Road Trip To Cabo Rojo

By: Elbin G. Torres Rivera

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Life after retirement
Nestor Marrero and his wife, both 64 and from Añasco, enjoying a beautiful day fishing at the beach of Joyuda, Cabo Rojo. They go two or three times a week every month, from 7 to 10 am, to enjoy the ocean and to relax. “There is not much to do after you retire, you get old and don’t have the same energy. People do different activities and stuff, this is what we do.”

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A job with a great view
Kenneth Areche has the job that anyone would love to have. He is the tourist guide of the Cabo Rojo’s lighthouse and not to mention the beautiful view he has from there. He works five days a week and loves going out of the lighthouse and seeing the ocean in front of him. “After many remodeling the lighthouse reopen to the public on march 24 of 2014 and has had around 6000 persons visited it already. This place is considered one of the most beautiful views in the world.”

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Internal tourism
Luis Rivera and Sonia Malave, the couple taking a picture of, are a travelling senior couple from Ponce. They have visited every place in Puerto Rico and love to travel the island. Cabo Rojo is one of their favorite places on the island.

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A lonely soul
Leandra Santiago,24, from Lajas, is a lonely but passionate woman. She likes to go to the beach alone and think about her life. Her favorite place is the cliff that it is in front of the Cabo Rojo’s lighthouse. “It is so relaxing feeling the breeze and the sound of the waves. This is my therapy.”

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Road runners
Anthony Robles and his wife Natalie Guzman are a cycling couple. They are from Cabo Rojo and ride their mountain bikes three to four times a week. They like riding and feeling the ocean breeze. They are not the only ones that do it. There are several more people that ride with them.

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A break from “El Colegio”
Christian Tejada, 22, Electrical Engineering student from The University Of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez, knows how to chill. When he is not studying for a test or doing a project, he is enjoying the wonders that Cabo Rojo gives. “Playa Sucia is the best place to leave out the tension of the “Colegio”. Some beers, sun and this beautiful water and you forget everything that you had in your mind.”

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Beach and sand
Joseph Nieves, 10 year old boy, plays with the sand while everybody else enjoys of the beach. His parents live on Cabo Rojo. He enjoys a lot the beach at his young age.

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Life on the sea
Tony Cruz, a middle aged fisherman, is resident of Combate, Cabo Rojo, P.R. Every day he wakes up early in the morning and goes to the dock where he has his boat. He leaves the dock at 3am. And goes into open sea for fishing. At 10am he is back from fishing. “The fishing business is running slow right now. There are not many fishes like before.”

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Under the umbrella
George Rivera and Brenda Carmona, citizens of Cabo Rojo, are a retired couple which spend their days in the “Poblado” in Boquerón. They enjoy talking to strangers and making new friends. They often talk about their lives and remember those old glory days. “ We are getting old, but there is no bigger satisfaction than knowing that you have lived well.”

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Best part of the sea
Margarita Pagan is in charge of the cooking at El Pirata. It is located a the entrance of Boquerón. The place is famous for it’s lunch but over all it is the seafood that makes this place wonderful. “There is nothing like eating a “empanadilla de Carrucho” with a beer here in Cabo Rojo. If you come here and don’t eat seafood, you are wasting your time.”

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Trans Visibility in Colombia

By: Johan S. Rodríguez Cabán

Dr. Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, associate professor in the American University in Washington DC, brought to light the social situation of the transexual community throughout Colombia, where those living outside major cities were persecuted and made to abandon the town and move elsewhere, most of them relocating in major cities where the government had “use” for them.

Dr. Vidal-Ortiz gave a powerpoint presentation about the subject on Thursday, March 6 at the Chardon Building of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. He started off his presentation by defining the basic concepts of his presentation. He then defined the trans community as two major parts: trans women who are men that have the sexual identity of women and trans men who are women with sexual identity of men. Both groups have faced similar consequences in Colombia.

Outside of the major cities in Colombia trans men and women have had to hide their sexual identities out of fear of persecution. When someone finds out of a trans community member’s sexual orientation they are given a 10 day period to leave the town. They called this a social cleansing process. These people then relocated in major cities inside Colombia where the difference in treatment began.

Vidal Ortiz noted that of the two groups, trans women have more visibility. The transsexual movement is favored as long as they abide by a trans normative model. Most of these trans women would need to constantly take hormones for a more feminine form and become further invisible; they would work in the prostitution business and make a good amount of money. Whereas for trans men no such arrangements were made. Trans men were viewed in a whole different manner. Trans women became visible because of their value for prostitution and as for trans men, they became more and more invisible with their hormone intakes.

Conference attendee María R. Scharrón del Río stated that what she found most impacting was “the amount of visibility for trans women, it is more common to see trans men”. When asked to compare the trans men in Puerto Rico versus the one in Colombia she said “Here there is much less visibility in terms of who considers themselves a butch or trans men. A person who considers themselves butch is more common to encounter than a person who considers themselves a trans men”.

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Dr. Vidal-Ortiz giving his powerpoint presentation.

