people are redefining the term.
- The correct term for the label Hispanic; refers to those peoples of origin of Southern Europe. [Hispania]
- Here are some facts that can help you understand.
Hispanic is a term that goes back to the time of Romans [The true Latinos].
- Hispanic is someone of, from, or pertaining to the historical region of Hispania.
- Hispania is the name that Romans used to call the southern part of Europe, what is now "modern" Spain.
- From Hispania you get España.
- The Romans used the term Hispanus in Latin to refer those from Hispania (Spain).
- Hispanus is Latin for the Castilian (Spanish) word Hispano.
- In todays days now the term has changed and people are misusing this label, specially the U.S. Who considers "Hispanic " anyone who lives in the United States of "Latin America" Origin and can be of any Race, Black/African descent, White/Caucasian, Asian and/or Amerindian/Native American.
- The term of Hispanic in the United States is obviously wrong and Idiotic.


The Sugar Cane Aguador "The Waterboy" -- Puerto Rico Circa 1944

Click the title link to see the full 116 photo "La Plata, Oct. 1944-Aug. 1947" collection by Dr. H. Clair Amstutz, a Mennonite medical missionary. These photos put images -- and in color -- to the stories told by our parents and grandparents.


Frank Espada: The Puerto Rican Diaspora

“Frank [Espada]’s work is profoundly humanistic. Stereotypes about Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans are so deeply embedded in mainstream U.S. culture that even some Puerto Ricans have started to believe them. Frank’s images dispel all that. He does it in a dignified way, yet without becoming sentimental or romantic.” [Pablo] Delano, Trinity College, Hartford

Photo: Paloma, Hartford, 1980
Source: The Puerto Rican Diaspora by Frank Espada


Puerto Rico in the '40s

This lovely photo montage captures what my parents shared w/me and my siblings through stories, song and traditions about life on the island in the '40s. It's quite emotional for those of us of the Great Migration.

Also, I suspect many of our fellow Latino migrants--especially today's abused immigrant workers--can relate as well.


Puerto Rico on the Edge

Even the harshest Republican governors on the US mainland aren't pushing for the mass firing of govt workers, but the one in Puerto Rico is. Gov Luis Fortuño has already fired 20,000 govt workers, including 7300 school teachers, and plans to fire another 10,000. This is on top of an island economy that leads the nation in unemployment and that shed 41,000 private sector jobs in the past year alone.

PR's unemployment rate now stands 17.5% -- again, by far the highest in the US and 2nd only to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. Oh, and the PR rate doesn't account for the under-employed nor for those who have given up hope of employment.

It's likely that 50- 60-70% of the island's workers are NOT gainfully employed—and prospects for such are exceedingly slim given the government’s boneheaded policies.

It's under this scenario that Fortuño's reckless firings, combined w/a military-style crackdown on protestors that's pushing PR over the edge. Though his response is not new...making life so miserable for workers that they migrate to the mainland is a well honed govt. strategy. Seriously, it's the classic San Juan approach to solving labor and economic challenges.

Watch tomorrow's island-wide strike. PR's future may very well depend on what the workers and the govt choose to do.

Fiesta Latina at the White House on PBS - 10/15/09 at 8PM (EST)


THE BORINQUENEERS -- Winners of the 2009 Orlando Hispanic Film Festival Audience Award

Producers of THE BORINQUENEERS today announced that their film has won the 2009 Orlando Hispanic Film Festival Audience Award.

“Your film contributed to our great success and was well received by the media, sponsors and patrons of the Festival.” Orlando Hispanic Film Festival
Very nice.

Special thanks went to 65th veterans: SFC German Bravo (Ret.) and Raul Reyes Castañeira (both participated in the program), CSM Jose Amalbert (Ret.), Andres Medina and Igrail Morales; Carlos Guffain (65th vet LTC Tomas Guffain’s son), and the Orlando chapter of the Borinqueneers Motorcycle Club.


Mercedes Sosa, R.I.P.

Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa, the "voice of Latin America" whose music inspired opponents of South America's brutal military regimes and led to her forced exile in Europe, died today. She was 74.

Watch the video for a glimpse into what made 'La Negra' beloved by the people and hated by the powerful.

Calló la voz y la vida de Mercedes Sosa - http://bit.ly/LaNegra
Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa dies aged 74 - http://bit.ly/LaNegra2
Mercedes Sosa - wikipedia

Who is Latino? The Flores Test

Who is Latino? is a question on the minds of many.

Here's one way of figuring whether you are or are not Latino:

Watch 'Emigrante Latino' by the Salvadorean group 'Los Hermanos Flores', and if you're not deeply moved by the music, images and the words, you're NOT Latino.

If you have Latin American family heritage--in whole or in part--and you feel deep empathy, a connection, to the people in the song, then you ARE Latino.

Are you Latino?


Justice Sotomayor Throws 1st Pitch at Yankee Stadium

Hispanic Heritage Month: Watching Latino Politics Disappear

Randy Shaw notes (Hispanic Heritage Month: Watching Latino Politics Disappear, BeyondChron - 9/28/09) the "brown out" of wise Latino@ views from media and national policy discussions.

For all of the justifiable excitement over Sotomayor’s appointment, recall how the Republicans’ main line of attack was her often-repeated comment that she brought to the bench the perspective of a “wise Latina woman.” Both the White House and the nominee herself had to backtrack from this statement, as it raised the troubling notion — for the white-dominated media world — that Latinos may bring a set of experiences and perspectives otherwise lacking.

