In an effort to save money, Puerto Rico is set to close a record level of public schools, the Associated Press reports. On Friday, officials announced the commonwealth would close 179 public schools in an effort to save $7 million. Puerto Rico is currently dealing with a public debt of $73 billion. The schools are expected to shut down at the end of May, which will result in the displacement of over 27,000 students.
Puerto Rico was originally set to shut down 184 schools, but it allowed 5 of them to remain open.
Education Secretary Julia Keleher told the AP that Puerto Rico has given its school system “nearly $3 billion” over the last decade, with little to show, and that it cannot continue to support the school system. This isn’t the first time Puerto Rico has shut down hundreds of schools to save money. Between 2010 and 2015, the AP reports, 150 schools were closed.
Experts warn that closing school will contribute to the number of people leaving Puerto Rico.
Over the last 10 years, 450,000 people have left the commonwealth in search of a better quality of life. As people leave, they are brining their children with them, which has caused a drop in school enrollment of more than 40 percent over the last three decades. Puerto Rico currently has 1,292 public schools available to its 365,000 students, and as funding is cut, teachers are also seeking out better work opportunities in the U.S.
Be sure to read the entire story to find out more at the Associated Press.
When Raquel Reichard started to plan her 29th birthday, she knew she wanted it to be a tribute to the one and only Bad Bunny. The Puerto Rican singer holds a special place in Reichard’s heart and nothing was going to derail this theme. Now, it wasn’t just a backdrop for selfies and a Bad Bunny playlist. No. Reichard went all out to give everyone a complete Bad Bunny experience while celebrating her birthday.
Raquel Reichard wanted to ring in her 29th birthday with a Bad Bunny tribute party.
Reichard says that she is a huge Bad Bunny fans but it isn’t only because of his music. His music is very important to her but his social consciousness and mold-breaking styling as a reggaeton and Latin trap artist spoke to her.
“He makes great music,” Reichard says. “His lyrics are brilliant; he’s challenging machismo and redefining masculinity; he uplifts women in a way we really haven’t seen from cis het men, both in mainstream music and in grassroots movements; he’s open about his mental health journey; he speaks out against the political and social turmoil that is taking place in Puerto Rico right now, both by the US and local governments — and he does all this in a way that’s digestible and of the gente.”
She added: “Also, I think he’s fine as hell. If you know me, you know I’m a big Bad Bunny fan, una coneja mala, as my brother calls me now, so it only seemed fitting that if there were a theme to my birthday party this year, it had to be Benito.”
Reichard got crafty and creative and offered guests all sorts of goodies to hold and wear for photos that are Bad Bunny.
Who wouldn’t want to wear some bunny ears while partying it up to some Bad Bunny songs? If there is one thing we can all agree with, playing dress up for a good party is always a fun time.
The biggest part of the party was the “Estamos Bien” theme.
Reichard remembers 2017 being one of the hardest years of her life and how Bad Bunny’s music helped her cope with everything she was dealing with.
“I got out of an eight-year relationship with someone I thought I was going to marry. I left my job at a big-name magazine. I went from having a beautiful apartment to sleeping on a friend’s couch. I was broke. Hurricane María razed my island and compounded an already-horrifying financial crisis. My cousin passed away. Everything that could go wrong that year literally went wrong,” Reichard explains. “Reggaeton and Latin trap, particularly that of Bad Bunny’s, helped me through it all. His emo-perreo helped me twerk my way through every stage of loss, from anger to depression to acceptance. It was temporary relief on the dancefloor. It was bigging me up when I felt low. It was a passport to explore new parts of myself.”
So, the phrase “Estamos Bien” is something super important for Reichard.
“‘Estamos Bien’ is a declaration and reminder of where I’m finally at in my life. As I said, 2017 was the most-difficult year of my life. The following year, I did the really challenging, but necessary, work that I needed to do to heal, learn and grow,” Reichard recalls. “At the start of 2019, I was feeling ‘ni bien, ni mal.’ But by spring, it hit me that for the first time in a while, I was good. More than that, the people around me were as well. Yes, we are facing so many battles, from our relationships and careers to natural disasters and political violence. This shit is real and my aim isn’t to minimize any of it. But saying ‘Estamos Bien’ in the midst of all the struggle is to say we got us because community love and joy is how we survive and thrive through it all. “
The phrase is so important to her life and the party’s theme that she put it on her cake.
And what a cake that was. Honestly, this cake is giving us some serious FOMO for not being at this party. We can only imagine that this cake was as delicious as it is beautiful.
“The cake was made by Gabriella Lima, of Sweet G Cakez. She’s an amazing local Puerto Rican baker who also happens to be a family friend,” Reichard says. “All I told her was that I wanted it to be tropical Boricua vibes and inspired by the “Estamos Bien” music video, and, somehow, if she could, put Bad Bunny’s face on it.”
Clearly, the cake delivered on everything Reichard was hoping for. Who could be upset at seeing that cake?
Of course, she had to create some kind of imagery expressing her love for Bad Bunny.
We ship it. If you are willing to show someone this much love, you should be able to express that love through fake wedding photos. Reichard says that she has so connected to Bad Bunny’s persona that she seeks to uplift him and Puerto Rico with him.
Oh. She also had a manicure station along with so many other things because Bad Bunny loves to get his nails done.
“I had a manicure station, which included Bettina, a Puerto Rican brand of nail polishes, Bad Bunny nail decal from Cha Cha Nails, acetone that had Benito’s face on it, cotton balls and nail filers, all by a framed photo of Bad Bunny getting his nails done in his “Caro” music video,” Reichard explains. “I had a hookah station, which was a huge hit, and it also had a framed photo of El Conejo Malo smoking from the “I Like It” music video. Throughout the room, I had confetti of his face, including an obviously-edited photo of him embracing me, HA!, some of my favorite lines from his songs and a few of his classic tiny glasses, which folks were able to use for the night and take home.”
Clearly, everyone had a great time celebrating Reichard’s birthday and her love for all things Bad Bunny.
You know it’s a good birthday when people are willing to wear a full costume to celebrate your special day. Happy birthday, Raquel!
While Mexico was beating the U.S. in soccer and Brazil was taking home a Copa América trophy Sunday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were chasing a boat off the coast of Puerto Rico. Authorities noticed that the boat was traveling without any lights on, and they found that suspicious enough to tail. The boat was traveling from Puerto Rico to the US Virgin Islands.
Then, the boat made a sudden turn back towards the east coast of Puerto Rico, Fajardo. The boat docked near Rio Fajardo, and authorities watched, in the dark, several people unloading bags. Border Patrol decided to approach the vessel, and as they closed in, the unidentified people fled the boat.
They left behind $3.7 million in cash.
Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement on Monday detailing the events of the seizure, which is now in the DEA’s authority. “We remain committed to working with other federal and local law enforcement partners to detect and deter smuggling attempts throughout the Caribbean,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
The agents had to call for a Marine Patrol Aircraft to help with the chase.
Credit: @jodi_mohrmann / Twitter
The aircraft helped to maintain surveillance of the suspect vessel. The currency was seized under failure to declare and bulk cash smuggling laws. The suspects are still at large.
A loaded Taurus .40 caliber pistol and 63 rounds of ammunition were also found.
Credit: @ACEV305 / Twitter
As miraculous as it seems to stumble upon $3,700,000 U.S. dollars, clearly something shady was going on here. Given the DEA’s current involvement, it seems the U.S. government suspects a drug operation.
That said, most folks don’t trust that it was just $3.7 million found.
Credit: @jmarkwalk / Twitter
Americans’ trust in law enforcement is weak. Many folks don’t trust that the agents wouldn’t skim some money off the top of what was found. Ultimately, only the suspects really know how much money was abandoned on deck.
In fact, there are quite a few conspiracy theories floating around already.
Credit: @johnd6661950 / Twitter
Everyone has a different mathematical calculation for corruption. Some folks suspect police would skim the top 20 percent while others think they’d only leave 10 percent into federal government hands. We’re sure someone has dedicated their life’s work to this calculation. DM us.
Since the fortune has been found, calls for Puerto Rican aid have resurfaced.
Credit: @jaynettedavid / Twitter
We say resurfaced as if Puerto Rico hasn’t been screaming for help for years now. The truth is that this feels like another opportunity to give back to Puerto Rico what it has lost, both in infrastructure and in lives as a result of government negligence.
The student loan debt crisis in America is so real that it’s hard not to find someone talking about their debt.
Credit: @capnkrunk22 / Twitter
You better believe that an old white man responded to her comment telling her off for not working for her money. Politics. It’s like everyone gets to pretend that nothing has changed in this country, including the rise in student tuition and decline in high-paying jobs. We digress, but we also see you.
Some of us are taking this moment to talk about the efficiency of border walls.
Credit: @preahkaew / Twitter
They’re just not efficient. Militarizing borders isn’t the source of solution to end drug crimes or the gang wars that are causing Central American migrants to flee their homes. In this case, Border Patrol likely destabilized a drug cartel. That’s a job we can give a round of applause for.
Real talk, most of us are just wondering what we would do with $4 million if we found it.
@GeniusJester / Twitter
Would you turn it in? Pay off your student loan debts first? Buy your padres a nice casita? Send it all to the border to buy kids some freaking soap and toothpaste?
If you have a little extra cash to spare, consider donating to the Trans Latina Coalition, which is working on creating safer, more dignified conditions for trans Latinas in immigrant detention centers.