Locals Spots in the West

By Johan Rodríguez and Félix Saldaña

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Housewife María Dolores Vélez is enjoying the fresh air before it rains on the town square of Mayagüez on a recent Thursday morning. Vélez Dolores used to be a resident in Mayagüez but she moved to San Germán. “I have dedicated my life to being a housewife and I don’t regret it.”

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Ricomini Bakery employee Héctor Vélez, posing for a photo behind the window where the sweets are located on a recent Thursday at noon. Ricomini Bakery has been known for its desserts, jelly rolls and pan flute. Besides their sweets, they have had a varied lunch menu that is prepared daily. “The experience of working here nice but what I really like more is the pay.”

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Our Lady of the Candelaria Cathedral building on Mayagüez on a recent Thursday morning. The Cathedral built in 1763 and is located eastern end of the Colón Main Square facing the town hall. Curiously the towers have been remodeled two times, one when lightning struck the tower and the second when the earthquake on 1918 destroyed on tower and affected the other one.

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The town square of Mayagüez, “Plaza Colón” on a quiet Thursday morning. The town square was built in 1760, near the city foundation. The town square has been remodeled through the years, under majors Benjamín Cole and José Guillermo.

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Hilton Pérez García, enjoying a “normal day” at his stand of traditional candy on the town square of Cabo Rojo on a Thursday afternoon. Throughout the day he has witnessed how the environment around the town square changed, with students early in the morning, business men at noon and at night he saw normal adult people. “I like weekends because on Saturday you see more adult people coming to the town square to enjoy the activities and on Sundays we have more like a family environment.”

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Papa’s pizza owner Wilhelm Rodríguez and one of his employees posing for a photo in the local business of Cabo Rojo Papa’s pizza on recent Thursday at noon. Wilhelm Rodríguez participated and won competitions internationally and also appeared in renowned TV channels like ESPN and Food Network. “I feel really proud because I started from the bottom working in maintenance cleaning bathrooms and tables, then I started working here and learned all kinds of tricks and here I am as the owner of the place.”

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The San Miguel Arcángel Church standing on the side of the town square in Cabo Rojo. The San Miguel Arcángel Church, a Roman Catholic parish church was built in 1783. The monument you see at the right is of Salvador Brau, he was a Puerto Rican journalist, poet, writer and renowned historian born in Cabo Rojo.

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The “Plaza de Recreo Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances” exhibiting a monument to Betances, who was born in Cabo Rojo. Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances was a Puerto Rican nationalist who is considered to be the father of the Puerto Rican independence movement and was the primary instigator of the Grito de Lares. This is the only town square with the Puerto Rican flag that has no American Flag accompanying it; instead it has the flag of Cabo Rojo and the flag of Lares.

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Añasco resident Pedro Álvarez skating in the town square of Añasco. Álvarez began skating only a few months ago, but he has had many other hobies in the past. “Besides skating I’ve always been a collector of classic videogames, like for the Atari”.

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Ex-horse trainer Crucito Rosa Millayes selling barbeque food at the corner of the Añasco Town Square. Rosa started selling food at the town square when he injured his back and had to stop training horses for a living. “I see working here selling food as one of the new opportunities that life has given me,” however the majority of his customers are students from the school across the street, a school which is included within the 100 schools that will close.

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San Antonio Abad Parish building on a recent Tuesday morning. The original church was built around 1733, and then it was remodeled in 1801. The bell towers has two bells; of 800 pounds and over 500 pounds, with a series of small bells from the original church.

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In the José Adolfo Pesante Bracetti town square a monument recreates the taínos drowning the Spaniard Salcedo. This town square was built to the measurements of 486 meters of length and 232 meters of width, and became the second biggest town square in Puerto Rico. This plaza also contains monuments to Dr. Manuel García de Quevedo, Mariana Bracetti, and José Adolfo Pesante Bracetti.

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The Brother’s Pizza employee Francisco Muñiz standing behind the counter during his shift. Muñiz has always enjoyed talking to customers who frequent the restaurant and takes interest in getting to know them. “I have lived my whole life in Rincón, it is good here, these are my people”.

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Ex-fireman Isaías “Bombero” Hernández Vives drinking coffee in front of The Brother’s Pizza restaurant in Rincón. Hernández was a fireman for 32 years and was born in Ponce, then moved to San Juan and later on to Rincón. “I never liked math, but when I became a fireman I had to pick up some math books and became instructor for the new trainees”.

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St. Rose of Lima Parish standing next to the “Plaza de Recreo” on a recent Tuesday morning. Founded in 1789, at that time it had two employers, St. Rose of Lima and San Antonio de Padua. It is said by local Isaías Hernández that St. Rose of Lima was born in Puerto Rico and Fled to Perú.

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The Rincón town square, this town square was named after Alfredo Raffucci Bayron. Alfredo Raffucci Bayron was the first elected mayor for Rincón and he was the mayor for 32 years. The Alfredo Raffuci town square was reconstructed completely in the year of 2004 and has a fountain, and an amphitheatre.

