Friday, March 27, 2009

The Earth Hour

The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is asking for volunteers throughout the world to support the "lights out" initiative to fight against global warming. March 28th 2009
at 8:30pt volunteers across our nation, Latin America and abroad will be shutting off the lights for one hour to show our growing numbers against global warming. Earth Hour 2008 set a record at 50 million pledges, the new goal for 2009 is 1 billion. If you would like to officially sign up and get more information please visit Spread the word around and get all your friends and familia joining in and help send a message by doing your small part. Con mucho amor, God bless.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Emancipation Day in Puerto Rico

On march 22nd 1873 slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico. Slavery in Puerto Rico was recorded as early as the mid 1500's, the Borincans living on the Island at the time were initially made slaves to the Spainiards but due to the harsh treatment many of them died. Since Spain relied so much on slavery they decided to import slaves from Africa, thus starting the triangle trade. The original leaders of the abolitionist movement were Jose Julian Acosta, Francisco Mariano Quinones, Julio L. de Vizcarrondo
Ramon Emeterio Betances, and Segundo Ruiz belvis. Even though slavery was abolished in 1873 the law required slaves to work for their owners for 3 more years at which time they were freed and the slave owners were compensated. We are happy to celebrate with our Boriquas, Emancipation Day. Con mucho amor para todo mi gente God bless.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Borrowed from "La Prensa Stories"

La Prensa Stories
I could not resist sharing this drawing, it was in regards to the gentleman who chose to throw his shoe at former President George W. Bush. The people at "La Prensa" were reporting on how Muntadhar al-Zeidi had been sentenced to three years in prison for his shoe throwing incident. The idea of throwing a shoe in the first place was unique, but I thought we'd share the post, enjoy...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

First Puerto Rican in Space

Today the shuttle Discovery was launched at the Kennedy space center in Florida. What was different about this mission from all the others that occur during the year was one of the astronauts. Setting a first for all Puerto Ricans, astronaut Joseph Acaba was among the seven man crew heading to the International Space Station(ISS). Even though he may not be the first Lateeno going to space, (that title goes to Costa Rican born Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz back in 1986)he is the first Puerto Rican. I first heard about the launch back in February by a fellow boriqua on Mi Gente, (www.feastoffriends/, they were set to launch but due to a number of setbacks the launch was rescheduled until today. Thankfully the crew of the shuttle Discovery successfully launched without incident and are now on their way to the ISS. Our hopes and prayers are with them and we await their safe return, con mucho amor God bless.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cubans see change

Cuban-Americanos and most of Latin America have been watching and waiting for today's news. The Obama administration loosened restrictions with Cuba, it will now be easier to travel and send money to Cuba and their relatives. Cuba has been patiently waiting to see if this day would come, believing that President Obamas "change" included the relationship with Cuba. Today the deal was sealed, of course there are still some limitations but the door easing has started and hopefully Cuba will recognize that the United States wants better relations. We have allot of Cuban hermanos y hermanas in the U.S. who have been wanting to better care for their family members so today definitely is a big deal. I personally, am wishing for a democratic Cuba instead of the communist government that they have now, but for now I will enjoy the easing of the restrictions. Con mucho amor for my Cubano gente, God bless. Change today, new tomorrow.

Monday, March 9, 2009

International Women's Day

The International Women's Day, is a celebration for all women and their great efforts in gaining political, economical and social equality. Just a brief history on this wonderful day, a woman by the name of Clara Zetkin was the first person to come up with a Women's Day, she proposed that every year in every country their should be a celebration for Women while pressing for their demands. The very first International Women's Day was thus held on March 19th 1911. The date held significance for IWD because in 1848 the Prussian King recognized the strength of the armed people and gave into some demands, among the demands (which he never kept) was to allow women voters. The first IWD was so big that husbands had to stay home so that their wives could attend meetings. Two years later the Global meetings date was changed to March 8th and has remained ever since, today we find IWD a National Holiday in 15 countries. The United States takes it a step further and designates the whole month of March for Women's History. We recognize the every day struggles that women have gone through and support not just our Lateena women but all women in their continuing battle for equality.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lateeno Entrepreneurs from the Amazon

I always enjoy reading about hard working Lateenos who reach for bigger dreams and take advantage of the opportunity to do so. Over in Ecuador in the middle of the Amazon rain forest of all places, there lives the Quichua people who grow cacao among other commodities. A few years ago the Quichua harvested and prepped the cacao beans and made $.20 cents a pound for a product that was in high demand. The Quichua weren't happy with the pay and realized they could be making alot more if they only new how to better refine the cacao. With help from an unexpected source they were able to eliminate the middleman and began learning the ways of producing their own chocolate, which eventually led to the creation of Kallari (Kai-yah-ri). According to the Quichua people the word has two meanings, "to begin,"and "the early times." As they learned to improve their process and make a better product they were able to market their chocolate to stores like Whole Foods, and the Swiss chocolate company Felchin. Though the new direction is chocolate the Quichua still sell the cacao beans, and instead of the $.20 cents a pound they were making before they are now making $1.95 a pound.The Kallari people have taken bold steps but to them it is well worth it. From farmers to chocolate producers the Quichua people have built a dream into reality and remain optimistic in their plans to have their very own chocolate factory within the next few years. "There was a dream that seemed impossible now we believe there are so many possibilities open to us." We wish them the best and believe we are all destined for greatness, no matter if we are far off in the jungles of the Amazon or in the United States. Lateenos 2009 is our year.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Costa Rica could have first female President

Costa Rica, known for its beautiful beaches could also be making its own history in 2010. Vice President Laura Chinchilla and Epsy Campbell, President of the Accion Ciudadana Party are both seeking candidacy for next years Presidential election. If either one of these well qualified native Costa Ricans wins the Presidency it will be the first time this position would be held by a woman. There have been milestones throughout Latin America, countries like Argentina and Chile have put Lateena Leaders in office where before were dominated by males. Its great to see more of our Latin American countries moving towards more Political diversity, it shows how far we as Lateenos have come from the stereotypical male dominated government. We wish the both of them the best of luck and leave you with these statements from each candidate:
Chinchilla- "The work ahead is arduous and intensive, it's convincing Costa Ricans who is more able to continue directing the country, with convincing leadership and ethic."
Campbell- "The time has come for the people, for citizens (male and female) to become the true protagonists... The time has come to participate... to dare to dream."