March 28, 2008

Too many things going on in Puerto Rico!

Well, the first thing that I have to talk about is the latest news about Aníbal Acevedo Vilá. Boy is he in trouble! He has finally been charged with using illegal donations (from people all over the island as well as the United States) to fund his campaign, along with several other charges. Should he be found guilty, he could serve up to 20 years in jail. We'll see how this works how for him in the future. Meanwhile, here is a great article (in Spanish) with more details, along with pictures, video, etc.

Also dealing with politics, I found this article (in English) about Hillary's first campaigning in Puerto Rico. I think it's a very good analysis about the two Democratic campaigns, with a lot of specifics about Hillary's concrete plans. Nice.

If you REALLY feel like doing some reading, I stumbled upon an amazing paper on the entire history of Americanization in Puerto Rico. It's part two of the paper. While it doesn't try to hide the author's political leanings, it does offer plenty of history in return. A sample:

Puerto Rico's 400 years of history as a people was being systematically erased. "American heroes" would replace their own national heroes, American holidays were to replace Spanish holidays, and Protestant missionaries would convert the people to Anglo-Saxon values. The children were taught in school to sing the "Star Spangled Banner", "America", "Hail Columbia", and other patriotic songs of its conquerors. They had to salute the flag each day. In some schools they had to dress in red, white and blue. The Puerto Rican flag was no more. The print media, later radio, and then television continually served a diet of propaganda news and patriotic symbols.
I think it offers a complete look at the early process of Americanization that I touched briefly before. So if anyone is interested in knowing more, I would highly recommend it (for a rainy day perhaps?).

Also dealing with history is a sample of a history textbook from 1899, one year after the Spanish-American War (it's much shorter than the essay). It's a lot less biased than I would have expected, especially considering some of the drivel coming out of the American government shortly after. Good resource.

And one last history source, although this time linking it today, is an description of the Taíno games and their current revival. Interesting but I do have to question the purpose of reviving them. Anyways, it's a good description of the game and some history.

Finally moving away from history and politics, here is an invitation to a party in Ponce. Well, kind of. Since they are temporarily closing el Museo de Arte de Ponce (the Ponce Art Museum), they're having a "closing party" with lots of activities this Sunday. Plus it's free. And the art? It's going to be in Plaza Las Américas, San Juan's giant mall, until the museum reopens in 2010.

Also, here is a VERY helpful page for figuring out when to visit Puerto Rico's bioluminescent bays. Not only does it include good advice but there also is a calendar for the rest of the year for when to go. By the way, if you don't know what a bioluminescent bay is, it is a bay that, with any movement, the dinoflagellates (algae) glow, so it looks as if the water is lighting up around you. There are only eight in the world and Puerto Rico has three of them, including the best two. So it is absolutely something to check out.

Finally, for those of us on and off the island, PBS will be airing a documentary on the life of Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rico's most famous baseball player. I'm not a big sports fan but the way that the writer here explains him I really do want to see it. It's airing April 21.

I think I've taken care of everything that I wanted! Boy has it been a busy week.

1 comment:

V.V.F. said...

"Interesting but I do have to question the purpose of reviving them."

I would have thought someone who had an entire blog dedicated to preserving a marginalized and devalued culture would be able to answer that question for herself.