Verde Armonía

By: Adriana Cabán Ureña

“The best of two worlds,” that’s how this young woman describes the chance of being born with the privilege of being surrounded by nature.

Camille, the pseudonym she chose for this story, was born on May 1, 1994 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. She was raised near the zone of “Valle Coloso,” now considered an agricultural zone in the town of Aguada, where she had the opportunity to grow with a feeling of protection for nature and animals. Walking through the valley, watching the cows giving birth, and helping her  grandparents on their lands were and still are some of the many adventures  this 19- year- old is used to enjoy since her childhood.

Since a very early age she knew she wanted to help but didn’t know how, without knowing that the answer she needed was right in front of her eyes.

“When I was a little girl, I witnessed how people endangered “Coloso”. They threw garbage, old furniture, refrigerators, and even dead animals! That’s where it all began,” said Camille while sitting in a chair showing a gleaming smile and projecting energy.

At the age of 14, Camille started to feel more commitment for the environment; because she was active in the Girl Scouts movement where girls are encouraged to be good civilians, leaders and women’s of rights. She decided to make a service project based on her passion, promoting environmental conservation. What this young girl didn’t know at that moment was that this first step, would mark the beginning of a journey that is still alive today, having an impact and delivering the message of environmental conservation to all generations. In 2008, at the age of 14, she began her mission.

Because of her versatility, Camille is not only an environment lover but also a passionate musician, which is part of the inspiration for the name of her community project initiative, Verde Armonía (Green Harmony,in English).

The young hero explained how the name, Verde Armonía, combines her passion for nature and music; the word “Green” represents the color of nature while “Harmony” refers to the fraternization between human beings and the environment. Also, in music, harmony complements the melody forming a beautiful sound.

“I know that people who share my same passion, music, are people that have the capacity to experiment different sensible sides. I love music, it is joyful and that’s exactly what I want! I want people to feel alive and happy at the same time they are helping! Music is everywhere, evenin the wind that blows whispers a melody, making it part of nature.” said Camille.

Searching for information to educate herself and making links with resources, even visiting professionals, Camille began to acquire knowledge in the field of environment, which enabled her to take additional steps in her journey.

“At first, I started my project in focused on the implementation of recycling methods in my community I installed a center for the deposit of recycling materials, and educated the community. For my surprise my community showed extremely interested in my work, they wanted to help too! When I saw he impact my labor was causing, I decided to direct my project to new environmental initiatives.”

Without losing time, Camille began taking action by walking the streets of her hometown and inviting people to the first conferences and environmental activities. She proceeded to make arrangements for the implementation of the first area in her barrio for the disposal of recycling materials. Always active and focused on her mission to plant the seed of environmental consciousness, Camille continued her work with talks, marathons for the environment, beach cleanups, workshops of recycling and agriculture, reforestation, and adoption of areas.

Camille has always been a faithful believer that is “never too late to learn,” this is why she started an environmental group that consists of students from nearby schools, senior centers and community volunteers. Since 2008, the group has been changing minds and encouraging more people to participate not only in environmental activities but also to put into practice various methods of the environmental conservation.

The young woman is currently a student at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, where she studies accounting. Her long-term goal is to enroll in Law School. She has been juggling many challenges: living in Mayagüez while pursing her environmental work in her hometown and maintain her grades in college. Her desire to help is evidently stronger than the forces that challenge her.

“Living in Mayagüez has not only allowed me to continue spreading the environmental message but also has help me to continue developing myself in the environmental field. Because I was part of the Campus Verde Association since 2008 as a volunteer, when I came to the University I decided to make myself full member.” Campus Verde educates and encourages community to make responsible use of natural resources, also, coordinates activities to make awareness of the importance of living in harmony with the environment. Camille, is also member of the Green Building association which works hand by hand with the Mayaguez Municipality to develop and create a Green City with the implementation of different green projects.

Camille ended with a great quote she is use to say “We should take care of the Enviroment,  it is the only legacy that we actually have”

Camille giving a workshop of how to make reciclyng materials, at the Aging Center in Mamey, Aguada.

Camille giving a workshop of how to make recycling materials, at the Aging Center in Mamey, Aguada.

Part of the "Verde Armonía" volunteers making presence in the adoption of an area for environmental care, near "Valle Coloso"

Part of the “Verde Armonía” volunteers making presence in the adoption of an area for environmental care, near “Valle Coloso”

Purebred or Not, Still Best friends

By: Adriana Cabán Ureña

Aquiles the “King of the House”

 

Aquiles sharing his best smile. This amazing brown Labrador  knew very well what he wanted when many years ago as a puppy he selected his owner, Joshua Jimenez Rivera by walking to him and started to untied Jimenez shoe laces. “Personally I prefer purebred dogs. Also, I prefer big dogs because it makes me feel more protected.”

Aquiles sharing his best smile. This amazing brown Labrador knew very well what he wanted when many years ago as a puppy he selected his owner, Joshua Jimenez Rivera by walking to him and started to untied Jimenez shoe laces. “Personally I prefer purebred dogs. Also, I prefer big dogs because it makes me feel more protected.”

