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.


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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.

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Singer-Songwriter Kany García Speaks Out Against Conversion Therapy in Puerto Rico

Entertainment

Singer-Songwriter Kany García Speaks Out Against Conversion Therapy in Puerto Rico

As the Puerto Rican government is debating a bill on conversion therapy, Kany García is speaking out against the controversial practice. The Boricua singer-songwriter wrote an open letter to the senators in favor of Senate Bill 184, which would help end conversion therapy on the island.

Kany is one of Puerto Rico’s most-decorated artists.

García is one of the Puerto Rico’s top artists. She’s won six Latin Grammy out of a career 20 nominations. In March, she was also nominated for her third Grammy Award for her latest album Mesa Para Dos.

This year Kany celebrated five years since coming out.

On Valentine’s Day 2016, García revealed that she was in a relationship with her partner, Jocelyn Troche. The couple is still going strong with Troche appearing in last year’s “Lo Que En Ti Veo.” She and García share beautiful moments in the video. At November’s Latin Grammy Awards, there was a big wave of artists in the LGBTQ+ community in the major categories, including García, Ricky Martin, Pablo Alborán, and Jesse y Joy’s Joy Huerta.

She’s telling Puerto Rican senators to pass Senate Bill 184 in her letter.

Since coming out, García has remained at the forefront of queer issues in Puerto Rico. The passage of Senate Bill 184 seeks to prohibit conversion therapy. The controversial practice has long harmed LGBTQ+ communities. It’s thought of as a way to rid them of their queer gender or sexual identities.

“Puerto Rico deserves that every girl and boy, every young woman and young man can be who they want to be and love who they want to love,” García wrote in her letter. “This measure has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the protection of Puerto Rican children and youth.”

García speaks from her own experience. “I am an example of how to be faithful to who you are. I am a woman who deeply loves her partner and who is loved by her family and by our people. There is nothing to change. There is nothing to repair. There’s nothing to heal. We have to give the same opportunity that I have had, to be who I am, to all our children and youth.”

García further writes that the bill should be passed as-is without any amendments. According to Al Día news, Popular Democratic Party Senators Gretchen Hau, Elizabeth Rosa Velez, and Migdalia Gonzalez have filed several amendments to Senate Bill 184 as of Wednesday. Puerto Rico’s governor Pedro Pierluisi has indicated that he’s ready to override the senators if necessary.

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Rising Star Chesca Talks Career Beginnings, Being a Latina in the Music Industry, Performing at Jimmy Kimmel and More

Latidomusic

Rising Star Chesca Talks Career Beginnings, Being a Latina in the Music Industry, Performing at Jimmy Kimmel and More

Welcome to Spotlight, where we do a deep dive into the careers of artists, producers, songwriters, and more people making an impact in the Latin music industry.

Puerto Rican singer Chesca is the definition of a hustler. She started as the vocalist for her dad’s cover band in Puerto Rico and became her own manager booking shows in places like China and Greece. The world is hers for the taking and she is going for it.

Chesca is ready for global stardom and she’s taking it one step at a time.

During our interview here at Latido Music by mitú, Chesca opened up about how a tragic accident at 11 years old changed her life, how music literally saved her, and the sacrifices she’s had to make to be where she is today.

Watch the full interview below:

Chesca is aware that being a Latina in the music industry isn’t easy but feels compelled to share her story and everything she’s had to do to get here. She would pretend to be her own manager and publicist at the beginning of her career. Chesca would book herself shows around the world where she would get to perform her own original songs. One of her songs actually got picked up by the radio in China, which is a market not many Latin stars even imagine entering, especially not when they’re just starting their careers.

“With everything that I’ve been through, I have a voice, and I have a story to tell that can motivate so many young women, that’s what keeps me going,” Chesca says.

While she had some success performing in English, she felt that she needed to go back to her roots and start doing music in Spanish. The stars aligned, and Chesca was signed by Saban Music Group, and currently has some high-profile collaborations under her belt. She’s behind the viral hit like “Te Quiero Baby (I Love You Baby),” which blew up on TikTok and led her to perform at the Latin Billboards last year with Pitbull.

Chesca most recently performed at the 2021 Latin AMAs red carpet and received a nomination for Best New Latin Artist at the 2021 iHeart Radio Music Awards.

After our conversation with Chesca, it’s clear that she’s making the right moves at the right time to make a name for herself in the industry, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for her career.

READ: Ivy Queen, Goyo, and Chesca to Headline Urban Divas United Concert in April

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