Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2012


I was 3 years old the night my hero died.

I don’t know if I was wearing my Pittsburgh Pirates shirt on that New Year’s Eve in 1972, and I couldn’t even begin to remember the details that swirled around Puerto Rico like bees around a hive. A child’s mind does not recall the facts, it just recalls the tears. The tears, I do remember.

clemente

But now the facts are far too familiar, and the Internet will forever enshrine them. As these excerpts from the January 1, 1973 edition of The New York Times say:

SAN JUAN, P. R., Jan. 1—Roberto Clemente, star outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died late last night in the crash of a cargo plane carrying relief supplies to the victims of the earthquake in Managua.

Three days of national mourning for Mr. Clemente were proclaimed in his native Puerto Rico, where he was the most popular sports figure in the island’s history.

***

Mr. Clemente was the leader of Puerto Rican efforts to aid the Nicaraguan victims and was aboard the plane because he suspected that relief supplies were falling into the hands of profiteers.

The four-engined DC-7 piston-powered plane crashed moments after takeoff from San Juan International Airport at 9:22 P.M.

The plane, carrying a crew of three and one other passenger, came down in heavy seas a mile and a half from shore.

Coast Guard planes circled the area trying to locate the plane by the light of flares. The wreckage was not found until 5 P.M. today in about 100 feet of water. There was no sign of survivors.

***

Mr. Clemente had been asked to take part in the collection of funds by Luis Vigoraux, a television producer.

“He did not just lend his name to the fund-raising activities the way some famous personalities do,” said Mr. Vigoraux. “He took over the entire thing, arranging for collection points, publicity and the transportation to Nicaragua.”

Mr. Clemente’s relief organization had collected $150,000 in cash and tons of clothing and foodstuffs. More money and clothing are still being donated.

“We sent a ship loaded with supplies during the week,” said a member of the earthquake relief committee. “One of the reasons Roberto went on the plane was to get there before the ship arrived to see the supplies were distributed properly.”

***

News of Mr. Clemente’s death plunged Puerto Rico into mourning.

Gov. Louis A. Ferre decreed three days of mourning and Governor-elect Rafael Hernandez Colon, who will be sworn into office tomorrow, ordered the cancellation of an inaugural ball and all other social activities related to the inauguration.

Roberto Clemente was 38 years old when he died. 38 years old.

His baseball feats will forever be celebrated, but Clemente went beyond that. Not a day goes by where I think of how this son of Puerto Rico represented a different type of athlete, one that we rarely see today.

I often wonder: “what if Clemente were still alive today?” He would be baseball’s premiere Latino ambassador, sure, but he would be marching with the justice-seekers, speaking out against violence, and calling for a better world. As PBS’ American Experience says, “Clemente was an exceptional baseball player and humanitarian whose career sheds light on larger issues of immigration, civil rights and cultural change. He would die in a tragic plane crash.”

And that is why I struggle a bit every December 31. Clemente was so much more than a baseball player, but it was baseball that transcended him into places he would have never reached. I have friends from the Pittsburgh area who still consider Clemente the greatest Pirate ever. Everyone loved and admired Roberto (even those who called him “Bobby,” not knowing any better.) The Puerto Rican taking over Pittsburgh. That’s how it happens. That’s how we become a better world. When cultures blend, and we find commonalities and we celebrate achievements.

That is why I know that we can all be like Clemente. You can still stand for what you believe in,  you never have to settle, and still treat people with love, grace, and respect.

His son said it best when he told PBS the following:

I would like for people to see my father as an inspiration. To see him as a person who came from, you know, not a rich neighborhood or anything, but from a noble house in Puerto Rico. Probably with no hopes of knowing what he was going to become, but carrying himself in such a way that always had — you know, the values. That was always first. The caring and respect for the parents and siblings, and towards people. Zero tolerance against injustice. Not putting up with being put down. Becoming an activist and letting his message get across very strongly. That should be an inspiration to everyone… understanding how a single individual really truly makes a difference.
— Luis Clemente, son

This New Year’s Eve I still long for the possibilities of what the world COULD have been with Clemente here. Instead, the best I can do is just try and remember that each of us can truly make a difference. This is what Roberto means to me, and this is why I will be #21Forever.

Now I have a 10-year-old son who shares my love of Clemente. And when my son asks me about Roberto, I can show him game footage and tell him stories from my abuelo, my dad, and some Latino baseball legends I had the pleasure to meet in my lifetime (I will never ever forget when the great Mike Cuellar told me and my brothers about the Game 7 homerun Clemente hit off of him at the 1971 World Series). But even when my son and I talk baseball, I also tell him that Clemente was always larger that just baseball. He was a great human being who tried to make a difference. And he succeeded.