Rihanna and Haely the Best Union  

Haely Ann Lebrón Vázquez and her beautiful Rihanna (dog)  joining of a really fun day, playing in the yard of Haely grandmother’s house. Rihanna was found homeless by a friend of Haely’s Aunt who brought Rihanna to the house so the family could take good care of her. “I love all kinds of doggies! I take care of them, give them food and love.” said the five year old little girl.

Haely Ann Vázquez Lebrón  and her beautiful Rihanna (dog) joining of a really fun day, playing in the yard of Haely grandmother’s house. Rihanna was found homeless by a friend of Haely’s Aunt who brought Rihanna to the house so the family could take good care of her. “I love all kinds of doggies! I take care of them, give them food and love.” said the five year old little girl.

 

Giselmarie and Her 9 Babies

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Giselmarie Sánchez and her nine doggies playing in the garden during a sunny Sunday, as she is used to do. This young girl of Aguada, has the privilege of having eight cute Chihuahuas and one that is not a purebred dog. “My first Chihuahua, Loli, was found by my cousin. She was helpless walking down the streets. Loli is the mother and grandmother of all the others. Perla, which is not a purebred dog was given to us because her previous owners didn’t wanted her. Without hesitating, I accepted!”

Meet Canela

Canela (dog) enjoying of a relaxing afternoon with her owner Rocío Colón Torres after her return from the University of Mayagüez. Canela’s mother was a mix of a Chihuahua and a Poodle. “I think that dogs that aren’t purebred are better because they get the best features of their precedents. I also read that they get less sick than purebred dogs”

Canela (dog) enjoying of a relaxing afternoon with her owner Rocío Colón Torres after her return from the University of Mayagüez. Canela’s mother was a mix of a Chihuahua and a Poodle. “I think that dogs that aren’t purebred are better because they get the best features of their precedents. I also read that they get less sick than purebred dogs”

Lolo, a Dog with Personality

Lolo giving a kiss to his owner Ámbar Cabán Ureña. Lolo Cabán, as he is called, was given to her owner by a friend who found him in the streets. “Lolo is a free soul, he is not my pet, he is family”

Lolo giving a kiss to his owner Ámbar Cabán Ureña. Lolo Cabán, as he is called, was given to her owner by a friend who found him in the streets. “Lolo is a free soul, he is not my pet, he is family”

Randy the Consented of the Robles Family

Randy sitting on his favorite pillow. This beautiful Schnauzer is Jan Robles Ríos’ dog and one of his faithful friends who follows Robles everywhere unconditionally.“He is seven years old, a very calmed dog and always looking for  girlfriend”

Randy sitting on his favorite pillow. This beautiful Schnauzer is Jan Robles Ríos’ dog and one of his faithful friends who follows Robles everywhere unconditionally.“He is seven years old, a very calmed dog and always looking for girlfriend”

Lucky and Natalie for Ever

Lucky accompanying his owner Natalie Amadeo on a busy day in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Lucky, a Dachshund dog, was a gift from Natalie’s father before she came to the University. Since then, both of them have been inseparable. “I think Universities should be more  animal friendly. When I went to Colorado everything was like that, but here pets don’t have the same privilege. There is many people like me, who feel protected when they have their dogs near them.”

Lucky accompanying his owner Natalie Amadeo on a busy day in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Lucky, a Dachshund dog, was a gift from Natalie’s father before she came to the University. Since then, both of them have been inseparable. “I think Universities should be more animal friendly. When I went to Colorado everything was like that, but here pets don’t have the same privilege. There is many people like me, who feel protected when they have their dogs near them.”

Nina, Small But Big in Heart

Nina and her owner, Martina Hernández posing for the camera. Nina was born with a small problem with walking but that doesn’t stop her from spending the majority of her time running around the yard,  said Hernández.“I  have always loved dogs and for that reason my granddaughters brought me this little one so I would not feel alone’’

Nina and her owner, Martina Hernández posing for the camera. Nina was born with a small problem with walking but that doesn’t stop her from spending the majority of her time running around the yard, said Hernández.“I have always loved dogs and for that reason my granddaughters brought me this little one so I would not feel alone.’’

Ironically Blacky

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Blacky showing affection to her owner Hector Nieves, after his return from the University of Mayagüez. Perla was found as a puppy near the sugar mill of Aguada. “When my mother and I found her she was very nervous and all dirty. I told my mom to stop the car and I got off and took her with me. Now she is like my best friend.”

Perla y Popa

Samuel Collazo’s beautiful doggies Perla(right) and Popa (Left)  posing for the camera and showing their best smile.  Behind these two cute faces exists a story to tell; when a day like any other   Perla, the boxer ,appeared at Collazo’s house all undernourished; Popa, in the other hand, was found lying in the corner of a street near a school. “One came and the other one we found it but both are dogs that have shown to be very grateful to us for giving them a home, medicine, food and affection.”

