An Unparticular Individual

By:Eduardo Sinigaglia Sierra

Eduardo Sinigaglia Sierra is an actual student of History of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. At first look…he’s  an average little guy with dreadlocks wearing a cap around the campus. But once you get to share some words with him for a while maybe you’ll consider him a very unparticular individual. A kid from a catholic, conservative and caring family, but his mother and father are very liberal in some way. The life along his parents caused that his view of the world is not like how the “mainstream” crap says. Not affiliated to any political party, he believes in the independence of his loved country Puerto Rico; although he also has Mexican roots because of his grandmother. You get a little shocked when you get to know he does not believe in democracy and is a fascist. He strongly believes that “the political circus” of Puerto Rico can be ended with a fair administrator, or a president; he says with a laugh; evaluated by a parliament for 30 to 50 years.

Born in Ponce and raised in the small town of Guayanilla, surrounded by the amazing natural resources that only the locals are aware of. This is basically what he lives for; he is a defender of his culture, he wants his country to get recognized. He explains that he studies history for that reason; “People have to know where they come from in order to move forward and this system does not allow people to know who they really are…we cannot allow that”.

Almost any person can share an interest with him: he has a handful of conversation topics to discuss, among them can be mentioned: Astronomy, natural sciences, psychology, history, spiritualism, politics, sports, education, culture and others. His music taste is quite diverse as well, he enjoys listening to artists ranging from Chopin and Vivaldi to Pink Floyd and The Doors. When you ask him about goals in his life you will get the essence of his person. “To live you only need food, water and space in the place you love but never alone; that would really make me happy”. He plans to get a double Ba. In history and psychology to try to reform the education system in order to accomplish his view of this society. If this does not happen, he will make “patria” throughout his photography.

New looks, new life

By: Cristina Soto Padua

In this photo it shows how much Valeria loves animals. Here Valeria is showing her favorite dog, its name is baby Koala.

When Valeria was born she suffered from a misplaced chin, many people categorized as an “imperfection.” This caused a very low self due to all the commentaries made by people. Thank God she had the complete and total support of her mother, father and sisters. But most importantly she had her mother that was her strong point. Valeria since she could remember had a struggle and a fight with her appearance. When she went to school she battle her insecurities, people bulling her, her low stem and many other feelings that brought her down. If that wasn’t enough for her, she had to cope with the dead of her grandfather. Even though, she had not the best relationship with him, it was a heartbreaking lost. She still remembers him with a lot of love. Valeria doesn’t suffer from misplaced chin anymore; she went in a life changing surgery at the age of seventeen. When she decided to take this step in life, she was in her last year of high school; she had never imagined that the surgery was going to be such a painful one. It took months to recover, but she felt better after going thru this operation. Now days, Valeria is studying general agriculture in the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. She’s really dedicated to her future, studying really hard, and maintaining a balance so she can achieve every goal that she wants. Valeria its 100% sure that she is going to change to the faculty of “ Industria Pecuaria”  she is going to make this change so she can become a veterinarian. She loves animals and knows that’s the right move for her. “My future dream is to become a veterinarian; I volunteer to do in a clinic free labor since that I am convinced that my future belongs helping animals.”

 

When she is helping animals she feels complete. There are no words for explaining the satisfaction she gets by doing this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Another Step

By: Luis Alberto Rivera

Here we see Nelson with his everyday smile in his parent’s car. This picture was taken in a common weekend when he goes out with his family to enjoy in their company.

Life changes, and if you were able to travel trough time to any moment before these past two years and visited Bayamón Military Academy (BMA) in recess period you would probably have seen Nelson Feliciano in the basketball court practicing. Basketball has always been his passion, but since he moved out from home, he has not been able to practice it anymore. This determined young guy decided to follow his dreams in life, that is why two years ago he left his hometown and relocated to Mayagüez. Everyday, he turns up at the University of Puerto Rico early in the morning, attend his classes and return to his apartment to study. Although he takes time to play basketball once in a while, he is not able to be part of a team anymore due to his studies, but he does not hesitate because he knows that this determination will lead him to success. Feliciano has spent his whole life in Bayamón, he was born there and studied in BMA since he was four. In high school he won a regional robotics competition and then had the opportunity to travel to the state of Florida to participate in another one. It was there where he figured out that mechanics was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life. That is why he moved to Mayagüez in 2010. His most treasured dream is to become a mechanical engineer specialized in the area of biomechanics where he expects to work developing new prosthesis to help people. He also wants to move to United States, because he says that technology is better there. Nelson is happy and always finds a reason to wake up because “life is one, and it is short, I just expect that in the end I could say that I lived and enjoyed”.

