Animal Lover

There are seashells which unite together to form a heart in the sand which represents love and nature which identify Katia

Katia has lived all her life in a rural area where she develops her love for animals. Once in her life, she was walking around and a taxi car knocked down a dog and she saved him. Since that day when she gets that dog in her arms, she develops her passion for animals.

Katia is a humble and compassionate girl who takes care of her pets like a mother with her children. As described in the photo Katia is having a special moment with her dog sharing love and companionship each other. In the other way there are seashells which unites together to inform of a heart in the sand which represent the love and nature which identifies Katia.

When Katie’s was in high school, her parents gives her a dog and she gets emotional because each time she realizes that animals were her passion. Every day at the lunch time, she was in her home to take care of her dogs, although her friends calls her to entertain themselves, she felt that her dogs were her responsibilities.

Since she was a child, her parents bought animals specially dogs because they knew that she like them. Meanwhile, when she was becoming older, she adopted different class of animals to have different experiences. Actually, Katie is studying in the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez doing a bachelor degree in animal science. Also, she likes to post different kind of animals and knowledge of how to take care of them.

Katia’s plan for the future is to graduate from animal science, work with animals and get married. She wants to continue her studies in veterinarian medicine.

“We need to take care of animals because animals has feelings too”.

Words Counts: 310

Katia is having a special moment with her dog Leo. Sharing love and companionship with animals makes Katia happy.


Meet Gabriela

By: Christian J. Marrero Díaz

February 2, 2012

Gabriela at Unos in her 20th birthday, having a good time with her family. She is a very cheerful person that enjoys the company of friends and family.

A while ago Gabriela found out she was pregnant, she felt depressed and dropped out of every single class she was taking. She felt she was letting her family down, but with the support of the baby’s father , who never left her side, she continued forward and now they are making their lives together with a beautiful daughter called Ana Carolina.

Like many others in her generation, she grew up in a broken home, which marked her throughout her life yet she uses this personal experience as a motivation to provide a different life to her daughter.

How is she? She is a blonde haired young woman with a beautiful smile and a lot of personality and heart to go with it. She is cheerful, friendly, caring and tries to see the positive side to things. She says “everything has a purpose and I wouldn’t be who I am today without my daughter”.

By seeing Gabriela taking a nap at home with her two month old child, Ana Carolina, it is clear that the love for her daughter is what moves her these days. Even though life has been tough towards her, she continues to improve herself for her and her new family.

She moved with her husband recently to start a home with her new family. She returned to University after she gave birth to her baby and continued studying Biology, in hopes of one day being able to study Medicine.

What lies ahead for her? She says “I’m going to study Medicine to become a delivery doctor, because I want to bring babies to this life.”

“You have to live to the maximum and without worrying about mistakes, as long as there is a lesson to learned from them.”-Gabriela Muñiz

Melissa Nieves: Strong and Independent

Melissa has been considering a double major in Art Theory. Photo by Melissa Nieves

By: Emmanuel Colón

February 6, 2012

Melissa Nieves was 15 when her father left the family unexpectedly, leaving nothing behind, but broken promises of economic stability. To this day Melissa’s father makes it harder and harder for her mother to finish the settlement agreement. This experience made her the strong and serious woman she is today.
Melissa courses through her second year of college at UPRM where she studies chemistry without a scholarship because of the unresolved settlement agreement between her parents.
She considers herself a little antisocial and independent because she doesn’t depend on the company of others to be happy. However once you get to know Melissa you will see that underneath her serious exterior lies an interesting girl curious about the world around. Melissa is not a party animal though she likes to hang out among close friends. Among her hobbies are reading books, going to art exhibitions and admiring antiquities.Lately Melissa has had to postpone her plans in order to help her family. Because of her father’s behavior, Melissa’s mother, her sister and she are going through a tough time economically. Melissa and her family had to cancel planned vacations and even an internship because of the problem with her father.

Melissa takes notes as she interviews a fellow student in class. Her family experience has made her a strong but kind woman. Photo by Emmanuel Colón

Currently Melissa ponders on her future and sees herself pursuing a double major in Chemistry and Art Theory, and maybe becoming a professor. She also wants to travel the world and hike through “El Camino de Santiago” (The way of St. James) in Spain. One thing Melissa is sure about is she doesn’t want to work 30 years for a company doing the same thing on a daily basis.
“I do what I like to do at the moment” – Melissa Nieves Rivera.

