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Puerto Rico on Our Minds: One Year After Hurricane María
What's your Hurricane story?
Where were you when Irma and Maria hit?
How did you experience the aftermath of the storms?
What do you think about when you think of Hurricanes Irma and Maria today?
Those are a few of the questions on my mind as September gets underway and the one year anniversaries approach.
If you have a hurricane story, hit reply and share it with me... I'd love to know if and how Puerto Rico is on your mind these days.
I returned from my first post-Maria visit to Puerto Rico a few weeks ago. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably saw my photos from the trip (if not, be sure to check them out!).
Here is one of my favorites from an amazing community art project in Yauco called Yaucromatic 2 created by artists and community members working with the nonprofit Arte Para Unir.
Returning to Puerto Rico for the first time since Hurricane Maria is hard to describe. I’ve traveled to Puerto Rico since I was two-months-old, so returning is always so familiar and I always have an amazing time with mi familia...
And yet. Everywhere I looked there were quiet or in-your-face reminders of what happened on the island almost a year ago. Everyone I spoke with had their own Hurricane María stories to share.
Case in point, when I asked my cousin about her experience with the hurricane, she answered, without skipping a beat, "I'll say this much. My daughters (ages 3 & 5) got over their fear of the dark."
But also. Our Isla del Encanto is as enchanting as ever. And its gente? As committed to Puerto Rico and its future as ever. Alongside the pain, challenges, and ongoing recovery efforts, there is hope and art and joy and laughter.
As we approach September 6th and September 20th, I hope you’ll join me in thinking about Puerto Rico, amplifying Puerto Rican stories and voices, and supporting organizations leading the way on recovery efforts—recovery efforts that will last for years.
I’m supporting Taller Salud and hope you will join me by supporting my campaign on behalf of Taller Salud today.
Read all about this campaign and learn more about Taller Salud by clicking here. And keep an eye out online and in your inbox for updates about the campaign throughout the month.
Thank you in advance for sharing your stories with me and for showing Taller Salud and Puerto Rico some love 🙏🏽
PS Before you go, please Read More below for publication, blog, and event updates.
I’m calling 2018 “publication summer” because I’ve had several poems, an essay, and a magazine column published this summer 🙏🏽🙌🏽 More on those next month.
For now, here are links to two of those publications--my own Hurricane María stories. Both of these pieces mean a lot to me and I hope you will take some time to read and share them:
Essay: "Literatura, Música, y (Huracán) María: Reflections from the Diaspora"
Poem: “Momentos de María"
I'm planning to host two Facebook Live Readings of these pieces later this month, so be sure to connect with me on Facebook to watch those.
Teach Puerto Rico: Updates
Many people have written about Puerto Rico since last month's newsletter outlining resources you can use. If you're planning to teach Puerto Rico, please check out my UPDATED Teach Puerto Rico post here.
September Blog Preview & Upcoming Event
Puerto Rico. All Day. Every Day.
I can't think of a single Puerto Rican who doesn't have la isla on the mind this September. I'll post about Puerto Rico throughout the month, and as I mentioned above, I'm hosting two Facebook Live Readings in support of La Isla and Taller Salud.
Latina Writer's Conference
I'm speaking on "Writing & Caretaking/Parenting" at the Latina Writer's Conference at La Plaza de La Raza in LA on September 8, 2018. I'm excited to share my experiences from these last two years of Mamihood and will be sure to post about that event on the blog!
In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I wrote a three part series sharing some of the challenges I faced early in our family's breastfeeding journey. I also include tips and resources based on my experience. Access the first part (with links to parts 2 & 3) by clicking the link above.
Please share this series with any Mamas who might need extra support or good info around breastfeeding right now.
Before you go...
Please Support Puerto Rico's Taller Salud
before my campaign ends on September 20th
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Abrazos Fuertes Always,
Words or Water