How can a traditional media that itself excludes Latinos, and that limits its signature political talk shows to white men, countenance a claim that a Latina has special insights about public policies?

Sotomayor’s comment hit a bit too close to home, which is why the media harped on it repeatedly, eventually forcing her to recant.

Such is the state of affairs as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in 2009.
Randy Shaw is the author of Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century.


Governor Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico Flees Egg Attack

This man is being roughed by the bejeweled police officer for throwing an egg at Puerto Rico's rookie governor Luis Fortuño...who abruptly ended his press conference and scurried to safety.

But who should be the one arrested?

The egg thrower losing his job? Or the Republican governor who has fired 17,000 government employees (including class teachers) in the midst of Puerto Rico's worst recession/depression in recent memory?

In't Fortuño and his coddled class the real criminals here?

Clearly the ambitious Fortuño -- who snagged a primetime speaking slot in last year's national McCain-Palin convention -- is thinking ahead to a possible high level appointment in a future GOP presidency. Being tough on the people is clearly a requirement for high office as a Republican, right?

Meanwhile, Luis Raúl Torres, member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives from the opposing Popular Democratic Party, has introduced an amendament to the Puerto Rican constitution allowing a recall election. A website poll shows 68% of respondents support the measure.

So while Fortuño's move may not be as crazy as it might appear to the rest of us, still firing people in this environment is beyond cruel even for a Republican.

However, it does prove that a lapdog Republican in the governor's mansion in San Juan, during a national recession, in a country led by the man you wanted defeated, is not good for island Borikuas.

Link: Posibles cargos contra manifestante


Latino/a Authors

Author JoAnn Hernandez (White Bread Competition, The Throwaway Piece) is owner of BronzeWord, a website packed with helpful information, links and resources for Latino writers.

A resource for the rest of us is a list of published Latino/a writers, including links to authors websites. Now there's no excuse for not purchasing books by U.S. Latin@ authors.

The Authors
A.E. Roman
Aaron A. Abeyta
Aaron Michael Morales
Abelardo Lalo Delgado
Ada Limon
Adriana Lopez
Alberto Rios
Aldo Alvarez
Alex Espinoza
Alfredo Vea
Alicia Gaspar de Alba
Alisa Valdes Rodriguez
Alma Flor Ada
Alma Luz Villanueva
Americo Paredes
Ana Castillo
Andres Resendez
Angel Vigil
Anisa Onofre
Ann Hagman Cardinal
Aracelis Girmay
Barbara Renaud Gonzalez
Belinda Acosta
Benjamin Alire Saenz
Berta Platas
Blas Manuel De Luna
C.M. Mayo
California Poet
Caridad Pineiro
Caridad Ferrer
Carmen Agra Deedy
Carmen Lomas Garza
Carmen Tafolla
Carmen U. Bernier Grand
Cevile Pineda
Charley Trujillo
Cherrie Moraga
Christine Granados
Cindy Holby
Coe Booth
Cristina Garcia
Cristina Henriquez
Dagoberto Gilb
Dan Vera
Daniel A. Olivas
Daniel Alarcon
Daniel Chacón
Daniel Reveles
David A. Hernandez
David Rice
Demetria Martinez
Denise Chavez
Diana López
Dr. Ricardo Sanchez
Edgardo Vega Yungue
Eduardo C. Corral
Eduardo Santiago
Elaine Romero
Elena Nazzaro
Emma Perez
Emmy Perez
Esmeralda Santiago
Esteban Martinez
Estevan Vega
Evangelina Vigil-Piñón
F. Isabel Campoy
Felicia Luna Lemus
Felipe Davalos
Francisco Aragon
Francisco Jimenez
Francisco X. Stork
Gabriella Hewitt
Gary Soto
Gilbert Hernandez
Gina Franco
Gloria Vando
Gloria Velasquez
Gonzalo Barr
Graciela Limon
Guillermo Gómez-Peña – La Pocha Nostra
Guy Garcia
Gwendolyn Zepeda
Icess Fernandez
Ilan Stavans
Isaac Chavarria
Jaime Hernandez
James Canon
Jamie Martinez Wood
Jeff Rivera
Jennifer Prado
Jerry A. Rodriguez
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Joe Cepeda
Joe Loya
John Parra
John Rechy
Jorge Argueta
Jorge Ramos
Jose Antonio Burciaga
Jose Latour
Josefina Lopez
Joy Castro
Juan Felipe Herrera
Judith Oritz Cofer
Julia Alvarez
Julia Amante
Julie Larios
Juliette Dominguez
Junot Diaz
Kathleen Alcala
Kathleen DeAzevedo
Kathy Cano-Murillo
Kermit Lopez
L.M. Gonzalez
Lalo Delgado
Laura Gallego Garcia
Lauren Castillo
Lisa Alvarado
Liz Balmaseda
Lorena Siminovich
Lorna Dee Cervantes
Lorraine M. Lopez
Lucha Corpi
Lucia Gonzalez
Luis A. Lopez
Luis J. Rodriguez
Lulu Delacre
Lyna Sandoval
Magdalena Gomez
Malin Alegria
Manuel Munoz
Manuel Ramos
Margo Candela
Maria Amparo Escandon
Mario Acevedo
Marlene Perez
Marta Acosta
Martin Espada
Martin Limon
Mary Castillo
Mary Helen Lagasse
Matt de la Pena
Max Benavidez
Max Martinez
Mayra Calvani
Michael Jaime-Becerra
Michele Martinez
Michelle Serros
Micol Ostow
Miguel Algarin
Miriam Herrera
Mirta Ojito
Misa Ramirez
Mitali Perkins
Monica Brown
Nancy Castaldo
Nina Marie Martinez
Norma Elia Cantu
Ofelia Dumas Lachtman
Oscar “Zeta” Acosta
Paco Ignacio Taibo II
Pam Munoz Ryan
Pat Mora
Patrick Sanchez
Rafael Lopez
Rafaela Castro
Raul Colon
Raul Ramos y Sanchez
Rebecca Gomez
Rene Colato Lainez
Rene Saldana Jr.
Renee Fajardo
Reyes Cardenas
Reyna Grande
Ricardo Sanchez
Richard Blanco
Richard Vasquez
Rigoberto Gonzalez
Rolando Hinojosa
Rudolfo Anaya
Rudy Gutierrez
S. Ramos O’Briant
Salvador Plascencia
Sam Quinones
Sandra Cisneros
Sandra Maria Esteves
Sandra Rodriguez Barron
Sarah Cortez
Sarah Rafael Garcia
Sergio Troncoso
Severo Perez
Sherman Alexie
Sheryl Luna
Sofia Quintero
Sonia Nazario
Stella Pope Duarte
Steven Torres
Teresa Carbajal Ravet
Tino Villanueva
Tomas Rivera
Tracy Montoya
Victor Villasenor
William Nericcio
Yuyi Morales
Yxta Maya Murray