¡Que viva Roberto! #21Forever.

Read Full Post »


 

The following release was just published today and I say, “Fantástico.” It is time for Puerto Ricans to stand up, get connected, and work together for a greater Puerto Rico. You can give Parranda Puerto Rico a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

libreflag

SAN JUAN, PR and MIAMI, FL and SILICON VALLEY, CA–(Marketwire – Dec 13, 2012) – A new social network dubbed “Parranda” — the name of a popular Puerto Rican Christmas tradition — is hoping to gather Puerto Ricans on the island and throughout the world to “remap, remake, and remobilize the Greater Puerto Rico.”

Founded by eighteen Puerto Rican entrepreneurs, scientists, and business leaders — from San Juan to Silicon Valley — Parranda will launch a beta version this Christmas of an online network with an initial focus on constructing a digital map of where all Puerto Ricans live. Later projects will include an online mentoring program, a crowd-funding capability, and a broad range of applications that serve the economic, civic, and cultural development of the island and its people.

Reimagining “The Boricua Winter”

A confluence of events has demonstrated the need, desire, and utility for a Puerto Rican diaspora network.

First, there is the continuing flight of Puerto Rican professionals to the US and other countries, which has created a persistent brain drain from the Puerto Rican economy. Second, there was the recent demonstration of political power both on the mainland and on the archipelago. The strength of the Puerto Rican vote in Florida for the 2012 election was surprising to many. And a recent plebiscite was the first time Puerto Ricans voted in a majority to reject Puerto Rico’s current political status.

Finally, there’s the recent wave of social networking activity following a recent spike in the violent crime rate in Puerto Rico, a problem recognized as one of the chief causes of migration to the US. A journalist recently labeled the online reaction to violence in Puerto Rico as “the Boricua Winter,” drawing a comparison to the Arab Spring.

“When we say ‘a Greater Puerto Rico,’ we are referring, of course, to two things,” said Giovanni Rodriguez, co-founder of Parranda and CEO of SocialxDesign, a strategic consulting firm with offices in Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. “First, there’s the reality that Puerto Rican influence is extending beyond the borders of the archipelago. There are more Puerto Ricans living in the US today than in Puerto Rico. Second there’s the idea that Puerto Ricans everywhere — no matter where they make their home — can improve conditions in their homeland. The time is right for the launch of a platform like Parranda, which aims to bring Puerto Ricans together for a number of projects designed for large-scale social impact.”

Parranda’s first focus on mapping the Greater Puerto Rico — via a simple web application — is both practical and strategic for its longer-term goals.

“Puerto Ricans will be both surprised and energized to see where they are today, and the mapping project will enlist all Puerto Ricans to both make the map and telling others to help make it,” said Marcos Polanco, co-founder and COO of iCare Medical Inc., a startup based in San Juan. “And once the map is well lit, it will help Parranda to execute on its larger ambitions in mentoring, funding, and support for social and commercial entrepreneurship.”

Power in Unity

The Parranda name was inspired by a Christmas-season known throughout Latin-America but mostly associated with Puerto Rico. Holiday revelers go door-to-door throughout their neighborhoods, gathering people to join them, knock on other doors, and gather more people.

“We see it as the perfect metaphor for what we are trying to do — knocking on the virtual doors of all Puerto Ricans, and asking them to join us. Plus, the Parranda concept is joyous. Yes, it will help us tackle some of our toughest challenges. But the act of coming together in itself will be part of the appeal.”

The mapping project launches along with the beta site of the Parranda network on Christmas Eve. But people can sign up for early registration by visiting parranda.org today. They can also let organizers know if they want to support the project, individually or as a sponsor.

“In the end, Parranda is a product of its people, and we see many ways for corporate, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations to join and support,” said Polanco.

About Parranda

Parranda.org is a project devoted to the economic, civic, and cultural development of a “Greater Puerto Rico.” By providing a virtual platform for mass collaboration, Parranda enables people on and off the island (the Puerto Rican diaspora) to work with one another on meaningful and measurable initiatives. We’re launching just before Christmas this year. To sign up for early registration, or to explore ways to support the project, please visit us atwww.parranda.org. You can also join the “parranda” on our social networks on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParrandaPuertoRico and on Twitter@ParrandaPR.

Read Full Post »


This is the LAST of the posts about Facebook engagement and which Latino-themed pages are the most engaging from a sample of pages that are commonly visited. Hopefully by now, I don’t have to explain much about this little experiment that started in March. But just in case, you can read about the background here. Let’s just get into it.