Samuel Collazo’s beautiful doggies Perla(right) and Popa (Left) posing for the camera and showing their best smile. Behind these two cute faces exists a story to tell; when a day like any other Perla, the boxer ,appeared at Collazo’s house all undernourished; Popa, in the other hand, was found lying in the corner of a street near a school. “One came and the other one we found it but both are dogs that have shown to be very grateful to us for giving them a home, medicine, food and affection.”

The Hands That Helped Build Our Puerto Rico

By: Nicole Cordero

 

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Esperanza Santiago, 73, enjoys the day at the Senior Center Luis Ufret Toro in San Germán with her friends. Santiago, worked 36 years as a  nurse at the Hospital La Concepción in San Germán, of which 30 years she worked in the operation room. “I loved my job and enjoyed going to work every day, my favorite part was working with children”

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Alicia Gutiérrez, 74, waits patiently for lunch while reading a book in the library area. The now divorced housewife worked for 30 years as a factory seamstress in San Germán. “I worked sewing sleeves and collars […] I really liked the atmosphere and sharing with my peers.”

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Carmen Lugo, 70, arrives to the center fatigued by the hot sun on the Tuesday afternoon. Lugo was born in Dominican Republic, from a Puerto Rican father and Dominican mother, she worked for 25 years in the sales area of the former Digital factory in San Germán. When speaking about her family she said: “I love the festivities because I always have a full house with my 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren”

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Sitting in the center of the room, Marta Noboa, 68, is quiet but alert to everything that happens around her table. Noboa of Spanish mother and Ecuadorian father worked as a supervisor of office cleaning in New York. “I lived in New York for 10 years but I was born in Madrid, Spain where I lived for 7 years and then we moved to Ecuador where I lived for over 30 years, and 8 years ago I moved to Puerto Rico.”

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Santiago Toro, 74, was “very happy” after winning a game of domino while expecting the lunch. Toro retired after 40 years working in road construction in the municipalities of San Germán, Lajas, Guánica, Ponce and Vieques. “I also worked on and off in harvesting fruits and vegetables in New Jersey, what I liked the most was picking Asparagus”

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Florentina Feliciano, 75, very cheerful and with everyone start sharing chocolates that she had in her purse after lunch. Feliciano who comes from a family of 12 siblings spent many years being a housewife and caring for her children and after they grow she decided to enter the world of work. “I had several jobs, even get to have my own business, but my favorite job was as a secretary at the Health Center where I worked for a nutritionist”

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On a table at the back of the room José Olivera, 76, is reading the newspaper and talking to his wife. Olivera who is a veteran of the Vietnam War is a music lover and speaks very proudly of his collection of 1,500 vinyl albums and films of the Second World War. “I worked as an art teacher but needed a better job to support my family and I  changed my job and start working as an insurance salesman, knowing I was helping someone and giving a family security for their future was something very satisfying”

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Palmira Sánchez, 81, a music lover, after lunch, goes to the music room to sing and play guitar for fun. Sánchez, who has 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren enjoy activities such as weaving, embroidery or “simply appreciate nature.” “I worked for 30 years in the Office of Public Welfare and Social Services, my favorite part of the job was working for the children ‘program and the adoption section”

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After lunch Mary Seda, 88, plays bingo with her ​friends to have fun. Seda who has been married for 67 years with the father of her 3 daughters, with whom she affirms never had an argument, was always devoted to raising her daughters and working as a seamstress from home. “I enjoy the visits of my daughters and my granddaughters and grandchildren, I have 5 granddaughters and 3 grandchildren, I also enjoy working in the yard or doing word search books”

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Miguel Martínez, 96, waits in a gazebo in the parking lot of the senior center for his son to comes to pick him up after lunch and afternoon snacks. Martínez was widowed after 25 years of marriage and has 9 children, 29 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and assures to have great great-grandchildren too. “I worked 40 years in a gas station and that’s all I know to do, is not much I can do today but I thank God I’m alive.”

The Ying-Yang of a Normal Day

By: Anaís Cabán, Thomas Cardona and Lilliam Z. Morales

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Victoria’s Sweet Coffee Bar at 9:00 a.m., located in Aguadilla Plaza, with the daily customers Maria Arce and Johana Rivera. It is a place created to enjoy the atmosphere of a French-style coffee with a varied menu of coffee and crepes. The owner Mercedes Moreno made this coffee place with the goal of a place where people can go and share with each other.

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Victoria’s Sweet Coffee Bar at 2:30 p.m., located in Aguadilla Plaza, with Manuel Rodriguez enjoying his food. Each day Mercedes make her best to give the customers the best experience and wanting to return. “I visit this Coffee Shop because of the atmosphere help me to relax while I enjoy a hot coffee and a sweet crepe.”

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Friend’s Café at 1:30 p.m., located in Mayagüez Plaza. The manager Wilmer Ramirez make his best effort to keep the best service that distinguish their coffee shop. Friend’s Café now with a new establishment in La Parguera in Lajas.