A Black CIC, A Supreme Latina w/Borikua Attitude & 2 "Mexicans" Flying The Space Shuttle

What in heaven's name is happening to this country!!!

Think about it...at this very moment in the U.S. of A there's...

a Black family in the White House
a Latina with Borikua attitude in the US Supreme Court
a Madam Speaker of the House
a Black woman billionaire whose preferences make or break businesses
and, there are two "Mexicans" and a White Chick flying the Space Shuttle!

Wrong, right? And soooooo scary!!!!

Seriously, this is a real life horror flick for the birthers, deathers, birchers, hate radio listeners, Beck watchers, Timothy McVeigh wannabes, and other weak-minded critters. All they need now is for Missy to marry Manuel or Mohammed. Ooops...that's already happened?

BTW: Of the 5 Americans on the current NASA Space Mission, two are Latino, and one is female.

Hey Rushbo, "How do you like them manzanas?!!!


Shakira's She Wolf

Click here for the video.

She Wolf is pure eroticism featuring Shakira's dance beat and signature curves. It's a shocking, mesmerizing, and some would say disturbing, exhibition. Many of her fans will love it. Others will be disappointed.

I'm a big Shakira fan. IMO, few artists -- commercial or otherwise -- command sound, image, rhythm and motion to evoke a feeling or idea as masterfully as she does. However, the risk for Shakira is that her performances may become too much about her -- her image, sexiness, curves, psyche.

Q: At night, the woman (i..e, Shakira's character) is at her animalistic peak when caged. A contradiction, no?

A: While most are shocked to see this side of her, the video goes with the lyrics. She is not signing about going to church. She is singing about having a moment when your sensuality wants to be known. The lyrics state that her partner is clearly taking advantage of her, and ignoring her sexuality. If you look at her other videos she clearly follows ... the tone of what her songs state. I have been a fan since I was 12, and though this one is different, I can acknowledge the fact that the sexiest parts of the video are when she is in the cage. Thus directly illustrating the point of the "She wolf," being locked in the cage. Stephanie C.


Delilah Tollinchi - Latina Funk Rocker

The following was excerpted from Delilah's bio written by friend Jada Gomez:

Delilah Tollinchi is a New York City singer/songwriter with a gutsy blend of rock/blues soul, enhanced with a bit of Latin flavor. Delilah's strong spirit fuels her powerful voice and high octane live show.

Born and raised in the South Bronx, Delilah hails from a family with deep musical roots. Her father is a musician, and her uncle, Julio Colon, is the leader and singer/songwriter for Plena Luna. Actress Christina Souza is Delilah's sister.

Delilah's passion for songwriting was inspired by her granduncle Chiquitin Garcia, the famous songwriter for Puerto Rico's legendary group El Gran Combo.

discodivadelilah (15 images) - Photobucket


Latino Conan O'Brien -- Conando!

Spoofing the telenovela genre funny man, Tonight Show host, and new Angeleno, Conan O'Brien, unveiled a new Spanish speaking character -- a Latino alter ego, Conando.

The interest around the Latino blogosphere is not in Conan's comedic talents, but in identifying the Latina actor that plays the bride rescued by Conando. For example, blogger Matt Reyes of Twitteros asks, "Who's the hot bride?


Sotomayor Day 3: Wise Latina By TKO (w/an Assist From Pat Buchanan)

TKO! Game-over...Sonia Sotomayor wins. Now we'll just have wait for the vote to make it official.

Why am I so sure it's over?

Simple. The Republican's only line of attack against Sotomayor -- a veteran jurist deemed highly qualified by the American Bar Association and previously vetted and confirmed by both Republicans and Democrats -- is the anthesis of her race-baiting, facists and patronizing prosecutors inspired by the leader of the Republicans Rush Limbaugh and former Republican presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan.

Watch Cenk and Maddow rip the Buchanan for his unapologetic white supremacist campaign against Sotomayor.

It's simply beyond laughable to believe that Sotomayor is the racist, and Buchanan, the true believer in civil rights.

IMO, Their ugly strategy has backfired!

