Things That Matter

Puerto Rico Witnessed Violent Clashes With Protesters And Police During May Day Demonstrations

Thousands of Puerto Ricans took to the streets on Tuesday to protest pension cuts, school closures and slow recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September. The May Day marches started off peacefully as students, teachers and government employees made their way through San Juan before things turned violent. Heavily armored police threw tear gas cans and rubber bullets at protesters as demonstrations crossed through blocked off areas.

At least eight people were arrested and a number of people were injured, including fifteen police officers during May Day demonstrations in Puerto Rico.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said police were left with minimal options but to act after a small group of agitators threw rocks and bottles at them. Most followed the planned protest route without incident, and the march ended with a rally in front of the Capitol in San Juan. Many on the island are frustrated with the sluggish hurricane recovery efforts and steep budget cuts to tackle the island’s financial crisis.

The march comes as Puerto Rico continues to recover from an 11-year recession.

Puerto Rico is dealing with a $75 billion dollar debt. In response to the debt, the government is finding ways to save money to curb the debt and it includes increasing costs on the middle and lower class. College students in Puerto Rico have been hit the hardest. At Puerto Rico’s largest public university the undergraduate cost per credit has increased from $57 to $115, then to an eventual $157 over five years, according to The Washington Post. Many students in Puerto Rico have yet to return to school due the Hurricane Maria, which hit the island more than six months ago.

Children joined the protesters to fight for their schools to remain open but were tear gassed by police.

Puerto Rico is set to close 280 schools in August due to sharp decreases in enrollment, which comes after 179 were closed last year. In November 2017, NYU announced that it would be offering admission to 50 students from Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria under the Hurricane Maria Assistance Program.

Cuts to pensions and other benefits have left Puerto Ricans with few options.

Similar protests took place last May Day which also ended in violence in the streets and civilian injuries. Many businesses this year were prepared as they boarded up shops in anticipation that protests may end similarly to last year.


READ: Here Are 11 Reasons People Protested For Immigrant Rights On May Day In Los Angeles

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

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