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Friend’s Café at 4:00 p.m., located in Mayagüez Plaza, with a lot of their daily costumers. This coffee is very popular in Mayagüez and the coffee makers are more like artist of coffee’s confection. This coffee shop is a family business and it’s owners are fans of Draco.

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El Gran Café at 9:00 a.m., located in Aguadilla nearby Aguadilla’s Court, at this hour the student of Unitec university. It is located in a corner right in front the street and have a varied menu. Jamilca Lopez, a daily customer visit this place because of the breakfast.

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El Gran Café at 1:00 p.m., located in Aguadilla nearby Aguadilla’s Court, in a rainy day, the customers avoid the exterior tables. The hours of rush is the lunch time, is when everyone come here to taste the different lunches prepared here. The staff make their best to make the customers enjoy a great time.

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Cafeteria Valencia at 12:30 p.m., located in Mayagüez, nearby the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus, two students having a free time during this hour. The atmosphere during this hour doesn’t have too much customers, but it change during the night. At day is more a coffee shop but at night is mostly a bar.

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Cafeteria Valencia at 4:30 p.m., located in Mayagüez, nearby the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus, two students having a free time during this hour. This Coffee is a bar too, and had made so far two karaoke night . You can go to enjoy a hot coffee or even a cold beer, it doesn’t matter, just to have a good time.

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Juan Nieves, 24, has been working in the café for four years and has kept business flowing smoothly. “I specially love all the rockers that come over to drink coffee and mingle.” Students go at every time of the day just to sit back, listen to music and relax.”

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La Cueva de Tarzan, in the afternoon, you can mostly see students and professors, eating and some drinking coffee. “In the afternoon business is a little slow since most of the students leave to their apartments, that’s why we make special events like karaoke night, stand up comedy, and many more.” They hope to keep doing these events and keep the place always on top of its game.

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Since it’s the only café that has delivery, he manages to bring in enough money to pay his bills, buy more produce and still make a small profit. “Delivery is the only thing that has kept my doors open for all these years and as long as it keeps bringing in something, I will keep doing it until I die.”

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Juan Mendoza, 70, enjoying his “last days” open due to economic problems and struggles bringing in clients. He has been in the business for over 40 years and from the increasing of rent, light and water bills, its getting harder for him to make a decent profit. “Business is really slow in the morning, specially because the establishment is far from the central town area. If business keeps like its going, he will be closing doors by the next month.

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Lilly Garcia, 62, she is known for her home cooking, and quality of work. She has been in the business for over 40 years. This café has been the first and only one she has own, and plans to keep it open until health doesn’t let her anymore. “I love what I do, but everything keeps going up and it gets harder and harder to keep the money flowing, but that’s not going to stop me.” “I have worked too hard to give up now, especially since I love what I do.”

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Lilly specially loves to put her own spin on foods, and that’s something customers love about her. “Usually for noon I have the college students from EDP University,workers and doctors from the area, they love my spin on “chicken and waffles”, which is something that they love, because is something that is not seen commonly in Puerto Rico.” She has managed to stay open and strong in the business thanks for her passion for cooking.

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Madeline Vargas, 57, on a busy Thursday morning serving breakfast to the businessmen, workers and students of the area. They’ve been I business for over 30 years, and still going strong since it’s the last cafeteria in the town area. “We usually open at 4:30am, to prep up and receive the truckers that stop by to eat our famous “cuajito” before they head out to work.

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Madeline Vargas, usually has almost the same people that come in the afternoon to eat lunch at Delicias Café. Since it’s the only cafeteria in the central town area, workers rush to get a delicious lunch for a good price. “We hope on keeping the business open and flowing, so we can pass it to our future generations.”

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Cafe arte after opening on a recent Wednesday morning, located in Mayagüez Town Center’s second floor. It is well regonized by their chai latte and delicious nutella frappes. They open at 9:00 a.m and close at 5 p.m.

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Cafe arte’s famous cheescakes and chocolate cake cups. Althought they have a viriaty of desserts they put on shelf the ones that most sell.
” Our purpouse here is to provide the customer with choices, with a coffee that makes them feel like home”
Rolizmar

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Karina Nieves, 25, preparing a cup of coffee on a recent Monday evenening for a customer. Huella Colegial’s location is in Plaza Colon, Monday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to10:00 p.m. and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. The cafeteria’s main target is the students of UPRM, but it welcomes anyone who is interested in experiencing the “colegial” atmosphere.

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Elba Rivera,70, enjoying a cup of coffee with a book, waiting for the rain and time to pass in order to enjoy of la “Huella Dorada”. In May 4, 2012 professor Norma Ortiz founder of the organization and place Huella Colegial organization opened a space to be devoted to the elderly community of the town. The project is called “Huella Dorada”. This takes place every Friday in Huella Colegial, from 10:00 am to noon.

More Than Meets the Eye

By, Amanda Ciani

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!

Carlos Gomez, 20,  enjoying one of the many beautiful days in Puerto Rico. Gomez represented the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez swimming team. “While everyone else in college is hard at work studying, I prefer to skate.”