Watch how a number of Republicans will seek to distant themselves from the ugly racists of their party will now vote for Sotomayor.


Sotomayor Day 2: Wise Latina 2 -- Good Ole Boys 0

The questioning of Sonia Sotomayor began in earnest today in the U.S. Senate; unfortunately for Republican interrogators, it was a 2nd bad day. For example, Sessions of Alabama tried desperately to trip Sotomayor on issues of law that she's better informed about; and Lindsey Olin Graham of South Carolina, a fellow known for slavishly promoting John McCain's presidential bid and defending his volcanic temper, bullied on about Sotomayor's 'temperament' problem. Yeesh!

Sonia Sotomayor doesn't suffer fools lightly, but--given the high stakes and the power of her adversaries--is nonetheless forced to tolerate buffoons.

Sotomayor on Being Latina

The following passage on being Latina is from a Sonia Sotomayor's A Latina Judge’s Voice lecture (aka, The Wise Latina Speech), delivered at the California University, Berkeley School of Law in 2001:
I became a Latina by the way I love and the way I live my life. My family showed me by their example how wonderful and vibrant life is and how wonderful and magical it is to have a Latina soul. They taught me to love being a Puertorriqueña and to love America and value its lesson that great things could be achieved if one works hard for it. But achieving success here is no easy accomplishment for Latinos or Latinas, and although that struggle did not and does not create a Latina identity, it does inspire how I live my life.


Sotomayor Day 1: Score One for The Wise Latina

Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings before Judiciary Committee began yesterday. It was a good day for the smart, patient and gracious Judge and a bad day for the band of wingnuts.

While a majority of the committee are conducting themselves in a thoughtful and respectful way, the same however can not be said for five of the Republicans (Cornyn of Texas, Grassley of Iowa, Kyl of Arizona, Coburn of Oklahoma) on the panel led by confirmed racist Jefferson (Jeff) Beauregard Sessions III of Alabama.

Sessions, et al., seek to: 1) tarnish President Barack Obama as someone favoring 'radical' minorities; while 2) painting Sonia Sotomayor (and LatinoJustice) as racist.

Laughable, right?

Mimicking the rants of Limbaugh, these 5 privileged White men--in full bluster--suggested that Sotomayor's views are at odds with the just and color-blind rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.

What's weird is that these fellows are blind to their buffoonery.

Decision: Sotomayor


Sotomayor's Opening Statement

Judge Sonia Sotomayor delivers her opening statement during the first day of her confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Once confirmed, Sotomayor would be the first Latino and third woman to serve on the United State Supreme Court.


Sonia Sotomayor: A New Yorker to the Core

The New York Times describes Sonia Sotomayor as “a daughter” of The Bronx who “claims the Brooklyn Bridge as her power-walking trail, the specialty shops of Greenwich Village as her grocery store, and the United States Court House as the setting for her annual Christmas party.”

Juan Sotomayor, a doctor who lives near Syracuse, says his sister Sonia is as much a New Yorker as she is a Latina (“it’s her essence”). “I always joke that her vision does not extend beyond the Hudson River.”

Ms. Sotomayor, a high-achieving student among high achievers at a Catholic high school in the Bronx, ventured outward to Princeton and Yale. Her return to New York, in which she was filled with ambition and drive as ferocious as the city itself, fit a familiar narrative. Often, friends say this image lingers in their mind’s eye: Ms. Sotomayor poring over law books and legal papers. Some days, she has said, it is hard enough to find time to sleep.


Luis Humberto Valadez - what i'm on

Luis Valadez is a performance poet and his poems shout to be read aloud. It’s then that their language dazzles most brightly. It’s then that the emotions bottled up on the page explode beyond words. And there is plenty of emotion in these poems.

Frankly autobiographical, they recount the experiences of a Mexican American boy growing up in a tough town near Chicago. Just as in life, the feelings in these poems are often jumbled, sometimes spilling out in a tumble, sometimes coolly recollected. Sometimes the words jump and twitch as if they’d been threatened or attacked. Sometimes they just sit there knowingly on the page, weighted down by the stark reality of it all.
José García
put a thirty-five to me
my mother was in the other room
He would have done us both
if not for the lust of my fear
This new Mexican American/Chicano voice is all at once arresting, bracing, shocking, and refreshing. This is not the poetry you learned in school. It owes as much to hip hop as it does to the canon. But Valadez has paid his academic dues, and he certainly knows how to craft a poem. It’s just that he does it his way.
i anagram and look and subject to deformation and reconfiguring . . .
it ain’t events or blocks that ahm jettisoning through this process
it be layers of meaning, identity, narrative, and ego that gets peeled off
i can only increase my own understanding
Read Excerpt


A Little Guajira Invented the Cappuccino!

Who invented the Cappuccino?

Capuchin friar Marco d'Aviano (circa 1683) is given credited, but I'm not so sure.

Supposedly, sacks of Turkish coffee were captured when the Romans repelled the Muslim invaders. However, the soldiers found straight up espresso was too bitter for their palate. Friar d'Aviano's heavenly brainstorm was to add frothy milk and sweetner to the black brew. Thus was borne the Cappuccino -- and the metrosexual Romano!

Far fetched? I think so.

Los Romanos reigned for centuries as the baddest of Europe -- a ruthless and fearsome killing machine, but to drink coffee these lords of war needed sugar and frothy milk? Hmmmm. (On 2nd thought, perhaps it's true. After all, while some men drank Scotch, Rum, Vodka and Tequila, Romans preferred syrupy and fruity concoctions, e.g., Amaretto, Sambuca and Cianti.)