The Game of Love

By: Gabriela Muñiz

2 February 2012

Christian riding in the Church bus after a community service. He had a great time with his girlfriend and his church brothers and sisters. Having God by his side is his number 1 priority in life.

Being inside his mother’s tummy, Christian, was a high risk pregnancy; his mother stayed in the hospital for months, while his father was an alcoholic and wasn’t supportive to his mother.  After he was born, Christian’s mother decided to leave his father and start a new life being a single and proud mother in Puerto Rico, where he grew up and became a man.  After 14 years without knowing his blood father, he received a phone call from him, which he thought it was a joke. He then decided to meet his father’s family in Springfield, Massachusetts, and found out the kind of person his father was, “no one to look up to”, said Christian.  He felt sorry for him as he got to know him, and realize that his mother made the right choice for them.

Christian is a very funny, attentive, but most importantly, a caring person. He is a Computer Programmer student at UPR of Mayaguez. He enjoys his free time playing console games, specially “Call of Duty”, which is a war game.

Christian in Church with the love of his life, his girlfriend Melissa. The love he has for Melissa is so strong, that he can’t imagine his life without her.

In High School, he met Melissa, the love of his life, ever since they have been together.  The love he has for her is sincere, pure and strong. It has been three years since he met her, and he feels like the first day, but most important he feels she is the one.

By having God by his side, he feels strong and centered headed to continue his journey as a computer programmer with the dream of working in a gaming company and having a beautiful family.  And like Christian said, “ Having my love by my side, gives me strength to be the man I am today and the man I will be tomorrow.”

“Love is a reason for living, a reason for trying, a reason for life.”

A performer with a lead role in life

A performer with a lead role in life

By: Melissa Nieves Rivera

February 1, 2012

            Most people assume that for someone who does theater it has to be an open, loud person, but there is always an exception to the rule. When Emmanuel Colon first entered in the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus (UPRM) he was extremely shy. It was not until he joined the theater group Teatrum five years ago, that he began to socialize more with fellow members and classmates. “I was very shy except in theater.”- he explained me during class. Without knowing him you could think he is really timid and never imagine that he is an actor. After his audition, Teatrum gave him the role of the man in Act Without Words I. Since then he has learned from other members in the group and some directors.

Taken in his home, Emmanuel poses for an auditioning photograph. When it comes to theater nothing bothers him as we can see such serenity in his face.

The original plan was to do his major in Linguistics here in UPRM and study theater later in UPR-Rio Piedras Campus. Nevertheless once he was accepted in Teatrum, he fell in love with the group and decided to stay. Teatrum seemed like a second home to Emmanuel; a place where he made new friends who shared his passion: the joy to perform with a live audience. Until today he has been performing with the group in any kind of theater. In addition he has a certificate in film and now he is coursing his last semester.

Playing “El joven” in "Chorro de Sangre" was Emmanuel’s first real experience in theater. For the first time he truly experiences doing what he loves.

Even though his true passion is acting, Emmanuel has other interests such as photography and learning foreign languages. “I’m the kind of person that takes a picture of anything.” More than that he enjoys capturing daily moments that people think are insignificant. Three years ago he began with this hobby and it has become a new passion. Recently he has done some work with Myrna Renaud in a recent piece called La casa que soy.

Some of Emmanuel’s work as a beginner in the field of photography. The picture shows that curiosity and need that he has of capturing everything in an image.

As we kept chatting he mentioned how difficult his life was sometimes. Belonging to mid-class has its perks. Due to some economic difficulties he has had the chance to learn to cherish what he already have and earn what he wants; a quality that few persons have.

However there hasn’t been a difficult moment that has stopped Emmanuel from learning academic and personal matters. As mentioned before he also has a strong interest for foreign languages. Currently he is learning French and hoping to learn Russian although is very difficult. Learning new languages, especially from European countries, is an excellent choice for someone who is planning to continue his studies in Europe. Some will think it may be difficult but every once in a while people have the right to be dreamers. As a friend of him, Fran Casillas, said “Don’t go looking for a change, make it happen.” and Emmanuel certainly can.

First was a stranger, now a unique person.

By: Carlos Andrés González Arce

February 2, 2012

Laura’s playing and cuddling a baby. We can see the happiness she feels when around kids.