Carlos Gomez, 20, enjoying one of the many beautiful days in Puerto Rico. Gomez represented the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez swimming team. “While everyone else in college is hard at work studying, I prefer to skate.”

David Estrada, Eric Santos, and Alvin Torres, all 18, working on a project to repair a roof. Some how it took three people to screw together a roof. Estrada is studying to become a teacher, Eric wants to become a doctor, and Alvin is an art student.

David Estrada, Eric Santos, and Alvin Torres, all 18, working on a project to repair a roof. Some how it took three people to screw together a roof. Estrada is studying to become a teacher, Eric wants to become a doctor, and Alvin is an art student.

Emanuel Gonzales, 22, jumping for joy after ending his last class. Gonzales represented Colegio at La Justas 2013 and 2014 on the dance team, and went to Florida to represent Colegio in the National and College World Cheerleading Championships. “When a dancer wants to jump, we jump!”

Emanuel Gonzales, 22, jumping for joy after ending his last class. Gonzales represented Colegio at La Justas 2013 and 2014 on the dance team, and went to Florida to represent Colegio in the National and College World Cheerleading Championships. “When a dancer wants to jump, we jump!”

Faviola Alvarez, 19, standing in front of the practice pool in her college Chemistry laboratory coat. Alvarez has been a part of the up and coming water polo team at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez but also wants to be a Chemist. “I always wanted to be a part of college instead of just another college student so I needed to find something I could do.”

Faviola Alvarez, 19, standing in front of the practice pool in her college Chemistry laboratory coat. Alvarez has been a part of the up and coming water polo team at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez but also wants to be a Chemist. “I always wanted to be a part of college instead of just another college student so I needed to find something I could do.”

JanCarloz Negron, 20, spending his afternoon playing his piano and singing his favorite tunes. Negron has been a part of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez volleyball team for two years. “Music always finds a way to relax me no matter how hectic my life is.”

JanCarloz Negron, 20, spending his afternoon playing his piano and singing his favorite tunes. Negron has been a part of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez volleyball team for two years. “Music always finds a way to relax me no matter how hectic my life is.”

Javier Estrada, 22, posing in front of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez mechanical engineering building. Estrada has been a part of the university’s Judo team and won the silver metal both this year and last year at La Justas. “I started my bachelors in Bayamon and am now one semester away from finishing,oh how I can not wait until that day comes.”

Javier Estrada, 22, posing in front of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez mechanical engineering building. Estrada has been a part of the university’s Judo team and won the silver metal both this year and last year at La Justas. “I started my bachelors in Bayamon and am now one semester away from finishing,oh how I can not wait until that day comes.”

Josua Correa, 19, playing the guitar in his room for a couple of friends. Correa has been a part of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez track and field and cross country teams since August 2013. “My English is not very good, but I know that I love to play the guitar and sing songs no matter what language they are in.”

Josua Correa, 19, playing the guitar in his room for a couple of friends. Correa has been a part of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez track and field and cross country teams since August 2013. “My English is not very good, but I know that I love to play the guitar and sing songs no matter what language they are in.”

Mario Flores, 19, holding up some of his most prized possessions, part of his Harry Potter collection. Flores has been a part of the team that represents the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez in high jump for the track and field. “I have been in love with Harry Potter since I read the first book.”

Mario Flores, 19, holding up some of his most prized possessions, part of his Harry Potter collection. Flores has been a part of the team that represents the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez in high jump for the track and field. “I have been in love with Harry Potter since I read the first book.”

Rocio Estrada, 21, displaying the bottom of her favorite skateboard. Rocio has been studying to become a preschool or kindergarten teacher. “I may be a girl, but I can beat most guys when it comes to sports including skating; just give me a challenge.”

Rocio Estrada, 21, displaying the bottom of her favorite skateboard. Rocio has been studying to become a preschool or kindergarten teacher. “I may be a girl, but I can beat most guys when it comes to sports including skating; just give me a challenge.”

Susan Cabello, 19, giving a thumbs up to the beautiful weather in Puerto Rico, allowing her to study at the beach for her biology exams. Cabello has been a member of the track and field team at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez and won a bronze metal in a relay at La Justas. “I might have gotten through these past finals without too much preparation, but this time I have really got to study.”

Susan Cabello, 19, giving a thumbs up to the beautiful weather in Puerto Rico, allowing her to study at the beach for her biology exams. Cabello has been a member of the track and field team at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez and won a bronze metal in a relay at La Justas. “I might have gotten through these past finals without too much preparation, but this time I have really got to study.”

Homeless in Mayagüez Streets

By: Jaime G. Rodríguez Canabal

Quarter Smile

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Homeless man asking for money in the intersection. He had already asked for money to two cars, and the Dodge Nitro gave him money. he is smiling because the one of the Dodge Nitro gave him a dollar bill.

