Things That Matter

5 Creative Ways The People Of Puerto Rico Are Persevering

Puerto Ricans are inventors — and not just of arresting music and mouthwatering dishes. Boricuas have developed technology that makes space travel more efficient for NASA astronauts, helps physicians operate on the tiniest parts of the human body and enables people around the world to filter water. So it’s no surprise that islanders are getting creative in the midst of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

After Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Caribbean island, wiping out electricity and potable water, everyday puertorriqueños tapped into their inner innovator, developing machinery to help them persevere without the most basic necessities. Here, just five ways the people of Puerto Rico are using their hands and minds to create tools for survival and leisure.

1. Collecting Water

Hay que inventársela para poder tener agua. ?

Posted by Puerto Rico Tiene Cojone on Monday, October 2, 2017

Video Credit:  Puerto Rico Tiene Cojone

Throughout the island, everyday people are using pipes to funnel water from natural springs into towns, where community members gather with buckets and empty soda bottles to collect water they’ll use to bathe, clean and cook.

2. Filtering Water

Video Credit:  Kat Lazo / PR on The Map

In Río Piedras, Jornada: Se Acabron las Promesas, an organization providing free breakfast for the community, connects a portable filter to a bucket, providing clean water for the people to drink or make coffee with.

3. Showering

Photo Credit:  Raquel Reichard / PR on The Map

In Vega Baja, Tito Kayak, an activist and founder of the Puerto Rican environmental group Amig@s Del Mar, hangs a bucket above his bathtub and connects it to a shower head. When he places water in the bucket and turns the knob, he and his family are able to take showers even without running water.

4. Washing Clothes

Mi esposo y la nueva maquina de lavar ropa

Posted by Jenny Mejias on Sunday, October 22, 2017

Video Credit:  Jenny Mejias

Across Puerto Rico, people are coming up with innovative ways to wash clothes. Here, a man uses a barrel to construct a manual washing machine. In other towns, folks have made similar designs with buckets and hand ringers.

5. Enjoying Movie Nights

Photo Credit:  Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi / Defend PR

While adults and elders are concerned about basic necessities to survive, children, who don’t have as much of a grasp of the humanitarian, climate and debt crises, are looking for entertainment. Without electricity or Internet access, video games and TV are not options. But a group of people are providing a traveling Cine Solar, an outdoor movie night for kids powered entirely by solar panels. The free event, made possible by local activists Edgardo Larregui and Coco de Oro and stateside Puerto Ricans like FistUpTv, Defend Puerto Rico and Bay Area Boricuas, even comes with popcorn. Cine Solar has so far gone to Santurce, Yabucoa, Lloren and Palomas.

Reporting for this article was made possible through PR on The Map, a Latinx independent media team put together by grassroots organizer and former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente to produce unfiltered, unapologetic and intergenerational coverage on Puerto Rico. Donate to PR on The Map here.


READ: Donald Trump Said Puerto Rico Wants ‘Everything To Be Done For Them,’ But These Women Are Proving Him Wrong

These are just some of the inventions we’ve seen in Puerto Rico. Let us know of the innovations you’ve heard about or came across in the comments.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

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.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

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!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com