April 4, 2008

A Bunch of Interesting Things from the Island!

I know it's been a couple of days but I've found some decent stuff this time, including some acceptable articles in English! Hoorah!

... but first, let's start with some Spanish.

This video was brought to my attention by this blog post, which kindly mentions that this greatness has been mostly ignored. Really sad, since it features the amazing Sunshine Logroño, Puerto Rico's most popular comedian (a very informative Wikipedia article is here). Definitely worth checking out, especially for linguistic reasons. Just sayin'.

Okay. Anyways... good news for anyone reading in California (if there is anyone)! There are flights in May for $225, which is cheaper than for us on the East Coast, although I'm not sure how that makes sense. This is a really low price so take advantage of it while you can.

Back to the real agenda... First off, I have this article about Obama and Hillary courting Puerto Rico's voters. Not too different from the usual but I think I just about died laughing when I saw this:

At the conclusion of the 1898 Spanish American War, the U.S. seized the island, and for five decades treated it like a whore.

¡Qué pavera! (Hilarious is the best way to translate that, I suppose... pavera is a laughing fit) Very unprofessional but I definitely got a kick out of it.


This article doesn't have the same eloquent writing as the last one but it is interesting. It's a collection of census results. It really sheds some light on the housing difficulties (and then some) of Puerto Rico. For example, the homeownership rate of Puerto Rico is about 74%, only behind 2 states (Michigan and Minnesota), and yet they spend almost as much paying for their house (mortgage, etc) as Californians, who spend the most on their houses in the country. I don't think this is due to a lot of Puerto Ricans needlessly buying houses, but rather the massive jumps in costs for amenities and morgage. Also, it says that Puerto Rico has the lowest graduating rate in the country, yet it's bachelor degree rate was higher than three states. Doesn't seem to match up. Poverty has decreased but it's still three times the rate of the United States and twice as bad as the worst state.

I think that's enough of that since it depresses me a bit.

Finally, my favorite newspaper, the Washington Post, has finally got something about Puerto Rico, and it's even in both English and Spanish! Very useful read for understanding some of the roots of Puerto Rico's economic/political problems today. I don't think I need to say much more than that.

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