A more plausible story? How about a little Guajira Cubana -- Carrie's abuelita -- as creator of the Cappuccino! Y Por Que No?

Watch the video!

Coffee (café) is a Health Drink

Seriously, cafe as a health drink. Si!

As per WebMD -- Coffee: The New Health Food? Plenty of health benefits are brewing in America's beloved beverage. -- coffee may lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson's disease, colon cancer, lift your mood, treat headaches and even lower your risk of cavities.

It's a miracle drink!

So drink your cafe as if your health depends on it. But make sure it's good cafe because bad coffee is an insult, a waste of money, and potentially harmful to your salud.

Problem though is that most U.S. coffees ought not be classified as cafe. What the average Americano consumes may be more properly tagged as a coffee derivative, blackened water, a coffee simulation, Starbucks, a beverage everyone pretends is coffee, but NOT Cafe.

Verdad, no? Be honest.

Typical coffee (store and coffee shop brands) are almost always stale, chemically treated, de-caffed or caffeine spiked, poorly roasted, and born from poor quality beans. Bad coffee - no health benefits.

Price coffees are some of the biggest cafe impostors.


Borikuas in Hawai'i

The first “Ricans” arrived in Hawaii in 1900.

Hispanics in Hawaii: 214 Years of meaningful contributions

In August of 1899, San Ciriaco, a huge hurricane, punished Puerto Rico for two days with winds of 110mph – 150mph. It left the island completely devastated, its agrarian society destroyed, and most of its agricultural workers suddenly unemployed.

The Hawaii Sugar Planters Association (HSPA) was looking for experienced workers for their plantations. When they found out about the hurricane, they started recruiting workers in Puerto Rico. Between 1900 and 1901, the HSPA brought 5,000 Puerto Ricans workers to toil on Hawaii’s plantations. We call the descendants of these early residents “Local Ricans” – Puerto Ricans born in Hawaii.

As a result of this migration, some Puerto Rican traditions were adapted to their new environment. The traditional "arroz con gandules" is called "gandule rice" in the Hawaiian Islands. And "pasteles" have become "pateles." You will see many roadside vendors selling "pateles" as you drive around the islands. No matter what you call them, they're good eating!

Hawaiian Borikua Inreview With Tony Castanha - Video
Puerto Ricans In Hawaii - Video
Cuatro Mike Balles
Puerto Rican immigration to Hawaii
Aia Na Ha`ina I Loko o Kakou (The Answers Lie Within Us)
Summer Salsa in Paradise 2009
Guide to the Blase Camacho Souza Papers
Puerto Ricans Arrive in Hawai‘i
Hawaii Hispanic News
Salsa After Dark
Puerto Ricans in Hawaii begin centennial celebration
Hawaiian Roots


Manuel Miranda: Republicano, Racista, Idioto!

Manuel Miranda, a former aide Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) and infamous Senate hacker, hosted a lunch for conservative online propagandists a few weeks ago at the Heritage Foundation. Miranda gathered the wingnuts to strategize on ways how Republicans can attack Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor without "alienating the 'Hispanic' community".

Yes, these people know nothing about Latinos if they think they can perform such a feat. But that's not the point of this post.

While discussing strategy and tactics, Mr. Miranda suggested that "Hispanics" are just like everyone else, and not but African Americans.

The quote:
Hispanic polls, Hispanic surveys, indicate that Hispanics think just like everyone else. We’re not like African-Americans. We think just like everybody else.
Miranda is clearly one of the 5% of "Hispanics" that still identify as Republican. Second, given the pummelling received at the hands of Republicans and their mouthpieces on hate radio and cable, Latinos definitely are thinking like most others on certain issues -- i.e., NOT like Republicans! Third, there are racist Hispanics (duh!). Fourth, Republicans are in bad enough shape without making matters worse by hiring the racist Miranda to help them reach Latinos.

Manuel Miranda: Republicano, Racista, Idioto!

Related: Disgraced Manuel Miranda's "limp wristed" comments or former crimes didn't make it onto Hardball appearance


Hip Hop & Latino Social Resistance (Why We Are NOT HisPANIC!)

"The characters in the film exemplified to us the true definition of a revolutionary leader. As filmmakers and immigrants from Latin America we were inspired by their commitment to justice and their unwillingness to compromise the truth in the face of poverty, racism and repressive military regimes." -- Vee Bravo & Loira Limbal

Chronicling the emergence of hip hop in Brazil, Chile, and Cuba, Estilo Hip Hop examines the regional politics that underscore the growth of hip hop's global appeal.

Against a backdrop of breathtaking landscapes are three hip hop enthusiasts, Guerrillero Okulto, Eli Efi and Magia., who all believe the music can change the world. As Estilo Hip Hop delves into their lives, the film explores the movements they lead in hip hop and the personal price they must pay because of their political stances.

Estilo Hip Hop will have its broadcast premiere on the PBS WORLD series Global Voices, Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 10 PM (check local listings).

Estilo Hip Hop Trailer


The White Supremacist in Us by Rinku Sen

Crossposted at The Huffington Post

Over the past two weeks, Americans struggled to make sense of tragic shootings that seemed disconnected at first glance. Anti-Semite James Von Brunn killed Stephen T. Johns, a black security guard at the Holocaust Museum. George Tiller's murder a few days earlier seemed to be about abortion, yet his shooter, Scott Roeder, also had roots in the racial purity movement. Yesterday, it was reported that the murders of Raul Flores and his daughter in Arizona were charged to three people with white supremacist ambitions.

