Things That Matter

Two Weeks After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Still Needs Lots Of Help

Ricardo Arduengo / Getty

While Donald Trump went on to attack San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz via Twitter this weekend, the situation in Puerto Rico continues to be a desperate one, despite some improvement.

USA Today reports that obtaining food, water, or gas is a daylong goal. Each mission to get any of these things can take several hours.

CREDIT: Ricardo Arduengo / Getty

“Tomorrow we’re going to try to find gasoline,” Michelle Rebollo told USA Today. “Then, we’ll try to get money. Each one is a whole day.”

Various reporters and celebrities on the ground in Puerto Rico are saying that people remain without running water and basic necessities.

“I haven’t seen any help and we’re running out of water,” Pedro Gonzalez, told a local ABC news affiliate, adding that he has a daughter with Down syndrome and has decided to move to Louisiana. “We’re getting out of here.”

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said that 714 gas stations now have fuel, but USA Today reports that several gas stations they have seen are either closed or say “No hay gasolina.”

Rosselló also said that 47 percent of water and sewer service is working, but added that the number isn’t a certain because 1,400 generators are powering the water services. And because they’re without power, the generators can stop working from time to time, but Rosselló says “general progress is being made.”

Rosselló also said that a quarter of the island should regain power next month.

While there is food and water finally in Puerto Rico, after Trump waived the Jones Act (for now), the items are not being distributed to areas in need.

Yulín Cruz tweeted that they have supplies coming in, but can’t distribute because the roads are not clear.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, who is working in Puerto Rico along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), says one of the worst problems is the roads. “The roads are not clear on the outside of the island, and we’re slowly working our way in,” Buchanan said to PBS. “But we obviously need to get all the roads cleared so we can get supplies to people who desperately need them. Sometimes we don’t know what’s going to happen until the storm actually hits, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen.”

President Trump falsely said that all buildings had now been inspected and cleared.

The president and First Lady Melania are expected to be in Puerto Rico tomorrow.

Click here for a list of charities and crowdfunding campaigns that are helping people in Puerto Rico.

READ: The Mayor Of San Juan Let The Trump Administration Have It In A Press Conference

Recommend this story to a friend by clicking on the share button below. 

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

@urbanfloweb / Twitter / shootter_ledo / Instagram

San Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, more commonly known as Bad Bunny, El Conejo Malo, is very familiar with the transformative effects of SoundCloud. Bad Bunny was bagging groceries at a supermarket when he gained a cult following on SoundCloud. Since then, he’s risen to international fame, with dozens of accolades under his belt. Last year, he won the Latin American Music Awards Artist of the Year award and Billboard awarded him the Top Latin Song of the year for “Te Bote.”

Bad Bunny’s style and attitude might seem odd to some, but that’s given him all the success in the world. Like a true saint, he has a history of prioritizing his people over fame and glory. Just last month, Bad Bunny canceled a European concert tour last minute to fly home to Puerto Rico and participate in the Ricky Renuncia protests.

For the last year, Bad Bunny has been secretly working with other SoundCloud traperos to help boost their career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

In a way, nothing has changed for Bad Bunny when it comes to what matters most to him. He’s prioritizing Boricuas and Latin trap, hanging out with his friends, and listening to SoundCloud. 

That’s how he discovered Jesús Antonio Dominguez Collazo, A.K.A. Shootter Ledo.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

Ledo has a biology degree and just fools around with music on the side. Right now, he’s working as a security guard. It just so happened that Dominguez and Benito had a mutual friend in La Paciencia, a producer with ears in all the right places. Last fall, La Paciencia played “Subimos de Rango” for Bad Bunny, and the trapero couldn’t get enough of it. Apparently, Ledo and Omy de Oro had spent just a couple hours making the track before they posted it to SoundCloud.

Bad Bunny loved the song so much that he created some verses to add.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

La Paciencia had given him a heads up that they wanted to share the track with Bad Bunny to see what he thought of the song as a single. Dominguez says he honestly hadn’t even thought of getting off SoundCloud and creating a track, let alone with El Conejo Malo, when he got the call that San Benito already was writing verses for the song. 

It’s no mistake that Bad Bunny is helping produce new artists.

Credit: shootter_ledo / Instagram

It seems that La Paciencia and Bad Bunny had set up the hotel room specifically to hear artists spit lines in person. When Dominguez first walked into the hotel room with Bad Bunny, he was nervous. Bad Bunny knew it, and afterward, asked him to come back the next morning to try again. For Bad Bunny, it felt like he was “forcing it.”

So Dominguez went back to his security guard night shift and went back the next morning with new verses.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

He literally wrote new verses during his shift and nailed it. La Paciencia and Bad Bunny took him on and more. Bad Bunny is a featured artist on the single. “What that man did, no one does…,” Dominguez said. “The most popular artist in the world did a remix to someone else’s first song. And he didn’t even know me…. no tiene nombre lo que él hizo.”

The track’s cover art honors El Conejo Malo’s own letras.