Shopping cart closet

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Shopping cart is full of cloth and baskets with blankets. Since I live in Mayagüez I have seen this shopping cart around. This shopping cart is an old lady who is homeless, she is behind the cart sitting on the bench with a blanket covering her from the rain.

Technological homeless

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This man is talking on the phone. Early in the morning he charged his phone in Plaza Colon. But the man is homeless, so how does he owns a phone?

Garbage taking over

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This entrance has lots of garbage. The entrance to this house that is located in the Santiago R. Palmer street is full of garbage like plastic and crystal bottles. Homeless people pass through this entrance to pick cardboards and things that are valuable for them.

Chatting in the bench

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A man talking with a woman sitting on the bench. The bench spotted on the side of Mayagüez town hall had been clean early in the week. The homeless man seems to like having company.

Hiding from the Camera

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This homeless man is hiding from the picture. When he saw my friend with the camera he tried to hide behind the sign. He did not wanted to be photographed.

UPRM Homeless

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Homeless man asking for money in front of the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez. In that walked he did not get any money from the people on the cars. In the other side of the intersection, was another homeless asking for money.

Getting Rich

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Man asking for money without success. He is the one that asked for money in the other side of the intersection. Another homeless in the city of homeless.

Intellectual Lady

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This lady is reading a book under the trees. This homeless lady is the same that covered her self from the rain with a blanket and her shopping cart. She always sleeps in a bench next to where she is sitting.

Valuable Garbage

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This shopping cart has lots of garbage. That cart may be full of garbage for us, but for the homeless is full of valuable items. The cart is always around the water fountain in front of the UPRM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop Everything and Go

By, Amanda Ciani

“This is captain speaking. Please fasten your seat belts, and prepare for takeoff.” The feelings of flying can either scare or intrigue people, but it’s the anticipation of getting to the final destination that make people go through the process. Waiting for the plane to take off a young man by the name of Carlos awaits his destiny in Mayagüez Puerto Rico. Image
This Oregon born and raise man of 21 came to Puerto Rico on a track and field scholarship for pole vaulting. Already in college, he was scouted through YouTube videos of him competing. A few calls from the coaches of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez campus and he was on his way there. “I am someone who is always up for knew things and when I was offered the opportunity to move to an island I thought I would have been crazy to not take advantage of the opportunity,” said Carlos when questioned about why he decided to transfer colleges.
Coming to a new world, not knowing anyone or the language Carlos packed up his bags and moved leaving his family and friends behind. Stepping of the plane, “Hola, Mi nombre es Carlos,” the only words Carlos Vazquez knew how to speak when he arrived to Puerto Rico.
Becoming independent from his parents at the age of 16, Carlos learned the hardships of life and how to deal with them at an early age. He knew how to get where he wanted to go without having to depend on anyone. This work ethic showed in Carlos’s athletic ability.
Coming to the university for athletics with Hispanic trainers, Carlos had to depend more on himself than ever before to get in the workouts he needed in order to be competition ready. Not being able to communicate the way he normally would be able to with his coaches made him become even more independent.
This caused a problem with the coaches and Carlos. The coaches, never knew what Carlos was up to as far as work outs went, but when it came down to the competition he would do great, so they could not complain too much about his workout regimen.
When it comes to daily life, Carlos had a few interesting words to describe it. “When I first got here I had no idea what to expect. In the United States everything has its order, time and place, but here everything is jumbled together. I did not know how to react, but the food, on the other hand, was incredible. It is probably my favorite part besides the weather.”
When questioned about how professors treated him Carlos answered, “The teachers seemed to have a grudge against me from the moment I started speaking to them. Most were surprised to hear me speak English to them on the first day of class and when it came to exams I had no idea what to expect. It was a very different experience.”
Being a foreigner in a new land, not only visiting but studying for his bachelors of psychology as well, Carlos went through many problems that regular college students have never had to face. Taking classes and exams in a language not known to him and turning in papers and assignments that were in that same language caused Carlos to be up for hours and hours doing different course works for each class. “My professors would allow me to have a Spanish/English dictionary on most exams in case I did not understand the questions being asked or the words being used,” said Carlos.
Asking around campus the general observation of Carlos was to be a pretty easy going guy. “He likes to go with the flow,” said fellow pole-vaulter Samuel Serrano. “When I first met Carlos I noticed that he was a very easy going guy. Leaving everything he had and coming down here all alone took some serious courage, but it seemed to not bother him too much,” said Jessica Ortiz, girlfriend of Carlos for over a year now. Image
Unfortunately some untimely injuries occurred during his last year of competition and he will not be able to compete in Justas of 2014, but he still plans on continuing to study for his degree for the rest of this year, but after his scholarship years are up he is planning on moving back to the states and finishing his bachelors and masters at a different university.
“Ladies and gentlemen we have landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Please wait until the plane has reached the terminal, come to a complete stop and the captain has turned off the fasten seatbelt sign before getting out of your seats. We hope you enjoyed the flight and you pick Delta Airlines for your future travels. Enjoy your stay here in Puerto Rico.”

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