There's been lots of discussion about why hate crimes are rising and how to prevent future tragedies, yet we've largely missed the relationship between extremist racism and the less obvious version that plays out in our political debates. These shooters all felt that people of color (along with women and Jews) have stolen the birthright of white men. In his book "Kill the Best Gentiles," Von Brunn rails against "the calculated destruction of the White Race." Roeder was a member of the Montana Freemen; commenters on white supremacist websites praised him for ensuring that Tiller would never "kill another White baby." Flores' alleged murderers appear to have been preparing for a white uprising.

Our discussion of these events has boiled down to the idea that racism is an intentional, violent act of a lone crazy white man. Underlying this idea, however, is the unspoken assumption that since we criminalized such hatred through civil rights laws, there's nothing else we can do as a country. Collectively, we bemoan the backwardness of "some" people before we move on, thinking of racism as isolated extremism.

But social psychologists who developed the Implicit Associations Test at Harvard and the Universities of Virginia and Washington in 1998 tell us that notions of the innate goodness of white people and the equally innate badness of people of color are so deeply embedded in our minds that we're totally unaware of making such judgments. Even I, a woman of color and racial justice activist for 25 years, have taken their online test with dismaying results. White supremacists speak their beliefs aloud, but we all have similar ideas and act on them in tiny ways that add up.

The notion that people of color get more than our share plays out again and again in our institutions and policies, expanding the racial divide. If we think that Black people manufactured the foreclosure crisis in order to get a handout, the law limits their ability to get relief. If we think that undocumented immigrants are leeching off the U.S., we will not pass an immigration reform that changes their status. If we think that children of color can't learn, we don't do what's needed to improve public schools.

As a nation, we are about to make critical decisions about all our systems. Unconscious biases already permeate these debates every time we ask who deserves how much of health care, education, jobs. Our discourse is heavily coded. There's no need to say that "illegal" equals Mexican, or that the "irresponsible" homeowner is black, or that "unqualified" means woman of color. Even if we don't rhetorically attach these ideas to particular groups of people, our brains have been conditioned to make the connections anyway.

There's particular danger in characterizing racism as isolated madness during the greatest recession in 60 years. We now have to rebuild our economy - will we continue with a model that includes stark inequality? That seems likely if we can't grapple honestly with the racial gap, since structural inequality will always make our economy more vulnerable to a crash. That inequality is also what keeps us apart, in separate neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. That distance makes it much easier for violent extremists to recruit struggling white people into their ranks.

As white communities, particularly men, face conditions that have been chronic in communities of color, their vulnerability to racist ideas could disrupt the possibility of working together for real solutions. The unemployment of white men has more than doubled over the past year, from 4.2 to 8.5 percent. They are shocked, angry, and ready to direct all that heat somewhere. The most productive place for that energy is in alliance with communities of color, so that together, we can focus on changing the policies that allowed elites to run off with all our assets.

It is possible to craft truly universal social and economic policy that can both generate racial equity and improve life for everyone, including unemployed white men. There were racially-fueled murders before last week, and there's every reason to think there will be more. As we grieve, the Obama Administration and Congress continue the immense task of rebuilding the economy and reforming immigration and healthcare. Something positive can emerge from these tragic events if our efforts to understand them led to policies that actually brought us together - in our lives, as well as in our minds.

Rinku Sen is Executive Director of Applied Research Center and Publisher of ColorLines.


Hispanic? Latino? Or What?

Hispanic? Latino? Or What?

That's the question Philip B. Corbett, the deputy news editor who is also in charge of The Times’s style manual, set out to answer. The reason? Reporters at the NYTimes -- and at every other media outlet in the United States -- are routinely tripped up when it comes to categorizing those of us who trace our roots to peoples and points South of the 13 British American colonies.

So it's Mr Corbett's job to set some editorial rules -- a thankless task.

To be fair, Corbett does offer some helpful guidance such as respecting the preferences of the people you're labeling (e.g., use Sonia Sotomayor's preferred "Latina"). But then he confuses matters with this piece of advice: I think we have to say she would be the first Hispanic justice, despite her own use of Latina.

Latinos, of course, have our own views on what constitutes proper usage. Regretably, opinions are as varied and diverse as are the Americas--and tainted by class, race, national heritage, gender and, of course, migration history.

My preference is "Americano". Yup! Americano...both as a show of solidarity with my brothers and sisters of Latin American heritage, and as an acknowledgement of our geographic and Indigenous roots. For me, it's a political statement--a la Ruben Blades--about who are the Americans (Americanos) and who are the interlopers.

Unfortunately, Americano is often associated with Gringos. For example, I recently heard a Spanish language talk show host repeatedly refer to U.S. Latinos at "Hispanos" and nonLatinos as "Americanos". Of course, the host was simply mimicking what many Whites in the U.S. -- led by White nationalists -- promote: that there are AMERICANS (people of European heritage) and others (Latinos, Blacks, Asians, Indians, Arabs, etc.)