Credit: @urbanfloweb / Twitter

It’s a full-circle moment when Bad Bunny gets to rap about his Gucci wallet and how, “Si quiero, me retiro feliz y contento.” He knows that he’s in his moment, and that if he were to die, they’d erect a monument of him (Me muero y me hacen un monumento / estoy en mi momento).

Now, Ledo is just waiting to see if Bad Bunny’s help with “Subimos de Rango” jump-starts his music career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

“I’m going to see what fruits this [single] brings,” he says thinking about what’s next. “I’m going to see who sticks, who wants to collaborate. Pero, yo estoy puesto pa’ zumbar canciones… and get to where I need to get to.”

You can watch the full music video, by Shootter Ledo and Omy de Oro, featuring Bad Bunny right here.

The video premiered just two days ago and already has 700,000 views. The most liked comment on YouTube translates, “Wow, Bad Bunny with the surprising theme and bringing back trap. Thank you Bad Bunny.”

READ:

A Homeowners Association Tried To Keep A Boricua Who Fought For Our Country From Flying Her PR Flag

Culture

A Homeowners Association Tried To Keep A Boricua Who Fought For Our Country From Flying Her PR Flag

screenshot taken from Orlando Sentinel

When hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans came together to demand former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to resign following leaked chats that revealed political corruption and a series of sexist and homophobic messages, Frances Santiago wanted to stand in solidarity with her people. Living in Kissimmee, Florida, she wasn’t able to protest with her country folk on the archipelago but she demonstrated symbolically by placing her red, white and blue Puerto Rican flag outside of her home. 

Now, the Central Florida Boricua is facing a battle against her own community leaders. Three weeks after putting up the flag, the homeowner received a letter from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association requesting her to take it down. 

Santiago, an Army veteran who served 14 years as a medic, including two tours in Iraq, says she refuses to remove the flag.

“I fought for this, to be able to do this. So, I don’t see a problem with flying my flag here,” the woman told Orlando-area news station WFTV.

According to HOA bylaws, all flags are outlawed. However, the board made an exception for US flags, sports flags and flags used to honor first responders and fallen officers. Considering these edicts, Santiago is unsure why the group is asking her to remove the flag, as Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.

“Puerto Rico is part of America. What’s the big issue with us having our flag there,” she said.

HOA president Norma McNerney told  WFTV that she’s not asking the Santiago family to remove the flag because it’s from Puerto Rico; however, she did not comment on the island being the colonial property of the US and, thus, meeting the association’s criterion. 

“We treat all owners the same. If you travel through our community, you will see the only flags are those regulated by the state,” McNerney said.

Puerto Ricans have historically been banned from displaying their flag. 

While many tease that Boricuas exhibit their bandera on anything and everything, from their cars and house goods to their clothes and accessories, owning a Puerto Rican flag wasn’t legal until 1957. Nine years prior, on June 10, 1948, la Ley de La Mordaza, better known as the gag law, made it a crime to own or display a Puerto Rican flag, sing a patriotic song or speak or write of independence. The legislation, signed into law by Jesús T. Piñero, the United States-appointed governor, aimed at suppressing the growing movement to liberate Puerto Rico from its colonial ties to the United States. Anyone accused and found guilty of disobeying the law could be sentenced to ten years in prison, be fined $10,000 or both.

Additionally, in Kissimmee, which locals nicknamed “Little Puerto Rico” because of its vast Puerto Rican population, there has been pushback from community members who are not pleased with the demographic changes. City-Data forums warn people interested in moving to Central Florida to beware of Puerto Ricans, who commenters refer to as “roaches,” “criminals,” and the N-word, while news of attacks against Boricuas has become more common. Florida is home to more Puerto Ricans in the contiguous US than any other state. Most of the population resides in the Orlando-Kissimmee area. The region has been the top destination for Puerto Ricans escaping the financial crisis since 2008 and displacement following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. But it is also the prime journey stop for diasporic Puerto Ricans from New York, Chicago, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Massachusetts. The area is among the largest and fastest-growing Puerto Rican communities in the country.

As such, Central Florida Boricuas have rallied around Santiago. An online petition created by the Florida Puerto Rican group Alianza for Progress is asking the HOA to cease their discriminatory practices against Santiago and is already close to meeting its goal of 1,600 signatures. At the time of writing, it is short just 51 names.

Santiago and her husband Efrain have insisted that they have no intention of bringing the flag down.

“[The flag] will stay there and we’ll deal with it; we’ll exhaust every avenue possible,” Efrain said. “We have our house, you see, up to standards. We’re not doing anything wrong. We’re not doing anything to our neighbors by flying our flag.”

While the Santiagos haven’t presently been issued any fines for the violation, they said they do have a lawyer and are prepared to take this fight to protect their freedom further. “I’m proud of my roots, who I am, [where] I come from. We’re not offending anyone. None of the neighbors were offended with us putting the flag there,” Efrain said.

Read: The Governor Of Puerto Rico Was Caught In A Chat Using Grotesque Homophobic And Sexist Language And The Entire Island Is Calling Him To Resign In Massive Protests

Paid Promoted Stories