The Problem of Drinking

A car accident involving a drunk driver image by:

By: Gustavo Vera

There are many students, adults, and even young teenagers, who are constantly going out with their friends to have a drink, or many drinks. Many of them don’t know, or don’t care, about the consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to, the statistics of accidents in Puerto Rico caused by drunk drivers in 2008 were 162, which 41% were fatalities and 33% of the drivers had .08%, or more, of alcohol in their blood. These numbers, according to the statistics from the same web page, were bigger in the year 1988 to 1990, which means that they have lowered from then to now but, it doesn’t mean that the situation has disappeared.


There are many laws that penalizes drunk drivers, and that try to prevent the situation from repeating itself. One of those laws is the DUI (driving under the influence). This law according to varies from state to state. It may also mean driving under the influence of drugs, or driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.

According to, penalizes any person (including college students) by taking away their civil rights, they lose their license temporarily or permanently, and they could even lose their right to vote.

Another law that punishes these drivers is the DWI (Driving While Impaired, or Intoxicated), that is, according to, is the “second most used acronym for drunk driving cases.” This law affects the same rights as the first law and the person could face trial, or be arrested.

The OWI (Operating While Intoxicated or Impaired) is another law that is used in Puerto Rico and some states in the United States, which also punish any drunk driver in the street.

In order to prove that the driver has offended any of these laws, the officer must take different kinds of tests of the person driving the vehicle and the person must pass it. If the driver refuses the test, or if he fails, he may be arrested and put on trial.

According to, in PR the first and second offense are misdemeanors, the third one is a felony and the offender could go directly to jail, without any trial.

One difference between the laws of the US and PR is the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) law. In the US the limit is .08%, in PR the new limit, according to, is now .02%. This law was approved in Oct. 30, 2009, by the House of Representatives who wish to control the problems of alcohol in PR.

These laws are made for the same purpose: to reduce accidents and tragedies on the streets and off them. They are made to protect the lives of the innocent and to bring conscience upon those who drink excessively.

The most important consequence of breaking any of these laws is going to jail because it may destroy any scholars, colleagues and nay person’s reputation and future.

Victim of a drunk driver

Eduardo Moll Irizarry, 18, is a student of the Polytechnic University in San Juan, who was recently involved in an accident between a drunk driver while driving with his sister.

The accident happened at night, when the sister was picking him up from his work at a supermarket close from their house. They were headed back to their house and on their way they stop at an intersection, he said trying to remember how it exactly happened.

At the intersection they wait and look to keep going forward. Once they do this they keep going and in a “matter of seconds” they were impacted by another driver, he said. No one was hurt.

After the driver hit them, he kept going ignoring what happened. “The officer said that he kept hitting persons, until they finally stopped him” he said surprised.

As Irizarry told this he had a calm attitude, even a funny and humorous reaction towards the whole situation.

His sister, on the other hand, was shocked and, as he said, “she would never drive again. Irizarry also added that he was in favor of the new law of PR since he doesn’t drink and “doesn’t care”. He also said that the students and everyone “should be more conscious in their action.”

In favor of the law

As there are people who are against the new law as Irizarry, there are others who are not to happy about it.

Espada playing pool

Nelson Rivera Espada, 19, a student from Carolina Campus is an average student who likes to go out and enjoy drinking with his friends, as he explained. Even though he thinks that drinking and driving is irresponsible, he admits that he has driven while having a few drinks on him.

“I drive because I don’t have anyone else to drive me or, because my friends are more wasted than me” he said in a humorous way. He hasn’t been on an accident and he said that he is grateful that it hasn’t happened.

Espada is against the new law because it’s “unfair and illogical.” “When I go out I’m used to have two or three drinks and when I have them I have already .05% of alcohol in my body” he said mad at the situation.

There are many people like Espada and many like Irizarry but, a simple law won’t prevent students like Espada and other students from other Universities to keep going to “Bosque” street and to “Happy Hours” at bars and drink until they are unconscious. They have to experience the situation to react.


Domestic Partnership, Not For Everybody By: Miguel A. Alen

Domestic Partnership, Not For Everybody By: Miguel A. Alen

For years there has been a debate against domestic partnership. To better understand terms we need to understand its literal meaning. A domestic partnership is a relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are neither joined by marriage nor a civil union. Marriage is when to persons legally commit to be united for love, and therefore live together. Love is a key term on marriage that rarely appears on domestic partnership.
Many people are against domestic partnership because it destroys the image of what is marriage. Cristina Gaudier a 25 year old wife says “Domestic Partnership is an unmoral way of marriage.” She stated that when two people are in love and ready, they compromise to live together in marriage. You cannot settle because you are not sure if you should marry. Maybe some people have negative thoughts of domestic partnership because not all domestic partnerships are very successful.