With all due respect to those who prefer its use, but I despise the term Hispanic. Why? For three reasons:
1) It's a relic of a colonial period and its residue: the colonial mentality.
2) While there are Hispanics in the US and across the Americas, people genetically and culturally linked wholly to Spain, most Latin Americans have as much in common with Spain as South Africans have with Britain. While South Africa was a British colony, and some South Africans are of full or mixed British heritage, no one advocates tagging all South Africans as Anglos.
3) And as comedian Bill Santiago says, Hispanic includes the word PANIC and it sounds too much like Titanic, Satanic, Mechanic -- your're sinking, you're damned, you're getting ripped off.
Instead, I use LATINO generally to mean those of us of Latin American heritage in the USA. For me, Latino is not a language-based classification, but one defined by a shared political, economic and social experience. Therefore, Puerto Ricans in the Bronx, Mexicans in Chicago, Dominicans in Manhattan, Colombians in Providence, Ecuadorians in Queens, etc., are Latino. So are migrants from Brazil, Haiti, the English-speaking Caribbean area nations; and the peoples of the annexed Mexican territories.

BTW: I'm also Borikua, Puerto Rican, Americano and American.

Y tu? What are you?

Link: Hispanic? Latino? Or What?


New Muslim Cool: The Hip Hop Life of Hamza Pérez

New Muslim Cool is a film that follows three years in the lives of a Boricua Muslim hip-hop artist Hamza Pérez, his family, and community.

Taking viewers on a ride through the streets, projects, and jail cells of urban America, the film follows Hamza's spiritual journey as he finds new discoveries and friends in some surprising places -- where we can all see ourselves reflected in a world that never stops changing.

The award-winning film kicks off the 22nd season of the PBS series POV (Tuesday, June 23, at 10 p.m.).

New Muslim Cool Trailer

Other New Muslim Cool videos

Film of Growing Acclaim Follows Muslim Hip Hop Artist from Brooklyn
New Muslim Cool Bridges Islam, Hip Hop, Culture and Identity


Sonia Sotomayor: A Justice Like No Other

Barack Obama said he wanted: a Supreme Court nominee with a "common touch." With Sonia Sotomayor, he got somebody with a common touch and an uncommon story. Nobody expects you to be chosen someday for the Supreme Court when your father was a welder with a third-grade education. Nobody expects you to make it to Princeton when you come from a public-housing project.



Sonia Sotomayor: Obama's Supreme Pick

President Barack Obama has nominated Appellate Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Sotomayor will become the first member of Latino heritage to serve on the nation's highest court.

From the AP (Obama picks Sotomayor for high court):
Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a self-described "Niuyorican" who grew up in a Bronx housing project after her parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico. She has dealt with diabetes since age 8 and lost her father at age 9, growing up under the care of her mother in humble surroundings. As a girl, inspired by the Perry Mason television show, she knew she wanted to be a judge.

A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, a former prosecutor and private attorney, Sotomayor became a federal judge for the Southern District of New York in 1992.

As a judge, she has a bipartisan pedigree. She was first appointed by a Republican, President George H.W. Bush, then named an appeals judge by President Bill Clinton in 1997.



Maria Amelia Lopez (1911-2009): R.I.P.

The matriarch of Spanish language blogging has died at age 97 in the northern Spanish province of La Coruna.

Maria Amelia Lopez charmed readers with reminiscences and folksy chat at A mis 95 años/95 years old blogger, including stories about Spain's Civil War and life under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

Doña Lopez, who dictated her entries to her grandson Daniel because she suffered from cataracts, became a beloved figure in Spain and across the globe.
"My grandson gave me this blog when I was 95 on December 23 2006 and my life changed. Since that day I've had 1,570,784 visits from bloggers from 5 continents who have cheered up my old age." Maria Amelia Lopez
Part of Doña Lopez' purpose was to inspire other seniors to connect with people via the internent, share stories and to continue learning.

May she continue blogging from heaven.


Latino Films @ Tribeca Film Fest '09

Entre Nos
Shortly after she totes her two children from Colombia to reunite with her husband in Queens, New York, Mariana's (Paola Mendoza) life is devastatingly turned around when he abandons her to fend for herself in a hard-knock new country.

Mariana desperately searches for work against the unwieldy city landscape, but she and her kids can't help their treacherous slide into homelessness. Struggling to build a network of allies, like Preet (Sarita Choudury) a single working mother, to help provide for her family, Mariana resourcefully navigates a surprising avenue for making some money—the city's recycling.

With the help of her 10-year-old son, who must come of age early to keep his family together, and her young daughter's charm, the family joins forces to face the odds together.

Primary Cast: Paola Mendoza, Sebastian Villada Lopez, Laura Montana Cortez, Andres Munar, Sarita Choudhury, Anthony Chisholm
Director: Paola Mendoza, Gloria La Morte
Screenwriters: Gloria La Morte, Paola Mendoza
Producers: Joseph La Morte, Michael Skolnik
Executive Producers: Bob Alexander, Ryan Harrington
Director of Photography: Bradford Young
Editor: Gloria La Morte
Original Score: Gil Talmi

Director José Padilha (Bus 174) follows up his Golden Bear-winning Elite Squad (TFF '08) with this austere, unflinching examination of the realities of chronic hunger for three Brazilian families.

Rosa, Robertina, and Lucia live in variously urbanized areas of Brazil, but all share the daily struggle with acute undernourishment, which forces them to feed their children garapa, a cheap mixture of sugar and water effective at staving off hunger pangs but devoid of nutritional value.

This is a degree of poverty relegated to statistics, too often stripped of its human face and of the lived experience of such profound deprivation.

Director: José Padilha
Producers: José Padilha, Marcos Prado
Executive Producers: James D'Arcy, Mariana Bentes
Director of Photography: Marcela Bourseau
Editor: Felipe Lacerda
Sound: Yan Saldanha
Sound Mixer: Rodrigo Noronha

The Lost Son of Havana
Filmmaker Jonathan Hock (Through the Fire, TFF '05) accompanies Tiant on his long-awaited return to his homeland after a 46-year exile. Hock shows a conflicted man. By most accounts Tiant has led a great life, but he now finds himself filled with thoughts of guilt for those left behind who toiled in poverty and watched his heroics from afar.