Who, among a sample of a few pages, is the most engaging Latino Facebook Page at the beginning of December? Let’s see below. Anything above 15% is really strong. Anything above 40% is outstanding. Anything above 40% is beyond ridiculous and on another level.

Ok, here is the the last and final list. It is December. (numbers based on page checks on December 8, 2012 from midnight-1 am EST; full disclosure: Latino Rebels is my organization. Also, this is just a data capture from a limited time window. We know that the “people talking about this” feature can fluctuate. This is not an exact science, but it does prove that having a highly engaged community will always benefit your brand, organization, group, etc.)

December’s Sampling of Latino Facebook Pages and Their Facebook Level of Engagement (FLOE)

  1. One Voice Radio: 293% (1,601 likes · 4,697 talking about this)
  2. Rico Puerto Rico: 259% (75,710 likes · 196,344 talking about this)
  3. Cultura: 275% (3,577 likes · 9,844 talking about this)
  4. Ford en español: 86.4% (4,515 likes · 3,904 talking about this)
  5. SoLatina: 80% (62,927 likes · 50,347 talking about this)
  6. Latino Rebels: 71.2% (26,512 likes · 19,003 talking about this)
  7. Pocho.com: 61.2% (2,919 likes · 1,785 talking about this)
  8. Pa’lante Latino: 46.2% (2,147 likes · 993 talking about this)
  9. El Diario NY: 39.2% (42,864 likes · 16,841 talking about this)
  10. MundoFox: 39% (78,876 likes · 30,751 talking about this)
  11. So Mexican: 29% (1,813,907 likes · 525,850 talking about this)
  12. NBC Latino: 23.3% (38,985 likes · 9,071 talking about this)
  13. National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts: 22.3% (3,953 likes · 881 talking about this)
  14. Fit Latina: 20.8% (1,627 likes · 339 talking about this)
  15. Disney World Latino: 17.1% (113,350 likes · 19,401 talking about this)
  16. Being Latino: 16.2% (82,695 likes · 13,390 talking about this)
  17. Gozamos: 15.6% (4,641 likes · 723 talking about this)
  18. People en español: 14.9% (204,598 likes · 30,431 talking about this)
  19. Univision News: 13.6% (8,546 likes · 1,164 talking about this)
  20. Presente.org: 12.1% (11,408 likes · 1,381 talking about this)
  21. Sofrito for Your Soul: 11.7% (9,881 likes · 1,159 talking about this)
  22. The Big Tino: 11.2% (61,837 likes · 6,911 talking about this)
  23. Think Mexican: 10.8% (5,541 likes · 597 talking about this)
  24. Cuéntame: 10.7% (94,670 likes · 10,173 talking about this)
  25. Proud to Be Latina: 9.5% (1,932 likes · 183 talking about this)
  26. Primer impacto: 9.2% (304,755 likes · 28,022 talking about this)
  27. Being Puerto Rican: 9.2% (22,557 likes · 2,092 talking about this)
  28. Mayo Clinic (Español): 9.2% (2,973 likes · 275 talking about this)
  29. Telemundo: 8.7% (377,842 likes · 32,732 talking about this)
  30. Despierta América: 7.7% (184,674 likes · 14,177 talking about this)
  31. Latina Bloggers Connect: 7.5% (2,181 likes · 164 talking about this)
  32. Univision: 7.1% (645,898 likes · 46,002 talking about this)
  33. CNN en español: 7% (1,288,763 likes · 92,838 talking about)
  34. Mexican Word of the Day: 7% (1,321,428 likes · 92,523 talking about this)
  35. Mamiverse: 7% (19,600 likes · 1,368 talking about this)
  36. SpanglishBaby: 6.9% (8,242 likes · 565 talking about this)
  37. Los Pichy Boys: 6.9% (17,322 likes · 1,197 talking about this)
  38. Remezcla: 6.7% (12,310 likes · 827 talking about this)
  39. Latina: 6.7% (79,384 likes · 5,343 talking about this)
  40. News Taco: 6.4% (4,416 likes · 283 talking about this)
  41. HuffPost Latino Voices: 6.3% (9,026 likes · 565 talking about this)
  42. Cosmo for Latinas: 6% (10,812 likes · 645 talking about this)
  43. Voto Latino: 5.7% (53,762 likes · 3,070 talking about this)
  44. VOXXI: 5.5% (13,572 likes · 748 talking about this)
  45. Mun2: 5.2% (256,290 likes · 13,421 talking about this)
  46. Latina Mom Bloggers: 5.2% (1,590 likes · 82 talking about this)
  47. Ask a Mexican: 5.1% (37,772 likes · 1,922 talking about this)
  48. Calle 13: 5% (1,725,044 likes · 86,944 talking about this)
  49. Es el momento: 4.2% (15,355 likes · 644 talking about this)
  50. Immigrant Archive Project: 4% (12,475 likes · 493 talking about this)
  51. Hispanicize: 3.8% (5,372 likes · 205 talking about this)
  52. National Council of La Raza: 3.5% (21,947 likes · 752 talking about this)
  53. Pitbull: 3% (26,094,325 likes · 790,462 talking about this)
  54. Fox News Latino: 3% (72,218 likes · 2,201 talking about this)
  55. El Gordo y la Flaca: 2.7% (354,425 likes · 9,774 talking about this)
  56. New Latina: 2.6% (4,721 likes · 123 talking about this)
  57. Hispanically Speaking News: 2.2% (3,250 likes · 72 talking about this)
  58. Somos Verizon Fios: 2.1% (49,690 likes · 1,035 talking about this)
  59. Latina List: 2.1% (3,095 likes · 66 talking about this)
  60. Toyota Latino: 1.5% (75,708 likes · 1,107 talking about this)
  61. Latino Justice: 1.3% (2,684 likes · 36 talking about this)
  62. Shakira: 1.2% (57,369,298 likes · 694,870 talking about this)
  63. Selena Gómez: 1.2% (36,542,613 likes · 452,137 talking about this)
  64. Papi Blogger: 1% (855 likes · 10 talking about this)
  65. American Latino Museum: .008% (122,115 likes · 1,099 talking about this)
  66. Latinos in Social Media: .006% (150,728 likes · 924 talking about this)

