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Puerto Rican Renaissance

Over the sea over time, Beyond the faces of the islands that dream. In the breast of the wind the lilies are saying That in the breast of the sea two dawns kiss. - Poem of the "Eternal Appointment" by Julia De Burgos

The Renaissance, the time after the middle ages when Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael emerged, was the end of one of the darkest times in human history. Mankind began to see advancements in the arts, mathematics, sciences, humanities, and geography. It was a time of "rebirth." I see that, that time is here for Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico saw some dark times, some of the darkest in the island's turbulent history. With the lack of electricity on the island for almost a year, the absence of U.S. support, and the political strife, things were bleak on my family’s island. The "Isla del Encanto" became the "Isla del Descanto" ( discard.) Then it began to happen. Small at first, now coming in bigger waves. Puerto Rican’s began to fight back. Voices emerging over the internet. People coming together to help their own. Politicians trying to give a voice to our island, an impossible job without congressional representation.

The debate between statehood and becoming independent continues, but what I see are other angels coming forward, helping. Lin Manuel Miranda bringing "Hamilton" to the island, Oprah Winfrey dedicating $2 million to hurricane relief and towards the arts. Other celebrities pitching in where others should have, but did not. On a personal level my cousins started a charity called, “Light Up Puerto Rico" and partnered with Tifie Humanitarianto @LightPuertoRico to help Puerto Rican’s that still need electricity and home repair.

I wrote a book that took me six years to write and released it in 2018 to bring attention to the island. I am working on my next one coming out Fall of 2019. My family and I have traveled to Puerto Rico, twice, to give the Island a boost through tourism.

Tourism may be the best thing for Puerto Rico and is a win-win for all. New York Times and Travel Pulse both declared Puerto Rico as being the number one travel destination for spring break and summer vacation. Travelers that go beyond San Juan and explore the small towns that are still struggling, are giving much needed money to boost the local businesses and giving back Puerto Rican’s their dignity. Puerto Rico’s legislature has given the final approval for Senate Bill 1121 (SB 1121), the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, which will set the Island on a path to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Puerto Rico is in its way to its own Puerto Rican Renaissance and I have no doubt, knowing the resiliency of mi gente, we will be stronger than ever.

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