When Laura was in fifth grade, she suffered from an unknown disease. Her family took her to the hospital to treat her sickness and the doctors gave her a treatment for flu all the time she was there. It took a month for the doctors to realize that Laura did not have flu, and instead she had pneumonia which doctors found in x-rays they had seen in x-rays taken of her. This experience in that hospital due to the irresponsibility of the doctors changed a peculiar perception in her life.


Since that point on, she looked at medicine in a different way, it became her passion; to prevent other kids from suffering the same.


At first sight Laura looks like any other sophomore student, at UPR Mayagüez Campus. She looks like a shy girl, or shy like other girl in the campus, with long hair and curls, wearing pretty shirts and jeans with sandals or sneakers, with a big backpack for all the things for her busy class schedule. This is only the first impression because when you get to know Laura, her shyness disappears, you have a good time with her by enjoying jokes, laughing from strange things but most important you will see all the good values and feelings that she has been taught since she was little. “Everything can be achieved, only if you propose it to yourself”, that is her motivating motto.


Laura graduated from high school in May of 2010. In her high school years she was involved in every kind of extracurricular activity such as student counselor, trips to do service and even joined sports teams though she did not touch the ball. However she is now pursuing a bachelor grade in biology to enter the UPR Medical Science campus afterwards and specialize in pediatrics.


In the near future she wants to follow her parents’ example in her everyday life by having a family and the job she is working hard for.


“Everything has a purpose, you only need to find it and make it happen.”

UPR Medical Sciences. In this building, Laura will finally meet her final challenge of becoming a Pediatric doctor .


Surfing Up Life

By: Jermian Roman

February 2, 2012

 Being on the verge of drowning can be a shocking life experience to many and it can be traumatic to the extent of fearing water on the simplest of forms. Marcos Cruz is a young man who loves to surf and was surfing for his life during his 18th birthday in Marias Beach on Rincon, where he almost drowns.

Marcos visits Dome’s Beach, Rincón. Marcos takes a rest from a session of surfing during November, 2011

Marcos visits Dome’s Beach, Rincón. Marcos takes a rest from a session of surfing during November, 2011

Marcos has become what we can call a soul surfer, fighting to stay alive and help humanity on the process.

During his 18th birthday Marcos was about to die during a surf session on Rincon, which left him reflecting about his entire life. He became a surfer due to his older brother Ian, which died at the age of 19 years, who taught Marcos everything he now knows about surfing. Being close to death’s grasp, Marcos is reborn as another man, whose purpose in life is found with a second chance to live, who will fight against hunger around the globe.

Marcos was born in New York and then was raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; later on he goes to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico to finishes his high school studies in “Colegio San Benito”. Marcos proceeds to develop a bachelor’s degree in Computer Systems. Even though he is developing his career in Computer Science, he is still indecisive as to what he will be really working on the future.

Living up through many ordeals in life, Marcos wants to have a professional job that would allow him enough funds to help society and the world itself. When the time is right, Marcos will gather as many resources as he can and will move to Africa developing and funding programs that will help purify water.

The freedom of being able to be in the sea is Marcos’ therapy. His reflections and objectives are gathered when he is at the beach.

The freedom of being able to be in the sea is Marcos’ therapy. His reflections and objectives are gathered when he is at the beach.

“In the moment you accept who you are, what you have, and where you are heading, you will reach your happiness”

The life on a photo

Daileen is an artistic girl that had passed through a lot of things in her life but she stills enjoying her life. Daileen was born in Moca, lives with her mother and brothers. Daillen as many persons this days has a difficult relationship with her father. Besides all the problems that she had, she is living her life at maximum. She is an artist; this had led to some awesome moments in her life. She is a painter and photographer, and this had brought some experiences to her life that she wouldn’t imagine. Daileen was invited to her first art presentation in which she sold all of her paintings. She was so surprised she did not believe what was happening, she continued to paint other pieces when her all her friends came to her to congratulate her and to tell her that things come when you don’t expect them.

In first you see a shy girl, but when you really talk to her you see that she is a friendly person, that likes to talk with people. She studied all her life in San Sebastian. Actually she is in her third year on the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus completing a bachelor’s degree in English. Daileen loves to take photographs of her friends and family; Daileen likes to capture the essence of the moment with her camera and then editing is another story. Daileen also likes to ride longboard with her friends in the campus or in the street.

