Borinquen: A Puerto Rican Dance Party

What: “Borinquen: A Puerto Rican Dance Party”
What else: Live salsa music
Where: Serendipity Martini Bar, 201 S. College Ave.
When: Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. 9:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Cost: $5 Cover ($4 goes to charity). Age 18 and up.
Why: To raise funds for ‘De Pueblo a Pueblo’ initiative

For more details:

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Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Virgin Islands Rebuilding Fund Drive

De Pueblo a Pueblo (From People to People) was sparked by a group of concerned citizens in Bloomington Indiana after the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and María, and the two large earthquakes in Mexico in September of 2017. Then and still now there is an urgency to help.  Neglected by their respective local and federal governments, the people in these nations need a humanitarian hand to uplift them so they can stand back on their feet again. Guided by the words of Nobel Prize Elinor Ostrom, we started to contact “the people on the spot” (Governing the Commons, 1990) to learn about their their needs and assess solutions. As a result of several weeks of conversations with various people raging from community leaders to everyday citizens, we will focus our fund drive efforts toward a common pillar of our community: Education.

By addressing the needs of institutions that focus on education, we are helping the core and future of the reconstruction process. A functional school and university provide the normalcy and stability younger generations need in the midst of destruction and chaos. It is critical for college students to continue their education, as this will prepare them to creatively find effective solutions to the pressing problem of these societies. In addition, schools and universities give back to the local communities by providing needed employment and working on projects that address critical needs.

The strength of De Pueblo a Pueblo lies in its research ability and connections in those places to identify the critical needs and effective projects led by the “people on the spot.” We are calling these efforts ‘People to People’ precisely because the aid will go directly from our local community to benefit a number of grassroots, people-led community projects in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Rather than supporting one big single project, De Pueblo a Pueblo is contributing to different endeavors that facilitate local people’s efforts to address critical community needs and rebuild in a stronger and sustainable way. We believe that contributing, even in small ways, highlights and empowers people-led projects which provide needed emotional support and encouragement to those working on the spot.

These are the education projects De Pueblo a Pueblo will focus on:

  1. Elementary schools:Given the financial hardships that the educational system in Puerto Rico is going through after Hurricanes Irma and María, schools that have literature-based curricular projects currently struggle to acquire and replace lost and damaged books in their children’s literature collections. De Pueblo a Pueblo is working with five elementary schools in critical need and in areas that still lack power like Bayamón and Humacao. Your contribution to De Pueblo a Pueblo will help provide quality children’s books for elementary schools as well as needed school supplies.
  2. Universities:
  1. Innovative college students’ and grassroots projects that address critical community problems:
  • De Pueblo a Pueblo will contribute to student-led community kitchens that help both students and local communities in need. Our efforts will focus on the soup kitchens developed by the Centro para el Desarrollo Político, Educativo y Cultural (CDPEC) at several campuses of the Universidad de Puerto Rico. Much more than a soup kitchen, this grassroots promotes agriculture, sustainability and solidarity.
  • De Pueblo a Pueblo will contribute to the Oasis de la Luz (“Electricity Oasis”), kiosks that will be located in neglected interior rural towns that lack power such. The solar-powered “Oasis” can charge phones and keep medicines safe in refrigerators for the hardest to reach people in Puerto Rico. In addition, the same group of students and faculty members from the UPR-Mayagüez campus are working on a project to provide solar power to remote rural areas that would, at the very least, keep their refrigerators working. This is valued step toward promoting the adoption of renewable energy in the island.
  • Comité Melendre is a local business effort based in Oaxaca that has channeled aid to people affected by the September earthquakes.  Established in 2004 in Juchitán, this non-profit organization seeks to empower civil society, focusing on sustainability as well social, cultural and educational projects. Its program Canasta básica istmeña supports local business—buying directly from producers and sellers in Istmo de Tehuantepec. More info is available at here.

De Pueblo a Pueblo is working in partnership with The Narra Foundation, a local Bloomington non-profit, to make a difference in our sister communities. Your contribution will be tax-deductible and will directly benefit those in need, from people to people.

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After-effects of the Disaster: Puerto Rico and Mexico, four months later

Roundtable, Wednesday, January 24, 4.00pm

Four months after hurricane María hit Puerto Rico, creating a vast path of destruction across the island and coinciding almost to the day with a series of major earthquakes in central and southern Mexico leaving millions of people without homes, there is need for reflecting on the long term consequences of natural disasters like these, beyond the material damage they caused. Some of the questions posed at this roundtable, organized by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies in collaboration with the De pueblo a pueblo initiative, will be the following: what longterm strategies for rebuilding and development have been successful after preceding major disasters like the earthquake in Haiti (2010), or Hurricane Katrine? How have disasters contributed to reshaping the relationship between governments and local communities? What is the role of public and social media channels in reporting and encouraging, but also at times distorting a public conversation on regions and communities affected by natural disasters? What is “natural” and what is “human” or “social” about disasters like the recent hurricanes and earthquakes? What are the large-scale effects of natural disasters beyond the immediate destruction created, on the collective well-being of communities, and considering especially vulnerable populations such as the disabled, the elderly, and children?

The roundtable will bring together scholars of History, Education, Geography, and Political Science, to discuss these topics. Additionally, there will be testimonials offered by IU faculty and students from Puerto Rico and Mexico.

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