Archive for the ‘Life in Puerto Rico’ Category

April 22, 2017

Manufacturing Paradise

By Ana Portnoy Brimmer

“That water---have you ever seen anything like it? Far out, to the horizon, the colour of the water is navy-blue; nearer, the water is the colour of the North American sky. From there to the shore, the water is pale, silvery, clear, so clear that you can see its pinkish-white sand bottom. Oh, what beauty! Oh, what beauty!” - Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place

April 04, 2017

Behind Closed Gates: Debunking Myths from the Other Side

By Ana Portnoy Brimmer

Passersby walk around with strained necks trying to catch a glimpse of the inside. Hands conceal mouths as they spew the day’s rumors into neighboring ears. Both AM and FM radio stations spin fantastical tales, which they insist on calling news; and without ever having set foot near the site during the duration of el paro (1), individuals, Island-wide, weave astounding works of fiction.

March 02, 2017

My University of Puerto Rico, My Home

By Ana Portnoy Brimmer

I remember.

I remember feeding stale pieces of pan sobao’ (1) to the ducks and fish in the ponds by the rector’s house at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. I was about six years old, and my sister and I loved going to the University with my father, a Mathematics professor, whenever he had to work on the weekends or during the summer. The ducks would follow us around, eager to be the chosen ones to receive the colmado (2) delicacy, the fish swimming in circles like underwater hawks waiting for their prey.

February 19, 2017

Las Mujeronas of "Puerto Rico Women in Startups"

By Ana Portnoy Brimmer

You could hear them clinking glasses, their drinks sloshing back and forth, laughing over their witticisms and end-of-the-day anecdotes. Business cards sliced through the air as they exchanged them vigorously among each other, making sure no one was left without one. And ideas. How they exchanged ideas with an eagerness for collaboration, cooperation and partnerships.

December 26, 2016

That Time of Year

By Ana Portnoy Brimmer

A fictional look at the holidays in Puerto Rico from many perspectives.

La Familia Puelto Jiqueña

“Jorge, caramba, deja eso ya! Stop eating el cuerito!” Laura yelled at her husband as she mixed the arroz con gandules inside a caldero big enough to bathe in, tired of reminding him about his cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

November 26, 2016

Life in Between: Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean

By Ana Portnoy

In the Caribbean, living life in between, in a constant liminal state, whether culturally, identity-wise, or in any other dimension of life, is commonplace. The diversity of the region, of the particular historical experiences of each individual nation, makes for a polysemous way of life.

It’s no surprise then that, not only does Puerto Rico find itself living in the middle conceptually and culturally, but it also finds itself physically in between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

October 29, 2016

Puerto Rico: Seasons Like No Others

By Ana Portnoy Brimmer

“It’s summer year round,” some people say, romanticizing Puerto Rico. “There are only two seasons: hot and hotter,” others declare with utmost certainty.

To the outsider, to the un-Caribbean eye, Puerto Rico may seem like a seasonless Archipelago, like it’s “the same” all the time, a mere duality of sunshine and rain. But if you look closely, underneath the surface of our “one-dimensional heat veneer,” there lies a complex and multifaceted cycle, seasons like no others, environmentally and culturally grounded dynamics unique to the Caribbean, to Puerto Rico.

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October 08, 2016

From Mayagüez to San Juan: Somos Puerto Rico

By Ana Portnoy Brimmer

Every muscle in my body was tense. My jaw, elbows, and back were locked without the remotest possibility of release. My fingers were tight around the steering wheel, eyes wide, darting from windshield, to mirror, to blindspot, and back, heart racing like I was running a marathon. I was driving in San Juan.

Shifting between defensive and offensive driving and constantly making sure I was still alive, I realized how much I missed the narrow, single-laned, crowded-in-by-mango-trees streets of my hometown: Mayagüez.

September 08, 2016

Money on a mission: 6 ways everyday (business) heroes are doing good

By Mandy Hawkins

Sometimes it may seem that the world has fallen apart.  Scandals are common practice.  Violence separates people.  Corporate greed is at an all-time high.  

Fear not!  

A light of hope illuminates through the darkness.  There are those who continue to show kindness, give back, or even give it all away.  Who are these do-gooders, these cape-less crusaders?  What can they teach us?

August 27, 2016

Poesía: Healing, Resisting, and Building Bridges

By Ana Portnoy Brimmer

“I am the memory of…” the room filled with the barely audible sound of pen on paper, the poets sitting around the table reacting, manifesting, to the writing prompt. Smiles, lip biting, furrowed brows, and deep sighs went around the table.

Mariposa read the next writing prompt. “I feel most alive when...”

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