According to Linda J. Waite of University of Chicago the main real reasons people are moving in with their partners is because of financial convenience, to moving out of parents home, next step for marriage or fear to get married. Some people feel that they can get to know better their partner if the live together. Alejandro Alen a former RUM student said that a year before the graduated, he moved in with he’s girlfriend to after two years in the relationship. He took the relationship to the next level, because he said would eventually marry his girlfriend. “It also helps to pay the rent” said Alejandro.
Now Alejandro and he’s wife Melissa are married and have been together four years. They both said that there life’s are going just fine and that they loved each other very much, “I don’t know why I didn’t marry her before” Alejandro added. When asked about what they thought about marriage Melissa replied “Marriage is when two persons are in love and they are certain that they are going to be together forever”. They would have even married before but they said that they where to young “we weren’t ready to complicate our life just yet” said Melissa. They were finishing their bachelor’s degree first so that they could get married after they graduated.
But of course not all couples are has lucky has Alejandro and Melissa. A young couple who also cohabitate didn’t have the same happy ending. George Rivera and Jennifer Villafañe have live together for 4 years and weren’t planning to get married any time soon.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports that just over 50% of first cohabiting couples ever get married.
Jennifer is 19 year old student at “La Universidad del Este de Carolina”, (University of the East of Carolina) that has live together with George (boyfriend) since she was only 15 years old. She also was going out with George for one year before she left her parents house. “I needed to leave from home and start being more independent” said Jennifer. They explained that they didn’t want to get married, or at least not yet. But another thing that’s been going on is the fact that Jennifer is two months pregnant, which makes things a little more complicated.
They having a baby would take more time from the two of them. George is 23 year old full time waiter at a restaurant in which they both work aside. And so they are now strongly considering getting married, “we will just make the best out of it” said George.
According to The Institute for the Study of Civil Society today, more than 20% of children are born to cohabiting couples. However, only about one third of those children will remain with both their parents throughout their childhood. That is partly because cohabiting couples who have children are even more likely to break up than childless couples. This could mostly be because the reason that many cohabiting couples who get married it’s because they have a child. They get married not because they are ready, but because they feel they must for the sake of their child. Getting married for the wrong reason could lead the couple to fall into a divorce.

Source: Berthoud, R. and Gershuny, J., editors, Seven Years in the Lives of British Families, London: The Policy Press, 2000, p. 40.

It is safe to say that it isn’t easy to live together with a partner without having any kind of difficulties. Some have made it more responsibly, even though others weren’t has fortunate. It all basically comes to the commitment that couples must do, and the challenges that might be faced in other to make a cohabitating relationship functional.
Some people agree that domestic partnership is not all that bad, it has its benefits. Domestic partnership has had greater results with mature people and it always better if you try not to have any children. It just proofs that not all couples should consider domestic partnership and if so doing it for good reasons and bare the responsibilities it holds.

Addicted to Facebook

By: Sylvia Rivera

Mark Zuckerberg invent with his roomates facebook.

In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and two of his roommates, all three students of Harvard University, came upon the idea of creating a social network and with it was born Their purpose was to find a way to communicate with friends from other universities via internet. In the beginning, facebook was a way for university students and professors to maintain contact. Then, it expanded to high schools and finally, to the public. Now this social network has become a distraction for many of its users, to the point, where one can consider it being an addiction.

According to Hernan Méndez, counselor and psychologist of the addiction program in the UPRM, “addiction is an obsessive compulsive behavior where the person loses control”. He also stated that people with, little to no friends, are more prone to become addicts of

On the other hand,  a series of studies have discovered that people within the age of 25 years or more, because of their interest in finding old classmates and friends, have been drawn to facebook. This can

cause a problem if the person is spending a lot of time in the site. “Everything that makes you feel good can become an addiction,” Mendez explained. However the problem does not lie in the site itself but in the users and their disconnection for real life.

For Qadmier Carrero, a freshman in the UPRM, studying has become difficult because he is compelled to spend more time on Facebook. “I spend at least eight to nine hours on Facebook per day”, stated Mr. Carrero. He explained that he enters the site so periodically to check on comments posted by his friends and to maintain a virtual farm on Farmville.

Farmville is an application of the Facebook site, where the user creates and maintains their farm. In Farmville, a user needs to enter on specifics times to collect fruit and vegetables, and take care of the farm animals. Therefore, in order to maintain a good farm, a person is obligated to enter regularly throughout the day. Other examples of applications like Farmville are; Yoville, Fish World, and Café World. All of these other application, like Farmville, promotes excessive time contribution from the users towards the site.

“I’ve known people that have lost their jobs and compromised relationships because of Facebook,” says Miriam Velez a psychologist at the UPRM.

The person who is addicted could encounter serious problems, in regard to health and economical status, by obsessively using Facebook. Lack of sleep, through excessive use, can be one of the problems a person can encounter. This could cause problems in classes by promoting absent and as of result, lowering grades. Economically, Facebook got applications like Farmville that have some online store where you could use credit cards to by collectables items. By using credit cards obsessively it could make more debts to pay and an unstable management of money. As a result, the household rent, food and social activities with the family and friends can be altered.

In relationships the consequences could be a break-up. This might be cause by putting or seeing comments without the consent of the partner or by not paying attention to your family. The CNN news interviewed a woman who ignored her daughter asking for help on homework.  She explained that was because she was too busy on Facebook. The woman was so embarrassed by her behavior that she stayed anonymously with another named in the interview.

Cell phones are another cause of addiction to Facebook because you don’t need to carry a computer were ever you go. Now it comes with the program insert and influence users to pay extra for internet.

When persons recognized that they have problems to logout they try looking for some sort of help. On the Facebook site there are a f

ew groups for persons who think there addicts. But they encouraged persons to be proud and to continue with the bad habit.

Psychologies recommend to addicts on Facebook to leave the site or to try to check it the less possible. “The 12 steps is use usually for any addiction” said Méndez.

The 12 steps is usually use by anonymous alcoholics. Is base by working as groups with people with an addiction in common.