The rubik’s cube grabbed Nelson attention some time ago so he practiced until he learned to solve it. He was so hooked with it that he made a record of 48 seconds, this shows Nelson’s capabilities.

Arise from Ashes

By: Cecilia Monclova Santana

Wilmary Perea was about to finish her first year at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus, when she noticed that her second year will be at home. Wilmary was forced to take a probation period out of the college because of her grades.

Wilmary Perea is holding a little chicken in her hand, taking care and protecting this fragile life. Wilmary has a heart for help others like communities and abused women who she councils.

At first it was a hard process to assimilate the idea that she wasn’t studying anymore, but from ashes she arises. After that Sabbath year, Wilmary took the opportunity to work in communities as a social worker, helping them to raise funds for community improvements. Also she helped women that are abused by their parents or mates, giving them orientation and helping them to get out of the vicious cycle.

Wilmary walked entire communities meeting people and looking for their necessities. Just with a single partner she walked streets and alleys looking for needs.  Wilmary in confidential rooms deal with women with bruised arms, beaten eye, fiscally and emotionally destroyed. Wilmary holding her tears and controlling her emotions tried, as much as she can, to help these women and these communities.

Wilmary returned to College in 2010 and now she is in her third year. She came back refocus in what she wants for life, ready to finish her minor in General Agriculture. With no time no waste she is looking to take advantage of everything she does.

©Carta De Una Mujer Maltratada (picture). Women in Puerto Rico are abused by their parents or mates. Social workers help these women to get out of that abused cycle and help to restore them in every aspect of their lives.

Now with 21 years old she expects to finish what she started, she wants to go back to the communities and help them again. Also she wants to take care of the women that she knew and guide them through the rehabilitation and healing process.

“My life took a course that I didn’t expect but I knew how to create something good from it. Now my way to see life has changed and I feel no longer selfish. I don’t want to lose that heart never.”

Setting His Goals

By Joel Navarrete Ayala

Rolando Matías enjoying a nice sunny day at the beach with his friends. He goes to Jobos Beach in Isabela cause it’s near his house.

When Rolando was about 5 years old he was riding his sisters’ bike in front of his house when the brakes on the bike failed him and he crashed into his neighbors’ fence. He cracked his head and his mother had to take him to the hospital to get stitches. Rolando Joel Matías grew up in San Antonio de la Tuna, Isabela, P.R. with his mother Zaida Mercado, his father Wilson Matías, his half sister and half brother; he also went there to the Manuel Ramos Hernandez High school. He plays paintball, yu-gi-oh, ps3, and likes to go to the theater. Rolando is a very calm and laid-back guy that doesn’t like to go out a lot but when he does he likes to visit and eat in new and different places and he enjoys it because he is among family and friends. He also likes to go to the beach and have a nice day with his friends.

He’s a person that likes to help others that’s why he is considering a medical career so he can help those in need. He’s pondering on the idea of going outside of Puerto Rico to practice medicine.

From the incident with his sisters’ bike when he was little he got a scar in his forehead and his classmates would compare him with Harry Potter. When Rolando finished high school in 2010 he enrolled in UPR Mayaguez, where he is coursing his second year of biology and has his sight in becoming a doctor possibly by studying radiology in UPR Río Piedras. Rolando would like to be a prominent doctor with a loving family and a beautiful house in which to live. He also considers the possibility of moving outside of Puerto Rico after he graduates to practice his profession. “I like to live through each day as if it was my last because there is so much to do and learn and you must live life at its fullest without wasting a single minute and learning from your past mistakes”.