Thank you to all who followed this little experiment this year. Happy 2013!

Read Full Post »


Proving once again that when it comes to the issue of Puerto Rico’s political status everything that is up is down and everything that is down is up, last night the White House backtracked on what Press Secretary Jay Carney said earlier in the day about the island’s recent plebiscite vote on political status, according to a report by El Nuevo Día.

Yesterday afternoon Carney said that the results of the plebiscite’s first question clearly showed that Puerto Ricans had rejected its current commonwealth status, but that the process behind the second question of the vote was not as clear, even though 61% of Puerto Ricans chose statehood in the second part. It is a similar position that the co-chairs of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status said last week. (For my thoughts as to why this is all muddied in the first place, read this post.)

© Associated Press

© Associated Press

Last night, all that changed, as Luis Miranda, the White House’s Hispanic Affairs spokesperson, said that all the results of the vote were “clear.” Miranda said that the Puerto Rican people wants its political status to be resolved and that a majority favored statehood in the plebiscite’s second question.

According to El Nuevo Día, Miranda’s comments corrected Carney’s prepared White House statement, which was shared with END last Friday.

In the meantime, END also reported that the office of Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor (R), the House Majority Leader, will be talking with his colleagues about Puerto Rico. The newspaper says that Cantor is a key player in favoring a new process that would help to determine Puerto Rico’s status.

Stay tuned for more topsy-turviness. As if this should surprise anyone.

To read the entire END article, click here.

Read Full Post »


This afternoon POLITICO reported that the White House “declined to fully endorse a push by Puerto Rico to become the 51st state.” However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also reiterated the previously-published position that the Obama Administration believed that Puerto Ricans have rejected their current commonwealth system.

In November Puerto Ricans held a two-part plebiscite vote, which rejected the current commonwealth system in the first part and preferred statehood in the second part. A more detailed analysis about the reality of this vote (context that the POLITICO didn’t include) can be read here.

Here is what POLITICO said:

Asked Monday by a reporter if President Obama would “help” the Puerto Ricans with their statehood bid, [Carney] said: “I think the outcome was a little less clear than that because of the process itself.”

flag4

The story also added the following:

Carney said that the results showed that Puerto Ricans want a resolution to their current political status — and Congress should study the issue closely.

“The people of Puerto Rico have made it clear that they want a resolution to the issue of the island’s political status,” Carney told reporters.

“Congress should now study the results closely and provide the people of Puerto Rico with a clear path forward that lays out the means by which Puerto Ricans themselves can determine their own status,” Carney said.

He added that the Obama administration was committed to the principle that only Puerto Rico could decide on their future.

“This administration, as you know, is committed to the principle that the question of political status is a matter of self-determination for the people of Puerto Rico,” Carney said.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: