Things That Matter

As The Federal Government Argues With The NFL And Debates Healthcare, J.Lo And New York State Are Helping Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is still without power and supplies are running low after Hurricane Maria devastated the island territory last week. Things have gotten so bad on the island that the governor is pleading with the U.S. government to help Puerto Rico recover before there is a humanitarian crisis. Numerous groups have come forward to raise funds and gather supplies for those affected on the island and the latest announcement of relief comes from Jennifer Lopez and New York. Here’s what the singer and the city are doing to help Puerto Rico in their time of need.

Jennifer Lopez will be donating $1 million from her Las Vegas residency shows to Puerto Rico relief efforts.

Please donate TODAY to #unitedforpuertorico??

A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) on

“Alex Rodriguez and I, who are both New Yorkers, are using all our resources and relationships in entertainment, sports and business to garner support for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” Lopez said at a press conference with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

According to Billboard, the singer is also working with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Puerto Rican Mavs player J.J. Barea to send two planes worth of supplies and generators to Puerto Rico as they wait for government assistance.

New York City and New York state officials have also announced relief efforts to lift Puerto Rico out of their crisis.

NYC Sending Support to Puerto Rico

“This is an unprecedented event in Puerto Rico.”

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio announce that New York City will be sending aid and support to Puerto Rico.

Text UNIDOS to 41444 to help support the relief efforts or contact Hispanic Federation for more details.

Stay tuned for more details If you would like to volunteer to help the island and items that are needed at this time.

Posted by Melissa Mark-Viverito on Thursday, September 21, 2017

Governor Andrew Cuomo has established The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico. Through the program, people can either donate money, find ways to volunteer in the relief effort and learn where they can drop off supplies they wish to be sent to Puerto Rico.

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but New York is going to walk that road with you every step of the way,” Gov. Cuomo said at the press conference, according to The New York Times.

Gov. Cuomo was in Puerto Rico with Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló surveying the damage from Hurricane Maria.

Surveying the storm damage in Puerto Rico with Governor Rossello. We’re providing supplies and assistance to help them recover.

A post shared by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (@nygovcuomo) on

During his visit, Gov. Cuomo called on President Trump and Congress to focus on Puerto Rico rather on things that don’t do any good for the American people.

“To our colleagues in federal government, I humbly suggest that at this time, instead of arguing with football players, instead of obsessing how to take health care from the poor in this country, why don’t we put the politics aside and focus on helping Americans?” Gov. Cuomo told the press according to The New York Times.


READ: Puerto Rico Is Completely Flooded And Could Go Months Without Electricity. Here’s How People In The U.S. Are Uniting Beautifully To Help

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A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

Things That Matter

A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

@ValericaCollazo / Twitter

There is sad news out of Vieques, Puerto Rico where a young teenage girl has passed away after suffering flu-like symptoms. Jaideliz Moreno Ventura, 13, died on Sunday after her condition worsened she began convulsing. Now, her family is pointing the blame on the island’s inadequate medical facilities. 

Vieques, a Caribbean island off of Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, hasn’t had a working hospital in over two years. That’s because its old primary hospital, Family Health Center Susana Centeno, was closed due to damage from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island more than two years ago.

What started out as just flu-like symptoms turned into a tragedy within the span of three days. 

It all started last Friday when Jaideliz told family members that she was experiencing flu-like symptoms. According to local media, her uncle, Carlos “Prieto” Ventura, said that she had “a fever, a sore throat, and a headache.” She was then taken to a hospital in Puerto Rico for a checkup and to be tested for influenza. While the results of the test came back negative and she returned back home to Vieques, things got worse over the weekend. 

By Sunday, Jaideliz’s symptoms only got worse as she began to have spasms and severe head pain. After the family took notice of her increasingly worse conditions, she was taken to the only health facility on the island, the Center for Diagnostics and Treatment, which was due to Hurricane Maria destroying its old hospital. According to NBC News, the clinic lacked proper medical equipment to help Jaideliz. Her cousin, José Ventura, told the news outlet that the facility didn’t have a working mechanical ventilator for oxygen, only an older manual air pump. 

By 11:30 a.m. local time Jaideliz was pronounced dead as she was being transported to Puerto Rico on an air ambulance. 

For those living on Vieques, receiving medical attention isn’t easy. Many have to take a boat to receive medical attention in Puerto Rico where trip times vary from 30 minutes to multiple hours. 

There is growing anger and blame about the teen’s death with many people pointing blame at the inadequate assistance that Puerto Rico and nearby islands have received since Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. The situation in Vieques is a perfect example of that as residents lack nearby health services and aid. 

“If we had more resources, she would be with us right now,” her cousin told NBC News. “They have forgotten about us.”

Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary, Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, says that he has ordered an immediate investigation into the death of Jaideliz and which circumstances could have caused this tragedy. Back in December, Democratic lawmakers requested an investigation into why FEMA hadn’t done anything to help rebuild Vieques’ only hospital. But lawmakers alerted FEMA about this issue in May but there was never any response. 

“In Puerto Rico, we talk a lot about how we are treated as second class citizens, but the people of Vieques and Culebra [another island off the coast of Puerto Rico] are being treated as third-class citizens,” Edgardo Román Espada, president of Puerto Rico’s Bar Association, told NBC News last May. 

Jaideliz’s family is using this tragedy as a wakeup call for health officials to do something about the deteriorating situation on the island. They are hoping for more medical supplies and equipment so this situation doesn’t happen again.

On Wednesday, a vigil was held in the girl’s honor as her family called for help. They say that they “don’t want Jai’s death to be in vain” and made the plea for more medical assistance. Her mother says the island needs to “have a dignified hospital, with medical equipment and supplies —so that no other mother will have to go through what I am dealing with now.” 

