All posts tagged: Puerto Rico

We Used To Call it Puerto Rico Rain

By WILLIE PERDOMO

The rain had just finished saying, This block is mine.

The kind of rain where you could sleep through two breakthroughs and still have enough left to belly sing in the ambrosial hour.

Blood pellets in the dusk & dashes of hail were perfect for finding new stashes; that is to say, visitations were never announced.

A broken umbrella handle posed a question by the day care center.

We Used To Call it Puerto Rico Rain
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The Burrow

By TERE DÁVILA

 

They started building right away, as soon as it was safe to go outside.

“I can feel them moving!” Cristina squealed, standing knee-deep in leaves.

“Their teeth tickle!” laughed Zoe.

Something had caught their attention as they searched for pebbles and twigs. They crouched amid the soggy storm debris, then sprang up, kittenlike, uncombed curls against the gray sky, chattering and unaware of my presence. But as soon as they saw me approaching they stopped and exchanged looks. Cristina bit her bottom lip and smiled, a small and well-calculated gesture of contrition designed to deflate a scolding, but Zoe, the eldest, fixed her eyes on me, and her body tensed. She seemed ready to run, like a surprised wild thing.

The Burrow
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de Las Pisadas Del Insomnio / from The Footsteps of Insomnia

By ANA MARÍA FUSTER LAVÍN
Translated by JENNIFER ACKER

An English translation follows the Spanish.

Día 29 desde el huracán y sin luz.  Todavía las jornadas en mi trabajo, por la falta de energía, son más cortas. Mi oficina, a la que llamaba (y ya todas mis amistades conocían como) las catacumbas jurídicas, se perdieron, por lo que nos reubicamos en la biblioteca. Intento llegar lo más temprano posible, para traerle agua fría a mi querido amigo y colega Francisco, para preguntarle a los demás cómo están, si han dormido, a Pabsi si tiene gas y saber cómo siguen su mamá y Lalo (el gato), y a la vez contarles o contarnos todos a modo de terapia de grupo que seguimos a oscuras, que algunos no tienen ni techo, que el gobierno nos amputa las esperanzas en pequeños trocitos, que muchos se han ido, muerto, enferman, emigran, permanecen….

de Las Pisadas Del Insomnio / from The Footsteps of Insomnia
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People Who Go to the Beach Alone

By SERGIO GUTIÉRREZ NEGRÓN

Translated by HANNAH COOK

 

Bimbo has gone to the beach alone three times. 

The first time was when he bought the used car which he would drive for the next decade, at nineteen. As soon as he arrived at his house after having finalized the transaction and showed it to his family, and as soon as his grandmother had gone back to her telenovela after congratulating him, and his brother back to the phone, stuck talking to his girlfriend, Bimbo went into his room, put a bathing suit on under his jeans, threw two towels into his backpack, got into the car, and descended, alone, from the mountains of Caguas, where three generations of his family still lived. He went alone in his new-but-old Toyota Corolla without air conditioning and with the windows down and the radio tuned to the only English music station that reached them up there. He felt nervous. It was 11 a.m. on a Wednesday. 

People Who Go to the Beach Alone
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Santurce, un libro mural / Santurce: A Mural Book

Text by FRANCISCO FONT-ACEVEDO 

Images by RAFAEL TRELLES
 
Santurce, originalmente llamado Cangrejos, fue municipio desde el siglo XVIII, aunque luego fuera anexado como barrio de San Juan. Fue también el primer pueblo fundado por negros en Puerto Rico en 1773, cien años antes de la abolición de la esclavitud en el país. A partir de la construcción del trolley (primero a vapor en el último cuarto del siglo XIX, luego eléctrico a partir del 1901), se cambió el nombre de San Mateo de Cangrejos al de Santurce, en homenaje a Pablo Ubarri, Conde de Santurzi, encargado de la instalación del tren. Durante el siglo XX, en especial durante la modernización del país a partir de los años 40, Santurce se convirtió en el centro económico y cultural del país. Llegó a tener una población de 195,000 personas en 1950. Luego del proceso de suburbanización del país y la construcción de los centros comerciales a partir de finales de los años 60, la importancia de Santurce decayó notablemente. En la actualidad su población ronda los 82,000. Aun así, sigue siendo el barrio más poblado del país.

Los textos que siguen están narrados por Santurce/Cangrejos mismo. Las imágenes son de los murales tal como se reprodujeron e instalaron por todo el barrio. En todos los murales hay una imagen, un texto, el título del libro, un mapa y unas instrucciones para el peatón.

Para más información puedes ver nuestra página web: www.santurceunlibromural.com.

 

Although it was later annexed as a neighborhood of San Juan, Santurce—originally called Cangrejos—has been a municipality since the eighteenth century. It was also the first town founded by blacks in Puerto Rico, in 1773, one hundred years before the abolition of slavery in the country. Since the construction of the trolley (first the steam model in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, then the electric one in 1901), San Mateo de Cangrejos was renamed Santurce in homage to Pablo Ubarri, Count of Santurtzi, responsible for building the commuter railroad system. Throughout the twentieth century, particularly during the modernization of the country which began in the 1940s, Santurce became the island’s economic and cultural center, with a population of 195,000 people in 1950. After the suburbanization of the country and the construction of malls at the end of the 1960s, Santurce’s importance declined significantly. Its population now stands at approximately 82,000. Even so, it remains Puerto Rico’s most populous district.

The texts that follow are narrated by Santurce/Cangrejos itself. The images are of the murals just as they were reproduced and installed throughout the neighborhood. Each mural includes an image, a text, the title of the book, a map, and instructions for pedestrians.

For more information, visit our website: www.santurceunlibromural.com.

 

A grave

Santurce, un libro mural / Santurce: A Mural Book
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To Abandon Paradise

By ANA TERESA TORO

 

That must be the saddest piña colada in the world, I thought as I walked by Barrachina, the restaurant famous for being the birthplace of the Caribbean drink. This was a few months after Hurricane María destroyed everything we knew, and Old San Juan, an epicenter of tourism in Puerto Rico, was still without power. No one was drinking piña coladas. No one remembered that this place was the world’s idea of paradise. A lush, tropical island in the Caribbean with a landscape that offers all shades of green, blue, orange, red, pink, yellow, and purple. White sand and turquoise waters, ripe fruits, and a breeze that smells fresh and salty as the sea or deep and powerful as the soil. The sun is warm all year long, and the tropical humidity just makes it all feel more sensual.

To Abandon Paradise
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