Things That Matter

After Serving 40,000 Thanksgiving Dinners To Puerto Ricans, Chef Jose Andres’ Energy Is Spreading On The Island

Credit: 60 Minutes/ CBSNews

Before chef José Andrés lead the charge to feed Puerto Ricans in the wake of Hurricane Maria, he was well known as a restaurant owner, creating dishes that combined the culinary arts with science.

Probably not as large of an undertaking, however, as feeding 3 million people in Puerto Rico, most of whom still don’t have electricity, water or food. Even so, Andrés has figured out how to expand his initiative across the island.

No stranger to leading philanthropic efforts after disasters, he helped out in Haiti after the earthquake that rocked the small country in 2010.

Credit: 60 Minutes/ CBSNews

He brought awareness to the health risks of cooking indoors with coal, and not only educated Haitians of the dangers of doing so, but also brought over propane stoves to help solve the issue.

Now, Andrés is urging the U.S. government to prepare for future catastrophes. Providing aid hasn’t been easy. He’s found bureaucratic red tape at every turn after Hurricane Maria. Still, he’s persevered and managed to provide 40,000 hot meals for Thanksgiving. He’s even found ways to get food to the most difficult to reach parts of Puerto Rico.

After a slow start, Andrés has gathered a culinary army, which has made over 3 million meals to date.

For being up since 4 a.m., this is a fairly spry group of chef.

It’s no surprise they’re excited to be doing this work. Andrés brings high energy to his work, and it seems to be rubbing off.

I mean, the man is just making vats of gravy, but the joy in his voice brings smiles to all the faces around him.

Andrés, as one Twitter user said, is a “one man FEMA,” making it easier to bring food to those in need.

The situation in Puerto Rico continues to be dire, but with Andrés and his food army doing their best day and night, they’re making it a bit more bearable.


[H/T] CBS News

READ: After Criticizing Trump For Not Doing Enough For Puerto Rico, This World-Renowned Chef Rolled Up His Sleeves And Got To Work


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Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Entertainment

Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Prediction: You will want to check out Walter Mercado’s house in Puerto Rico, and maybe even buy it up and call it home. And what perfect timing, because the stars have aligned to bring you his Puerto Rico pad at an unbeatable price.

That’s right! Walter Mercado’s home in San Juan is up for sale!

Located in an “exclusive area” of San Juan, according to the property listing, the six-bedroom, five-bathroom estate is on sale for just $395,000.

Since you likely won’t fly to San Juan right now (thanks, COVID), you can check out the flamboyant cape aficionados sweet, two story tropical oasis on Realtor.com.

The listing photos show the home’s vibrant interior, which appears in the documentary, with yellow, red and green walls. The first floor boasts a large living room, kitchen and dining room. Tile-work leads up the stairs to the second level, where there’s yet another living room, dining room and a smaller kitchen — plus two balconies.

Outside, there’s a pool area with a gazebo and a patio, as well as a covered carport for at least four cars.

The home seems to be having trouble finding a buyer.

The estate originally hit the market for $495,000 in September 2020 but with no buyer in the cards, it then had its price slashed to $430,000 in December, according to Realtor.com. It’s now asking just $395,000.

Mercado already sold his Miami property in 2017 to cover financial difficulties.

While in Miami, Mercado maintained an apartment at The Grand in downtown for many years until 2017 when he decamped part time to New York.

Many in his family had hoped to turn his Puerto Rico home into a museum to the late icon, but due to zoning issues the family decided the best step forward was to list the home for sale. Regarding Mercado’s belongings that were contained within the home (so many of which we came to see in the Netflix documentary), one of his nieces told Pledge Times, that though family members have each kept some items, many were given to the Miami History Museum, and some items will go to Mexico. However, his cape with the Puerto Rican flag is being sent to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

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Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

Entertainment

Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

As you probably know by now, a new season of the never-ending reality series “The Bachelor” has just started.

And this season is destined to be especially exciting–not just because of the promise of non-stop drama, but because the franchise has finally hired its first Black male lead, Matt James, after 18 years on the air.

And with the first Black “Bachelor” comes the most diverse group of contestants competing for the lead’s heart that they’ve ever had.

And one of the contestants that is capturing the hearts of both fans and Matt James alike is 24-year-old Puerto Rican-born pageant queen Mariela “Mari” Pepin.

On this season’s premiere episode of “The Bachelor”, Mari was immediately clocked by viewers as one of the front runners by the way that Matt reacted to meeting her. The former Wake Forest wide receiver was struck speechless by her beauty and couldn’t keep his eyes off her when she parted ways with him. It was obvious that Mari had made quite the first impression on him.

And because we love to see #representation on screen (and especially on reality TV), we decided to do our due diligence and find out as much as we could about this gorgeous and accomplished Latina. Here’s everything you need to know about Mari Pepin.

She’s Boricua–and proud of it!

Something that immediately endeared Mari to fans was the fact that she is so vocally proud of being Puerto Rican. In her first sit-down conversation with Matt, she opened up about how hard its been for her family to live through the relentless natural disasters that the island is going through.

She’s a military brat.

According to Mari’s personal blog, she spent the first few years of her life in PR before relocating to Germany because of her father’s military career. According to Mari, her unique childhood contributed to her love of traveling as an adult.

She was 2019’s Miss Maryland USA.

According to Mari’s official “Bachelor” bio, she began competing in pageants when she moved to Maryland as a teenager. She won Miss Teen Maryland and then went on to win the title of Miss Maryland. After that, she placed in the Top 10 of the Miss USA competition.

She’s wicked smart.

According to Mari’s LinkedIn page, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Towson University and she’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marketing Intelligence from the same institution. It’s safe to say she values education.

She’s multilingual.

Not only does Mari speak both Spanish and English flawlessly, but she’s also fluent in French and American Sign Language.

Based on all this info alone, we can’t wait to see Mari Pepin crush this season of “The Bachelor”. Hopefully, this Boricua beauty will be popping up a lot on our screens for years to come!

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