Engineering your Future

By: Bianca T. Caraballo Polanco

Yisseliz is a young and very promising girl who has her mind set into what she wants to do with her life. She has gone through two operations were one almost cost her her life. But these are the situations that keep her going and motivated in the things she wants to do and the person she wants to become in a near future. Yisseliz is from Vega Alta and is a second year student in Civil Engineering student from “el Colegio de Mayagüez.” She first got interested in Civil Engineering because she saw what her neighbor was doing, all the paper work she brought and she found it very interesting and also from an early age she always found the structure of antique building very fascinating. Her major inspiration for her studies is her mother, because she has gone through a lot to keep her family together and to complete her education. One of the purposes of why Yisseliz is studying Civil Engineering is so that she can build her mother her very own house ,because they’ve  been living in their grandmothers house and  she always wanted to had her family in a home she would call her own. This is a promise she has made and is going to keep.  Yisseliz is a very simple girl, always dressed in short jeans and sneakers but at the same time is very up- beat and very family orientated. In the future she sees herself going to Law School and becoming a lawyer for Civil Engineers, because she has that kind of knowledge for it. No matter what she chooses to be, she would be great at anything she sets her mind to.  Yizzeliz always believes that “When life gets you down God won’t let you die in the middle of his plans in you”.

Here is Yisseliz with her mother and sister celebrating Mother’s Day, one of many to remember. Yisseliz’s mother is her biggest inspiration and her reason to keep going.

 

One of Yizzeliz’s main purposes for becoming an engineer is so that she can build her mother a brand new house. Yisseliz has made this a promise to her mom and is working hard to make it happen and achieve it.

 

A Self-Proclaimed Uninteresting Person

By: Karla Marie Rodríguez Acosta

Bernard, candidly posing for a picture while wearing a simple, casual attire and headphones around his neck. Music serves as an outlet to help him relax and clear his mind.

At first sight, Bernard Aanonsen might seem like an ordinary guy. From his baggy jeans and graphic t-shirt, to his messy hair and battered backpack, he looks just like any other guy who’s trying to get through a day at Colegio without having a stroke. However, there are things about Bernard that make him quite a character. If we manage to overlook the fact that he looks like an average college student, hastily walking around campus under the pouring rain, and make a decision to get to know him, we will come to realize that he is in fact a very talented debater.

“You should be a lawyer,” his friend encourages him after listening to one of his many brilliantly developed arguments. “I’m too idealistic to be a lawyer,” he argues in return, explaining that knowing, or even suspecting, that a client could be guilty, would impair his judgment, disabling him from offering an adequate defense. Strong statements like this don’t usually come out of the mouths of uninteresting people, but despite that fact, Bernard claims he leads a very “unexciting” life.

Most people don't pay as much attention to others' rights, unless theirs are violated. Animal right activists show a great level of compassion and empathy for those who don't have a voice by actively fighting to give them one.

One might argue that the word “interesting” is very subjective, and that although he feels as if his life is very normal, others might actually find it extremely amusing. Perhaps he doesn’t do extreme sports, or tours the world in concert, but as an animal rights activist, disgusted with animal abuse and animal testing, he could definitely have a fan base of his own (PETA anyone?). With aspirations of becoming a veterinarian, Bernard works very hard as a Biology major to hopefully fulfill his dream; yet he continues to claim he is uninteresting, leading us to realize that: what can be more interesting than a self-proclaimed uninteresting person?

“I don’t bungee jump or paraglide,” he says, “I’m just an average guy.”

The Green Surfer

By: Jorge López Martínez

Monday Morning. The Green Surfer picks up his surfing board and heads to Córcega Beach where he can slide over the wild waves of the Atlantic Ocean. He waits patiently for the tallest wave, but then he remembers that he has to leave to be on time for his first class, taught on a very different setting: a crop plantation.

In the photo above, we see the work of José Rodríguez at his farm located at Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico. The farm is part of the family heritage and it has been active since 1903.