Hock's film is not simply the story of a baseball star, but a representation of how 50 years of Cuban-American relations (or lack thereof) have affected so many living on opposite sides of that 90-mile divide.

Primary Cast: Luis Tiant, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski, Peter Gammons, The Tiant Family of Havana
Director: Jonathan Hock
Screenwriter: Jonathan Hock
Producer: Kris Meyer
Co-Producers: Philip Aromando, Victor J. Melfa, Jr.
Executive Producers: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Director of Photography: Alastair Christopher
Editors: Steven Pilgrim, John Walter
Narrated by: Chris Cooper

Nueva York
Multiple stories of Latino life in the Big Apple interweave to show us what it takes to make it and how Latinos live together and support each other in the big city. From the well-established to the newly arrived, Latinos are connected to each other in so many ways.

Primary Cast: Javier Kato, Israel Hernandez, Julissa Roman, Laura Gomez, Carolina Ravassa, Arturo Del Puerto, Gary Cruz
Director: Manolo Celi
Screenwriter: Manolo Celi
Producers: Heather Murphy, Manolo Celi
Director of Photography: Sherman Johnson
Assistant Director: Fergal O'Gorman
Production Manager: Yiya Garcia
Art Directors: Ivette Mederos, Cory Allen

Oda a La Piña
This musical parody, an homage to the poem that forged Cuban cultural identity, centers on a cabaret dancer who suddenly loses her rhythm.

Primary Cast: Limara Menezes, Mario Guerra Ferrera, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Veronica Diaz, Jose Antonip de la Nuez
Director: Laimir Fano
Screenwriter: Laimir Fano
Producer: Andre Leao
Director of Photography: Alvaro Rodriguez
Editor: Aldo Alvarez
Sound: Marco Toledo

Only When I Dance
Tears stream down young Isabela's innocent face as the slender, gazelle-like girl is told she needs to slim down even more if she wants to turn her passion into her career. Like Isabela, Irlan's strictly regimented days leave him no time to be an average teenager.

Isabela and Irlan are ballet dancers. And though they have the talent, they don't look like all the others.

Ballet has long been the rarified and elitist domain of the white upper class, but these two black high schoolers from Rio de Janeiro's working-class favelas are determined to succeed in this physically and emotionally demanding discipline.

Director Beadie Finzi's inspiring documentary trails the dancers and their tough-love mentor from Brazil to New York on one critical, competition-fueled year in their lives.

> P-Star Rising
In the early '80s, Jesse Diaz was a rising star in the hip-hop world. Now he's a broke single father living in a Harlem shelter with two children to support. But Jesse finally finds a shot at redemption in his nine-year-old daughter Priscilla, a precocious and immensely talented rapper.
With older daughter Solsky the family's quiet cheerleader, Jesse and Priscilla look to parlay "P-Star's" talent into victory for the whole family. And that means long rehearsals, late nights, and home schooling for the growing girl. But as Priscilla's star really begins to rise, it'll tax all the relationships in her life and test Jesse in ways he never expected.

Primary Cast: Priscilla Star Diaz, Jesse Diaz, Solsky Diaz
Director: Gabriel Noble
Producer: Marjan Tehrani
Editor: David Abelson
Executive Producers: Ryan Harrington, Bob Alexander
Director of Photography: Gabriel Noble
Composers: Ion Furjanic & B.Satz All-Stars

Rudo y Cursi
Gael García Bernal (Tato, aka Cursi) and Diego Luna (Beto, aka Rudo) reunite on-screen as a pair of thick headed stepbrothers who work all day on their family's banana ranch and get their kicks playing on a local soccer team. But when a slickly dressed, smooth-tongued recruiter, played hilariously by Guillermo Francella, eyes them for the big leagues, their small-town brotherly rivalry explodes onto the professional playing field.

Colorful and full of energy, the film lightheartedly explores the brothers' sky-rocket ride to fame and all its dirty emissions. But in good times and bad, blood proves thicker than water—endorsement deals, supermodels, and penalty shots aside.

Primary Cast: Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Guillermo Francella, Dolores Heredia, Adriana Paz, Jessica Mas
Director: Carlos Cuarón
Screenwriter: Carlos Cuarón
Producer: Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Guillermo del Toro, Frida Torresblanco

Which Way Home
Of the thousands of Latin American migrants traveling through Mexico with the hope of reaching the United States, approximately five percent are unaccompanied children. Director Rebecca Cammisa (Sister Helen) follows several such children on their grueling but ever-hopeful journey north.

Kevin and Fito have fled their small town in search of greater opportunities in America. José set out for the States but was quickly apprehended and now languishes in the bureaucratic process of deportation back to Honduras.

These are just a few of the true stories of young children undertaking the brutal odyssey from Latin America to the United States, never letting their dire circumstances overtake their youthful exuberance.

Director: Rebecca Cammisa
Executive Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith, Bristol Baughan, Jack Turner, Bette Cerf Hill, Sheila Nevins
Editors: Pax Wassermann, Madeleine Gavin
Directors of Photography: Lorenzo Hagerman, Eric Goethals, Rebecca Cammisa
Composers: James Lavino, Alberto Iglesias
Supervising Producer: Sara Bernstein