“Up to a point, the people feel abandoned, that politicians come and go, and there are no bonds of affection and our feelings are obvious. We live this problem and that is why our pain here. All this adds more regret and anguish to our people,” her uncle told local media. “This is what you live every moment on our island. We need more sensitivity. ”

This tragedy followed what has already been a tough start of the year for Puerto Rico as a 6.4 magnitude quake shook the island back on Jan.7, killing at least one person, destroying homes and leaving most utility customers in the dark. There has been an estimated $110 million in damages caused by the quake. 

READ: This Photographer Took Hundreds of Stunning Photos of the Most Endangered Indigenous Tribes Across the World

The Super Bowl Just Hit The Latina Trifecta Thanks To This Big Announcement

Entertainment

The Super Bowl Just Hit The Latina Trifecta Thanks To This Big Announcement

ddlovato / Instagram, jlo /Instagram , shakira/ Instagram

Looks like the Super Bowl is officially going to be fire. Late last year it was announced that , Jennifer Lopez and Shakira would headline the halftime show. News of their duo performance sparked both delight and, in light of the NFL’s anti-Black Lives Matter stance, some controversy. Still, whether you love it or hate, the show will go on and Demi Lovato is now taking part.

On Thursday the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer announced that she will be performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LIV in Miami. 

In a post to her Instagram account, the singer shared an official photo and a caption that read, “Singing the National Anthem at #SBLIV See you in Miami @NFL.”

The announcement is proof that Latinas and Demi in particular are setting 2020 on fire.

After all, Lovato’s announcement comes just two days after she announced that she had accepted an invite to performat the 2020 Grammy Awards at the end of this month. The news sparked excitement amongst Lovato’s fans particularly because the singer hasn’t performed live since 2018 when she was hospitalized for a drug overdose. 

This year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will also headline the halftime show.

Super Bowl LIV will be played on February 2. Fox will televise the game starting at 6:30 p.m. with kickoff shortly thereafter.

We don’t know who will face off in the 54th Super Bowl but we know who will be serving up delicious cuisine at Hard Rock Stadium the day of the big game and the big performance — a dominicana chef.

Chef Dayanny de la Cruz the Centerplate Executive Chef of the Hard Rock Stadium will be feeding guests with delicious sazón on Super Bowl Sunday. 

The woman responsible for coordinating the food experience for Super Bowl LIV is Dayanny de la Cruz. The mom of three is the executive chef of the Hard Rock Stadium. FIERCE recently spoke to Chef Dayanny about her beginnings, her connections with the world of food, breaking through the glass ceiling and what it’s like to design a menu that matches JLo and Shakira’s superstardom. 

Chef Dayanny was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and grew up in a home where everything happened around the kitchen table. It was the kind of childhood where her mother always insisted she eat before she play and she was able to run outside and pick ripe mangoes straight from surrounding trees. Chef Dayanny credits this early association with fresh foods and the warmth of a lively kitchen with her decision to enter the culinary world. 

She first went to school to get a degree in hospitality management from Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic. It was here that she decided to move to the United States with her parents and pursue a career in culinary arts. After getting her degree in Grand Rapids, MI, the newbie chef accepted her first position in a kosher kitchen at the DoubleTree Hotel in Chicago — an experience that she says was one of the most difficult and rewarding of her career. 

It was during this time in Chicago that Chef Dayanny was exposed to the world of sports luxury entertainment. She quickly started building her resume with some of the most elite sports events in the US, such as the US open in New York, the Kentucky Derby and the NBA All-Stars. Chef Dayanny explained to FIERCE, the experience was a different challenge than what she was used to, but she was drawn to that difficult task.

Her experience eventually led her to Miami and the Hard Rock Stadium.

 As the executive chef, this means she would be in charge of the kitchen staff for each of these locations. Chef Dayanny also oversees the menus for each concession, kitchen and restaurant at the stadium, and ensures the quality of the food leaving the kitchen. Currently, the stadium has 7 kitchens, 167 suits, 7 all-inclusive clubs and 25 concession stands.

Among those responsibilities is a self-imposed rule that Chef Dayanny expects of her kitchens: to keep them extremely diverse. Listing Central America, South America, Africa and other countries as some of the sources of inspiration for the cuisine she serves, the chef explained to FIERCE that she not only includes her own Dominican flavors into her kitchens but she encourages the native flavors of her kitchen staff to be utilized as well. 

The road leading up to her high-profile career hasn’t been easy. Unfortunately, Chef Dayanna also experienced something many women — Latinas especially — experience coming up in her career.

Like in many industries, the culinary world is still very much a boys’ club. As such, women are given an especially difficult time when they enter the industry to gain experience. Sometimes the interactions are so traumatizing that women leave their industry completely to avoid facing more injustices. 

Chef Dayanny confirmed that as a Latina she bumped into the infamous glass ceiling several times before climbing up the ladder. However, it wasn’t her own struggle she was concerned about, but the struggle of the next generation of women. Acknowledging that we still have a ways to go in making strides in equality, Chef Dayanny explained, “If we are standing still, not moving forward, we aren’t clearing the way for the next generation.” 

As thrilled as she is about the upcoming Super Bowl, when asked how she feels knowing that she is somewhat responsible for feeding JLo and Shakira, Chef Dayanny left us with a reminder of what’s most important. 

Anyone who talks to Chef Dayanny can hear how much she loves to cook and how she adores food in general. So, to reach this point in her career where she receives this honor is obviously a big deal for her. In her interview with FIERCE, we hear in her voice how proud she is to land this role. While Chef Dayanny admitted she is excited about organizing the menus at the Super Bowl, for her, the real excitement comes when the party is over.