Jym Carlo is an Agricultural Sciences major who enjoys the tropical wind of Puerto Rican beaches but also the cultivation of what his family will eat on every dinner. His whole life he has craved to live in huge spaces such asbeautiful beaches or the greenest farms, places  where he can do what he likes the most. Since he was a little child, he used to help his grandfather on the harvest of plantains and bananas in a small farm at Sabana Grande, a southern small town of Puerto Rico. He enjoyed traveling every weekend from his hometown to his grandfather’s  house to spend all three days working the land. Ever since, he promised himself that he will continue the work of his ancestors. He attends college every day to learn the process of cultivation, from breeding to harvesting, having in mind what his grandfather taught him many years ago: “Do not forget your roots because they are what define you”.

Jym Carlo learned one thing about surfing: you should never look back but only move forward. The challenge is always going to be enormous, but there’s always a chance of getting out of the tunnel.

Riding his skate board through the college campus from building to building, from class to class, he recalls the words that keep him moving forward: “You reap what you sow”.

Certainly his work will guide him to extraordinary results, but for now he keeps working very hard, riding his board, gliding over the waves, cultivating the lands of his family and studying thoroughly to become what he has always wanted to be, to finally harvest the fruits of his labor.

An unusual success story

by Edwin R. Jusino

Doris Luisette Soto Rodriguez, shown here, posing for the camera. The UPR-M English Major works as a waitress in a nearby restaurant.

Coming from a small mountain town in the south of Puerto Rico, Coamo, Doris Luisette Soto managed to surpass her dyscalculia, a disorder which makes it hard to study mathematics, graduate from public school and attend the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.

From a Jewish background, the young Soto at first wanted to study biology, but because of her condition, opted for English, a stunning decision when placed into perspective that recent test scores of Puerto Rico’s public school system showed a badly deficient program when it comes to English language education.

Israel and Puerto Rico share a common bond. Two nations, though separate, come together in Doris Luissete Soto.

Doris works as a waitress in a local restaurant, La Posada, in Mayagüez, and is also the hostess of a local radio station’s techno music show called “Rock the Show,” on Thursday nights. Soto also pays for her apartment, without her parent’s aide, which she rents nearby the Mayaguez docks, and manages to get a premium education in one of the territory’s most prestigious institutions.

Soto was born on  Aug. 16th of 1989, and is half Jewish; her mother is both Puerto Rican and Jewish, her father is not of Jewish descent. Currently her parents are divorced.

Doris Luisette Soto wishes to finish her English with a concentration on Literature Major to continue on to study public relations or journalism; she wishes to establish a PR company, though for her, the future is not written in stone.

“Opportunities should not be wasted. Life is jus one; living it is a great experience.”

Marine Officer in the Making

By: Valerie D. Centeno Cruz

During his early childhood years, David Matos’s parents enrolled him in a school with a strong military program in hopes of providing him with a good education. It was there that, through hard work and motivation, he found inspiration in the school’s principal whom was a Marine.

Poolees, or Marines-to-be, have their umbilical cord cut as they are born into their new military life and smacked for their first breath by their newly introduced Drill Instructor. On this family day at Fort Buchanan, their families are allowed to witness their first steps towards transformation.

Since then David knew he wanted to pursue a military career, he wanted to become a Marine Officer. His earlier school experiences allowed him to believe that he had potential and to discover his passion for the field, so when he started college he enrolled in the Marine Corps. His aim now is to graduate with a bachelor degree in Political Sciences, so he can start in the Marines’ Officers Candidate School and earn himself the title.

When talking with David about his aspirations and goals, he immediately stands out from the other students in the class. He is well grounded and knows exactly what he wants and where he is headed. Even his looks go along with his goals: clean cut, physically fit and a serious face.

David leaves camp on the back of a Humvee in order to acquire some gear for operation Javelin Thrust Bravo. During this recent summer training, he had to endure the hot climate of the Nevada desert.

David was born in New York and lived there until he was thirteen years old. His parents, who are both Puerto Rican, yearned to move back to the island. His father worked for the post office and had requested a job transfer to Puerto Rico, which was granted 14 years after his request. Since then, David and his family have lived in Puerto Rico.

He has in his plans to have his own family and home. Even though this career might pose an emotional challenge for all of them, he hopes it will provide financial security for them as well.

“A Marine Officer has in his responsibility the lives of others. I want to hold on to that responsibility and make a difference in this field.”

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