But there is a detail on Daileen life that really is something to admire, she wants to be a teacher, but not a regular teacher she wants to transmit her knowledge to those who have hearing problmes. Really this demonstrates what person she is and big heart she has. Daileen also wants to be a Journalist on the future. And finally likes she says: “If you are going to do something, be good at it and do your best or don’t do anything at all.”

Daileen with the beautifull scenery of Orocovis. She likes photographing , more than a hobby her passion.Her passion art,she is an artistic person that likes to express her ideas. Here a collage of things that Daileen enjoys.

Her passion art,she is an artistic person that likes to express her ideas. Here a collage of things that Daileen enjoys.

Optimism at its best

By: Nicole M. Ortiz Figueroa

February 2, 2012

This is Joseph Vargas. Joseph enjoys laughing and spending time with friends, like in this picture.

Optimism- to anticipate the best possible outcome, is perhaps one of the best words to describe Joseph Vargas. In several occasions he was told that he wouldn’t be able to get into the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez, yet Joseph thought the contrary.

He showed everyone that he was able to get in and saw the future with high expectations. Even though Joseph made his point very clear, he described the university as a stressful place to be in, not because of his studies, but the fact that he has to stay long periods of time inside a classroom.

He would prefer being outdoors since he loves being surrounded by nature or fishing, which he enjoys, nevertheless his first fishing experience was unforgettable, yet everyone would seem flabbergasted by this remarkable story. He and a few other friends went fishing at night really far from the shore, but as they were sailing the boat hit a sandbar and began to descend as Joseph and his friends thought they would never get to see their families again. Just as their personal belongings were floating away, they noticed that a few things had stayed near them and those were a pair of paddles and an empty gallon, which was instantly used to take water out of the boat.

Joseph and his friends were all able to sail back to shore while being relieved to know that they had another chance of life. Joseph’s first fishing experience, as well as other situations have made him forever grateful of the opportunities in life, the family he has, and shaped him into the young man that he has become.

Joseph now plans on finishing his college education in order to become a professor. He can’t wait to have a family of his own and retell his fishing and life adventures.

And as Joseph himself said, “We have to laugh at life, why cry?”

There are four things that motivate Joseph the most. Joseph’s family, outdoor activities,and happiness are a driving force in his life.

A Friendly Traveler

By: Edna I. Cruz Reyes

February 2, 2012

José Antonio as he helps the children in the orphanage in Kolkata. This experience has been the one that has marked his life in many positive ways.

Three years ago, along the busy streets of Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), India, a friendly face can be seen helping those less fortunate. Children from the orphanage are gathered around him listening to him carefully as he teaches them and helps them receive an education. Today, José Antonio Franco is an exchange student at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus.  He is a giving soul that has dedicated his life to traveling around the world, discovering new places, while helping people along the way.

At first glance, Jose’s relaxed manner and shy demeanor don’t give away all of his dreams and passions in life. Dressed comfortably just like any other student, you cannot tell he is from Spain, until you hear him talking in the pronounced Spanish accent which is characteristic of a Spaniard.

José Antonio is from Bajadoz, Spain, a city that lies in the border between Spain and Portugal. He has travelled to many places around the world, but his most significant trip was to Kolkata, India, where he worked for an NGO (Non-governmental Organization) as a volunteer by giving classes to children in orphanages. He also has studied Industrial Engineering in various universities, among them are the University of Bajadoz, University of Valencia, and University of Madrid. In the latter one, he enrolled in the exchange student program and came here to Puerto Rico. Currently, he is an Industrial Engineering exchange student in his last year at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus.

About his biggest passions, which are traveling and learning, José Antonio says, “I like to travel and live in different cultures, learn and understand cultural points of view, and above all learn about different educational systems.” But he also states that he wishes to learn surfing, play the guitar, and learn to speak Mandarin. Regarding his experience in Puerto Rico, he said his favorite places so far are Flamencos beach in Culebra and the beaches in Rincon, which he visits from three to five times a week.

Always the traveling soul, Jose Antonio explores the streets of Amsterdam, ready for any new experience that the world has to offer.

As for his experience in Puerto Rico he says, “It has been very different from my experience in Spain, but I can say that it has been very positive for me and it has been accompanied with a good quality of life.”


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