The other side of being skinny

Anorexic Women

by: Pamela Santos

A thin person, protruding bones, white skin where the veins have sprouted, waste energy, losing hair, that is the case of a 19 years old Franshesca Torres. A person with low self-esteem, unhappy with her physical appearance, thinking that is fat. “When I looked at the mirror without seeing my ribs I rapidly thought that I was fat. At night I could not sleep, I kept thinking of the calories consumed and how many exercises needed for me to eliminate.”  She is one of many women going through with the problem of anorexia.

According to El Universal of Mexico City, between five and 10% of anorexia sufferers in the world die from severe electrolyte abnormalities, infections, gastrointestinal complications and extreme malnutrition, in addition to suicide. Anorexia and bulimia is attacking mainly young people who fall into the social discontent. Many women recently entered the high school or college, and one day decides to stop eating because they are unhappy with their body. Two of every 10 college students have a high risk of developing anorexia or bulimia, according to a study by members of the Faculty of Psychology at the “Universidad Autónoma de Madrid” (Autonomous University of Madrid).

For people, especially women are dissatisfied with their weight and figure. The constant pressure leads to believe that “skinny” means to be beautiful, successful or happy, while “fat” can mean “unattractive”. Also people get more tips on what kind of food is properly healthy to use and how our figure is supposed to be seen. Women are becoming more aware of their appearance and conscious of what they eat. However, an eating disorder sufferer realizes that her life begins to revolve around food, planning what is going to eat, vomiting or avoid eating. They become obsessed with counting calories constantly, endless visits to the gym and the excessive use of laxatives among others.

By stopping eating can cause further damage to the body because the brain tends to get used to the behavior acquired during that period and physically deteriorate faster. Eating disorders also affect men. This often occurs through the practice of a sport that requires a specific weight. For example, boxing to be satisfied with the weight established in accordance with its category.

The most common disorders of eating behavior are: bulimia and anorexia. Anorexia occurs when a person decides to skip meals to lose weight and “look good”. Bulimia is involved with what the person thinks of himself and afraid of becoming fat. In both diseases the person always looks fat, even when their weight is normal. However, bulimics overeat and then vomit.

Two years ago, Beatriz Ramos suffered from bulimia and made these declarations “I bought clothes a size bigger to feel skinny. When I was hungry, ate and went to the bathroom to quickly induce vomiting. I had to gain weight, but the fear of getting fat would make me think no one would like me.”

The reasons or factors that may cause one of these eating disorders may be the fear of ridicule, complex, depression and the practice of starting with diets that may later become an obsession. Some effects of eating disorders are losing menstruation at an early age (women), and sterility in men. They may feel weak and with little resistance to keep pace with our daily activities. These people may become depressed, irritable and others constantly changing mood.

Sometimes perfectionism, fear of failure, fear of ridicule, they’ll say, cleanliness and disease lead to very intelligent young people at the beginning of these processes. According to Geo Health, “The solution to this problem is usually a pharmacological care treatment like Prozac and other antidepressants and anxiolytics. But we must rely on psychotherapy because they are people who must learn to regain lost self-esteem and fear of failure.”

Skinny Young Artists

These disorders have also targeted famous girls due to the constant pressure of living under the public’s eye. Some of these public figures are Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Mary Kate Olsen who admitted in the media who had anorexia and was in a rehabilitation center.

The first step in tackling the problem is to get professional help. Family and friends can contribute significantly in the recovery process. Give the patient confidence and enthusiasm to find their own values, ideals, and support throughout the process of improvement.

With the alarming increase in eating disorders in our population must be involved in changing the concepts related to the weight. Changing the stereotype that look good is to be “skinny” because many people are affected and that is the most important cause of eating disorders. It also requires more attention to people with these diseases because it is a major cause of young deaths. Combating these eating disorders is not impossible, is an acquired disorder of birth and a condition that you acquire over time. Is important to educate the society to be comfort with their body and use other methods of reducing weight, convincing that avoiding meals or vomiting is not the correct solution.


Sleeping For Living!

By: Xiomara Abreu & Ashlyann Arana

Sleeping is one of the most important functions in every person’s life. Teenagers, mostly college students need between nine and nine-and-a-half hours of sleep each night. Yet surveys show that most teenagers get only six to seven hours. According to (an informative site about diseases), 20 percent of high schoolers say that they have fallen asleep in class.

Teens spend one-third of their day sleeping; meaning that by the age of 15, you will have spent about five years of your life asleep. That seems like a lot, but it is not wasted time. In fact, sleep is vital for a healthy body and mind.

During sleep the body makes a lot of vital functions. The cells get repaired, because sleep slows metabolism, heartbeat and breathing rate, which helps the body replenish after daily physical activity. The growth hormones in young adults are released. While you sleep, a hormone is released that aids the growth of bones, tissues and new red blood cells. The immune and nervous systems get stronger.

These functions are necessary to be healthy, so I you don’t get enough sleep your body won’t be at it top condition. Experiments have shown that rats that are forced to remain awake die in a little over two weeks, according to

Sleeping consist of three stages. The last one is the deep sleep, which is the one when the body and mind are completely relaxed. In this stage the person can really rest from the stresses of the day. “If you don’t get to that stage while sleeping is like you haven’t sleep at all,” said Hernán Mendez, coordinator of Promotion of Health Program at UPRM.

Threw out the years there have been many research for different illnesses.  In which scientists have studied the nature for particular disorders that had gain popularity among men and women, from children and teenagers to elderly. This bunch of illnesses is sleeping disorders.  Sleep problems are afflictions that could strike any age. A sleeping disorder is any condition that interrupts, disturbs, affects, disrupts, sleep.

More than half of Americans say they have trouble sleeping a few nights a week, and one in five feel fatigued almost every day.  These medical facts are alarming! (Source: University of Rochester Medical Center) The American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that there are more than 80 known sleep disorders.

            There are many diagnosis of sleeping disorders, but the common ones are: sleep apnea, insomnia, nocturias etc.  As strange as these disorders may seem they can affect many people in their sleeping behavior. All the basic instincts like sex and eating can come out aggressively, said Carlos H. Schenck, MD, senior staff psychiatrist at the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center.

Sleep disorders often appears with other health problems and together worsens the situation.  Pain and depression could keep you from sleeping all night.  Some doctors differ in the diagnosis of which comes first if the depression or the sleeping disorder. 

Insufficient sleep can result in car crashes, physical symptoms, decrease in daytime work performance as well in our studies feeling sleepiness and tired.  Our ability to be productive is being compromise, which this takes us to a level where you cannot think clearly. 

As this sleeping disorder takes on you becoming a health condition that could even produce in your mind suicide thoughts and becoming a threat to yourself, family and others.

Another consequence of having a sleeping disorder is constant irritability. “Someone who doesn’t sleep well is a nuisance,” said Hernán Mendez. Bad humor is caused because the brain fells overstressed when you haven’t sleep enough.

Mendez has been working at UPRM 20 years from now and he says that 70 percent of the students who come for counseling suffer from sleeping disorders. The most common causes that he has find are anxiety and depression.

Anxiety in college students is mostly due to the pressure that they have from classes, housemate problems, family problems and sentimental relationships. Depression is mostly due to inferiority complexes, the loss of someone special and traumas.

These conditions in college students can be caused by lack of recreation, ignorance of how to manage stress and constant change in the eating habits. “Eating junk food especially after seven pm is a sleep killer,” added Mendez.

Snoring is also a symptom that produces a sleeping disorder and is called sleep apnea.  This happen when you have blocked or narrow airways in your nose, mouth or throat. 

When you ask people if their snore they tend to say no, most likely because they sleep alone and are not aware, others are more embarrassed to admit it.  This is why it takes more time to be diagnosed and sometimes it becomes harmful for your health.  

Edwin Arana (father of Ashlyann Arana) is a clear case of sleeping apnea.  With the help of Evelyn Morales (his wife and mother of Ashlyann) he was attended by his Dr. Samuel A. Amill M.D. Board Certified Pneuomologist for Medicine of Critical Care.  For more than five years his was being deprived of oxygen when sleeping.  Until Morales could not stand any more the loud noise produce by his snoring, this was also not helping with his health.

Dr. Amill made many tests, one that could help him diagnose his condition. One of these tests was staying overnight in a facility with wires connected to his brain being this attach to a monitor in which it would indicate how was his sleep disorder affecting his sleep in 8 hours in night time. 

From then on until this day Edwin Arana sleeps with pressurized air mask while sleeping. It’s not comfortable but it helps him receive the oxygen needed to get a better sleep at night and at the same time he wakes up more effective than before.

Other example is the case of Evelyn Morales (mother of Ashlyann Arana), because she was diagnose with depression and anxiety. This affected her ability to sleep and was diagnosed with insomnia.  At this time her Dr. Ruth Rivera Malave Psychiatrist in Mental Disorder prescribes her with sleeping pills to help with this condition.    Before having this medication she would always be fatigue and tired not being able to do many things as she usually does.  Morales have been in treatment for the past four years, and hopefully she soon will to be able to sleep normally without any medication.

The first tip that Mendez offers to students with sleeping disorders is to make a schedule of the sleeping time and to stick with it. An important thing to keep in mind is that if you don’t dream, the short-term memory suffers. This memory is the most important for studying!

Another tip is to take short naps daily, but not in the bed. The bed should be only for sleeping and sex. A good place to take a nap is the sofa or a hammock.

When people use the bed for studying, they tend to have abnormal visions or hallucinations when they sleep. That’s the case of Miguel Alén (19), student of UPRM, who had bad experiences while he slept after studying in bed.  He saw shadows in his room and herd strange voices. According to Mendez this is a common symptom that college students present when aren’t getting enough sleep.

This “experiences” that people had due to sleeping disorders are being debated if it is a medical or spiritual condition. Some scientists call it sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is an inability to perform voluntary movement during the transition between wakefulness and sleep ( The episodes are usually associated with extreme anxiety and, in some cases, fear of impending death.

The principal symptom of sleep paralysis is hallucinations of hearing strange voices or having paranormal visions. Sometimes the patients felt pressure over their body too.

Felling the presence of someone else in the room is also a common symptom of this condition. In a recent study, 86 percent of patients said that they felt a weird presence in their room. These experiences are strongly related to the lack of sleep that overstressed people have.

There are emotional consequences of this condition due to the strong conviction that people have that they are real. The most common ones are depression, delusion of persecution and isolation ( It also depends on the religious beliefs of the affected person.

 We must be aware for the good of ourselves as medical research confirm the high percent of people with these sleeping disorders. The National Institute of health Agency is one of the resources for these studies.

Because of the wide variety of consequences that bad sleeping has, the best thing to do is prevent them by trying to get the best sleep we can. It is important, especially for students to get a good night sleep so they can perform at their fullest potential.

Anxiety and depression are the most common causes of sleeping disorders.

Dealing without Death …

By : Jesirel M. Rivera

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease , according to the official web page of the Relay for Life, . At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path.

This event is one of the most biggest celebration of the fight against the cancer . The advantages and benefits offered by the American Cancer Society are direct aid to cancer patients, financial assistance for medications, treatments, medical equipment, transportation and accommodation. They also offer clinics and ostomy patient support for women with breast cancer. Provide medical equipment, medicines and treatments, free to the patient studies according to Keila Castro , captain or a team of the Relay of Life of San Sebastian PR.  All this advantages are covered with the fundraised of the activity Relay for Life.

Going back , according to the official page of the activity . In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed  running marathons. In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He ran for more than 83 miles. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. Throughout the night, friends donated $25 to run or walk with Dr. Klatt for 30 minutes. His efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer.

Survivors lap and luminary ceremony

This event organize a lot of activities to cheer up and celebrate the life, some of them are the luminary ceremony, the survivors lap and the fight back ceremony.  The luminary ceremony is when we honor the people who has been touched by cancer and remember the lost ones .Using candles in a bag fill with sand with the name of one person touched by cancer and the volunteers and survivors offer a silence walk for them .

The survivors lap is a inspirational time when the survivors walk to celebrate their life   , in this moment all the volunteers applauded them for their brave and strong. These individuals give their time, love, and support to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers who face cancer. The fight back ceremony is when we make personal commitments to save life and fight against the cancer.

Some people join this activity because have familiars that suffer or die of cancer  or maybe survive to this disease , like the case of  Yairaliz Rodriguez , student of biology of the UPRM and survivor of leukemia . “I like that each youth learn what it means to the relay, which is a nice experience, you can spend well besides that we butler for a good cause and helping others” said Yairaliz.

This event is an activity of a complete one year of work, because you have to make or join a team, and each team need to organize activities to raised the money for the event.  Each team make sales of t-shirts, candles, ornaments and caps and all the money go to American Association of Cancer . In the event the team that raised more money is reward . Other categories to be reward are decorations , team work.

Each year one young survivor is choose to be the symbol kid , and the last year was Yairaliz Rodriguez “Despite having gone through this disease never imagine being young symbol of an event as important as the Relay for Life because I do not participate by earning some credit, just do it for help and that I like” tell us .

In the case of the events in the west area , funds raised in relief services are transformed into direct patient WEST AREA. This means that if someone needs to get a mammogram, if someone needs medication or money to the chemo or need any equipment they are free of charge. Just give food (Ensure). Clinics offering, patient support (psychologist, nutritionist, etc) are some of the activities to the volunteers and survivors.

According to the facebook page ( ) Relay for life is the result that the organization has saved over 11 million lives in the American nation through : Education for people to stay healthy , programs ans services to help patients improve their health during treatment , research for a cure and fight this disease through healthy public policy support.

Relay For Life

The first events of Relay For life 2010 are in Sabana Grande in February 5 and in San Sebastian in February 20 . One of the Relay for Like most visited according to the facebook page is in Mayaguez  .This event is celebrate in the UPRM and a lot of college students participate and support the activity including the marching band of the university.

Drunk Driving Effects:

By: Karilis La Luz, Diana Acevedo and Ángel Fuentes

For most young adults, including college students, it is normal to go to different activities and find alcohol beverages. It is the modality to consume this type of beverages, what leads to the state of drunkenness of many of them. Given the fact that many of them posses cars, they drive under this conditions what causes many of the car accidents.

Emotional damage:

When someone suffer a car accident, the one involved in the crash is not the only one that suffer the consequences. Especially if the injured is young, the life of the parents is affected to. Probably at first, they have to go through an emotional stage in which they have to accept the situation. In occasions, like when the accident was really serious and the victim needs a prosthetic part of the body, medicines or treatments for life or the victim is disable they have to adapt their life so they can deal with the changes that these can cause.

At 15 years old, Ramón and three of his friends, were victims of a serious car accident, because the conductor was driving under the influence of alcohol. They all suffer bad consequences, but the one with the worst ones was Ramón. Right after the accident the ambulance had to take him immediately to a hospital, there the doctors had to cut one of his legs off to save his life. After this he was in comma for a month. Ramón said: “ After this accident my life change completely, I had to quit school for some time, learn how to walk with a prosthetic leg, and worst of all I had to watch how my family suffer my situation, however they were always there supporting me.”

Ramón continued: “When someone under the influence of alcohol make the decision of driving, probably is not thinking about the consequences not only for him but for the ones on the car with him or someone in the street that does not have the fault”. Other thing that he said was that he like that other people took his situation as an example to not commit the error of driving under the influence of alcohol because they may damage someone else life.

Emotional damage does not only affect family members, it also affect police officers.

Police officer, Edwin Figueroa, had covered many car accidents, involving the ones caused by drunk driving, in the past 18 years. Officer Figuroa said: “When the family of the ones involved in fatal car accidents get to the scene they usually are desperate or they can not believe that their relatives are the ones injured.” He also said that when he was beginning as a police officer one of the hardest things to get used to was watching how relatives act when received a notice of this type. And he finished by adding that emotional effects are as bad as the ones regarding to fisical damage because they could last for the rest of the life of the ones affected.

Emotions can cause a serious effect, but the legal effects can be also severe.

Legal consequences:

Accidents have consequences, and drunken driving accidents can have several and many of them coming from the legal perspective. Different penalties can be given to the driver who is in the influence of alcohol. “The legal impact that is suffered after the accident can be immense” said attorney of law Javier Fuentes, referring to the large quantity of fines that law #22 of Vehicle and Traffic (2000) haves against drunk drivers.

Law #22 in section seven has written all the consequences that pass. The first sanctions that are presented in the act are the ones regarding to the infractions. The infractions penalties increase due to the times the drunk driver is intercepted. For the first interception the punishment is a fine minimum 300 hundred dollars maximum 500 hundred dollars, 30 days without driver’s license and a rehabilitee program. In a second interception the changes are a maximum of 750 hundred dollars, 15 to 30 days at jail, six months without license and the confiscation of the vehicle. In the third infraction the differences are 700 hundred minimum 1,000 thousand maximum, 60 days to six months in jail, two years without license an the confiscation of the vehicle, as said in the law.

“These different charges are given to create awareness and give the chance to the ones sanctioned” said Fuentes “but the other penalties are for punishment” continued attorney Fuentes regarding the ones that take place in accidents where they are bodily harm victims. In these cases the law has to divisions, which differ in the magnitude of the penalties, separating serious body damage from less damage.

The law dictates for the case of minimal body damage a punishment of a misdemeanor charge a fine of minimum 1,000 thousand dollars and maximum 5,000 thousand dollars, and a removal of license of five years. If it’s a serious body damage accident the mention penalties will be applied plus a maximum of three years in jail.

A victim is qualified for serious body damage when it has been left severely disable from any part of the body or permanently damaged from it.

Additional to law#22 a new project of law was approved, which determines that young adults between the ages of 18 and 20 can’t have more than 0.02% percent of alcohol in their blood, reducing it for them. Law #22 suggested that a person to be drunk and incapacitate to drive had to be with 0.08% percent of alcohol in the blood. “This was change due to the growing of interceptions of young people in state of drunkenness” said Fuentes.

Statistic ( show that many of the total interventions made to suspicious drivers revealed that more than 75% percent (14,511/18,878*100) are in state of drunkenness. “What this means is that people don’t care on what could happen if they get caught” continued Fuentes “and also that the different campaigns of the government against this action isn’t working” added Fuentes. Male are the most abundant in the interceptions as the Statistic said, 80% percent (428/535*100) of the total infractions. “To be efficient they should concentrate to give this education since early in school” said Fuentes as an idea to reduce accidents and interceptions. “But as it shows it is not an educational problem is a moral” said Fuentes.

Physical effects:

Dr. Hilton Franqui says “drinking and driving makes a fatal combination” he can say this referring to the experiences in hospitals dealing with persons injured by drunk driving.

Drunk driving at least has tow effects which are mention previously. The last but not least are the physical effects. The physical effects are the ones who affect the victims the most. They can be divided in three aspects one for external damage, another for internal damage and last one for emotion or mental damage  as Dr. Hilton Franqui mention.

The external damage can be described as does in which people involve in the accident suffer in their external body. “They can be very minimal or could get very serious” mentioned Dr. Franqui. External damages could be caused of the impact of the car and getting hit by the airbag, another example is when the cars get hit and the victim breaks the window because of the abrupt movement that the body gets during the accident. Examples of external damage could be scratch in the face arms and legs. But it could also be the fracture of the neck due to the rapid movement of the head.

Internal damage occurs in the internal environment of the body. “Usually these type of damage is serious because they usually affect internal organs” continued Dr. Franqui. They can be caused by the very hard impacts in the abdominal part where it could affect the stomach and also if the ribs area is affected the lungs could be damaged. “They are more serious because they are more difficult to cure” said Dr. Franqui.

Mental damage is the only damage that cannot be cured completely. Mental damage is caused by an abrupt impact in the head causing that the victim could lose memory be unconscious and also get in coma. “Mental damaged is always serious because it could not reflect immediately and when it reflects it could cause disability or death” he  explained.

These are the consequences that drunk driving can lead to the ones involved in the situation. People know what drinking can provoke in their lives. They know the health, emotional and legal implications. When people decide to drive under the influence of alcohol, they think they will be just fine, but they forget about all the consequences and about all the others out there that might suffer the consequences of their actions. Everyone must start thinking, not only about ourselves, but also about all the others out there.

Car accident caused by drunk driving (

PSA Brochure: Back Part

PSA Brouchure: Front Part

It’s Going To Be A Green-And-White Christmas

By Hamir J. Grau Rivera

The aftermath of the work stoppages in the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) put a damper on the holiday season of many students and faculty members of the UPR.  At the UPR- Mayagüez (UPRM), some of the faculty and the student body are making the best of a bad situation.

            During the fall semester at the UPRM, a work stoppage took place that resulted in a well-received week-and-a-half “vacation” for the students and faculty of the University.  While the stoppage was welcomed by most with open arms, others feared what the results of being a week behind schedule would be.  The results are in: a couple of holidays removed from the schedule, a late end to classes, and a disappointing final exams schedule.

            After the initial grieving process, the students accepted it and went on with their lives.  In spite of this, a lot of the students and faculty are keeping with the holidays and are sharing the spirit of the season.

             Edgardo Rios-Mena, a second-year student at the UPRM, is one of these people.  Edgardo is one of many students that go to their classes and the campus wearing a Santa Claus hat.  It may seem stupid to some, but it can’t be denied that seeing one of those hats walk into your classroom, puts a smile in your face.

            It’s little details like the Santa hats, the elf ears, and the reindeer antlers that make you smile the instant you see them.  “It’s not a big deal, it’s just because.  It’s tradition.”  It really isn’t that significant, but you know that when you see that red and white hat, it’s Christmas.

            Tradition is part of the season, and a lot of people are keeping their traditions away from home.

            Pamela Acevedo, a third-year Engineering major, did just that but in a more private setting.  Pamela had a small get-together with some close friends at her apartment.  “we just wanted to have a good time.  Finals time makes you a little tense, so this is a great way to loosen up.”

            Pamela and her friends wanted to do something special because of the holidays, a dinner party, some traditional foods and beverages, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.  “The Santa idea was sort of spur-of-the-moment.  It’s Christmas, so it just seemed right.”  She had a couple of her friends dress up for a picture, Santa Claus, one of his elves and a reindeer.  “Tis the season, right?”

            Edgardo and Pamela’s show of holiday spirit is somewhat personal and involves those closest to them.  But a small group of students and faculty members do the same but in a larger scale.

            In Puerto Rico, It’s a Christmas tradition to have what are called “parrandas”, which is the Puerto Rican equivalent of Christmas caroling, a small group of people playing music to others, taking the “act” around their neighborhoods.  At the UPRM it’s no different.

            Priscilla Rosario, a third-year Biology major, is part of a group of students and faculty that give parrandas during the Christmas season at the Student Center of the UPRM.  “It’s just something to do to bring a little joy to everyone.”  Priscilla has been part of the group since last year.  “I like doing it.  It’s great to see how everyone lights up when they hear us play.”

            It’s not just the students that are trying to keep traditions alive.  The UPRM itself has its own tradition.

            Every year the UPRM organizes a Christmas activity known as “el Encendido Navideño.”  The Encendido is a large gathering filled with music, arts and crafts, and food.  It all takes place on the university’s campus and the neighboring citizens attend as well as the faculty and the students.  The activity is topped off with the lighting of a big Christmas tree that decorates the campus.

            Christmas is a special time in Puerto Rico, so it’s only natural to do something special for your friends and family.  Since the circumstances don’t allow too much time for that, you have to do what you can to keep close.  And that is what inspires people like these UPRM students and faculty members to take a relatively bad situation and make the best of it.

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree...

It's not the North Star, but still very nice.

Here comes Santa Claus!

Employers Look at Facebook Too

By: Marilyn Soto Cebollero

Criteria used by different employers to recruit their employees may vary according to the size of their workforce and interpretation of its regulations by its management staff and human resources office. We all know that the first step to find a job is to hand in a resumé. However, for many companies that piece of paper containing your work history and proffesional experience is not enough.

In some cases, employers call your old supervisors for references and verification of information. This is the classic method that employers have used for decades to research your proffesional and character background. According to the website, each day more companies adopt a new method to know you better before hiring you, the well known social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, among others.

Gerardo Soto, Chemical Engineer and Hiring Manager of his area, said that biotechnology companies in Puerto Rico are adopting the social network method as a filter of their candidates for proffesional positions. “We look for the person’s social behavior because it could affect the company’s image,” said Soto. He added that they also look for positive highlights of the candidate, like professional publications and good communication skills.

Elisa Cruz, a Human Resources analyst of the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, disagrees with the social network screening of the job candidates. “Facebook is like a paper, it holds everything you write”said Cruz. She added that UPRM Human Resources Office use the Internet only if they have doubts about universities and their accreditations, concerning to the education of the candidate. “If I can’t verify certain information, I don’t considerate it,” said Cruz.

According to, 45% of employers use social networks to screen job candidates; 29% use Facebook, 26% use LinkedIn, 21% use MySpace, 11% search blogs while 7% follow candidates on Twitter. This website also reports that the top industries most likely to screen job candidates via social networking sites include those that specialize in technology and sensitive information: Information Technology (63%) and Professional & Business Services (53%). (Survey conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of between May 22 and June 10, 2009 among 2,667 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non- government) ages 18 and over.)

This new hiring trend should be considered by everyone in the job market and also those close to entering the workforce, as all posted information today could potentially have an effect on the next hiring manager that evaluates their profile. All social networking sites constantly update their privacy policies and posted information might become public if the profile holder does not update privacy preferences, which means anyone, including a potential employeer can now every detail of your life that you have made available. reports that 35% of employers have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate.  

What are recruiters looking for? The top reasons after screening online that cause not to hire a person are: to find provocative or inappropiate photographs, content about the candidate drinking or using drugs, candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients, poor communication skills and/or discriminatory comments. 

Inappropiate pictures are one of the top reasons employers disregarded job candidates after screening online.


Nevertheless, there are reasons after screening candidates online that encourages the employer to hire them. The top ones are: profile provided a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit; profile supported candidate’s professional qualifications; candidate was creative; candidate showed solid communication skills; candidate was well-rounded, other people posted good references about the candidate and candidate received awards and accolades.
(The reasons of hiring or not before the online screening in social network sites were reported by Jennifer Grasz, CareerBuilder Media contact, in an article for the Oregon Business Report website.) gives some recommendations of do’s and don’ts for use this resource to your advantage:


  •  Clean up digital dirt before you begin your job search; remove any photos, content and links that can work against you in an employer’s eyes.
  • Join groups selectively (employers look for mature persons, thus you end with virtual groups like “I Drink More Beer than Water”).
  • Consider to create your own professional group to establish contact with great recruiters and though leaders.
  • Keep gripes offline, keep the content focused on the positive, whether that relates to professional or personal information, makes sure to highlight specific accomplishments inside and outside of work.



  • Don’t forget others can see your friends, so be selective about who you accept as friends. Monitor comments made by others. Consider using the “block comments” feature or setting your profile to “private” so only designated friends can view it.
  • Don’t mention your job search if you’re still employed.
  • Don’t badmouth your current or previous employer.

It is important for people who aspire for change, a fruitful career or just a new job to be mindful with the content posted on their social network profiles. We must consider the consequences before acting, knowing that what you do today might affect the course of the rest of your life.

In these difficult financial times, missing a good job opportunity is a risk we cannot afford to take. Is it fair? Is this a new type of discrimination? New trends come with new questions. As employers increase the use of social networking websites to evaluate candidates, new rules will have to be set in place to control the type of information that they should be allowed to use to evaluate you for a job.

According to Cnnexpansió, the labor market is declining significantly and the number of people unemployed is increasing. It would be sad to admit that our behavior in social network sites is causing active job seekers to be denied of employment, especially in these times of economic crisis. The new generation, having unlimited access to technology, as some of previous generations have not had should start using these resources responsibly and in our advantage, underscoring our qualifications and conveying a professional image. It is never to early to start thinking about your future, considering that what you post today can prevent you from getting your dream job in the future.

45% of employers use social network sites to screen job candidates.

Why Fly Away When Puerto Rico Has Much to Offer

By. Carlos I. Perez Cisneros

The economic crisis is making the nice stay at a hotel, the family vacation to Disney, or the visit to relatives out of the island these vacations seem kind of distant.

The three most traveled time of the year are spring break, summer, and Christmas. These are the days that families pack up and go stay at a hotel or visit a theme park. Basically, it’s the moment where a person has to reach deep into their pockets and take out a nice sum of money to go have a “nice” vacation. “Plane tickets alone start at a minimum of 400 dollars during these seasons…if you’re lucky” stated Marcos Travel. 400 dollars per person in a family of four is more than a thousand dollars and that’s not including hotel, park visits, food, and any other costs that come with traveling.

In a time where the economy has hurt the majority of the working middle class and lower class families, that kind of money just isn’t easy to come by. Families who would leave Puerto Rico every Christmas and spend it with relatives in the states can’t because they are in such a tight budget. “We used to go every Christmas holidays to New York, but this year it just isn’t possible” commented Luis Perez.

One big problem with families is that they believe the only way to enjoy their vacation is to spend money on expensive five star hotels and plane tickets.

The definition of vacation according to is leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure. Rest and pleasure can be done from the convenience of one’s own home. Families can do many activities to spend time together and not have to spend thousands of dollars while doing them. This year many families are opting out of flying and staying in hotels but, they don’t have a clue of how to spend their vacation.

If you believe that there is nothing to do in Puerto Rico then you truly don’t know the island at all. Puerto Rico is small but, it has a lot to offer. A week is not even enough to be able to see everything there is.

Families during these holidays could   easily plan a week full of fun and diverse activities. One day you could plan to have a nice family outing on one of the many beautiful beaches that Puerto Rico has to offer. There are over 300 miles of beach. You could go to Crash Boat in Aguadilla, Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo, or Seven Seas in Fajardo. On the way to go to the beach, you could also sight see around the island.

There are many places to visit and monuments to see on the island. The family could visit Fort San Felipe, also known as El Morro, in San Juan, a fort built in 1539 by the Spaniards to protect the city. San Cristobal is also another fort located close to El Morro.

You could also take your love ones to Arecibo and visit the largest radio telescope in the world. Arecibo Observatory is over 12 football fields long, all inside a giant sinkhole. Another great place to visit that is close by Arecibo is the Camuy River Park Cave.  This cave system is the only one with a tropical underground river going through it.

If you’re more of an outdoors type family then the perfect place to go to is El Yunque. This is the only Rainforest that in the U.S. National Forest System. You could take your family on a hike inside the rainforest admiring its many beauties including its enormous trees and the many different type of coqui. While walking through El Yunque you could get to a pond with a waterfall and take a nice splash inside the cool crisp water.

La Parguera is another amazing spot to visit. It is a bioluminescent bay which lights up every night in different colors. Hearing about it is nice, but seeing it is much more amazing.

Puerto Rico also has two beautiful islands that have nice sightseeing spots and splendid beaches. Culebra’s Flamenco beach is one of the top ten beaches in the world.

Flamenco Beach

Beautiful Flamenco Beach

If your little kids love animals, a perfect place for a family outing is at the the Mayaguez Zoo. At the zoo there are over 300 different species of birds, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians. There are tigers, elephants, eagles, giraffes, zebras, and many other animals.

If you don’t have enough money to stay at hotels or visit theme parks and even if you do have the money consider exploring Puerto Rico. You’d be surprised about how much fun it could be and what you could learn along the way.

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