The Year of the Plague: 2021 Vacations

March 24, 2021

The writing life can be a pretty sedentary life. It’s my life and a personal passion that involves heavy thinking, research, learning, hard work, and sitting. Lots of sitting. I can’t recall as sedentary a year as 2020. My body craves movement. My heart desperately needs to hug and kiss my children and loved ones. My soul dreams of beautiful vistas, a gorgeous beach, a turquoise ocean, a pool bar, new adventures, good times.

The year of the plague. Prolonged stress. Managing emotions. Emotional well-being.

Older people surveyed in the first couple of months of the pandemic showed a higher resilience to the pandemic lockdown. It’s not that older folks were not suffering at the same levels as younger folks, they were and they were more at risk. It appears older folks coped better with the stress of living and surviving a global pandemic.

Why is that? I believe it’s because older people have more life experience. We have better coping skills and resilience gleaned from a lifetime of challenges and difficult experiences along with a good dose of wisdom thrown in that only comes from experience.

For two weeks now, younger tourists and spring breakers in Puerto Rico, my birth place, are losing control and forgetting themselves and others. Friends and family members on the island say it’s been a nightmare dealing with tourists and young people ignoring mask mandates, running amok in cities and on beaches, and being rude and violent with the police and with locals. Seriously?

We’re all dreaming of a beach vacation with a fully-stocked pool bar and dancing under the stars. Come on!

If you can’t behave like a civilized human being during a global pandemic, stay home. If you can’t show respect and obey the rules while on vacation in destinations, such as Hawaii, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, where people live, work hard, wear masks, and try to keep their Covid-19 infection rates low, stay home. Period. Yes to stricter laws for dealing with such ridiculous behavior.

Run amok in your own neighborhoods and cities. Don’t ruin it for others. I want to get home soon.

Stay safe. Wear your mask. Practice safe distancing.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing in 2019. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”. Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico. Her debut poetry collection, “Tight Knots. Loose Threads. Poems” is due for release in April 2021.

linktr.ee/EleanorParkerSapia

TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS.

MY DEBUT POETRY BOOK IN THE PIPELINE: TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS.

March 17, 2021

I hope you and yours are well and soon, fully vaccinated! I am anxious to hug and kiss my kids and my loved ones! I’m excited to travel again! I’m dreaming of lying on a beach in Thailand and Puerto Rico! Four exclamation marks and I don’t care! Spring is right around the corner. I’m happy and hopeful.

I’ve been crazy busy since the beginning of the year. In January, my publisher suggested it was time to publish my debut poetry collection with an April 2021 publication date, just in time for Poetry Month. I am thrilled and grateful to her for taking a chance on me, a new poet.

As my publisher had an old copy of the draft manuscript (I was in the cue for a bit of time) and I like to think I’ve grown as a writer, I did a heavy edit on the collection. I rewrote many of the poems and included several new poems. Half of the poems were written between 2000 and 2007, the rest between 2011 and last month. We decided on the title, Tight Knots. Loose Threads. I love it. It’s the perfect title for this collection. The tentative book cover is wonderful, too. I can’t wait for the cover reveal and to see Tight Knots in print, in reader’s hands, where it belongs.

I am anxiously awaiting the editor’s second pass and trying to keep busy with my second novel, The Laments, which is coming along nicely. It’s such a great story if I do say so myself, smile. I am, however, finding it incredibly difficult to keep my editing pen in the drawer and away from the poetry collection. The word obsession comes to mind…

Reviews from wonderful and very generous advanced readers filled my heart with big emotion, gratitude, and hope that readers will enjoy my debut collection of love poems. I say love poems, and they are love poems with a reminder that love can also feel expansive, sexy, confusing, hopeful, painful, and at times, hopeless.

After my debut poetry collection, Tight Knots. Loose Threads. is published, I will order a big box of books, and by then, I will be able to mail signed copies of the book to readers from a real post office. What a great thought.

Now I understand why the Roaring 20s were so wild–it was the end of the Spanish Flu epidemic. I won’t be that wild (or maybe I will!) but I sure plan on celebrating big when we can travel, dance, and make merry with our families and friends again. Amen!

Stay safe, wear a mask, and continue to practice social distancing. Get your vaccines. The end may be in sight.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing in 2019. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”. Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico. Her debut poetry collection, “Tight Knots. Loose Threads. Poems” is due for release in April 2021. Fingers crossed.

linktr.ee/EleanorParkerSapia

January 19, 2021: Lots of Feels

Thirteen hours from now, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. will become the 46th U.S. President. Kamala Devi Harris will be our Vice President, the first female Vice President, the first black of South Asian descent as Vice President. Tomorrow will be a historic day in US history, in women’s history, and black American history. A momentous day, indeed.

Today I was filled with restrained joy. Cautious hope. Sorrow. I pray for a return to sleeping through the night and not grinding my teeth. Lord knows, I feel hopeful for tomorrow. I do. But this week, that hope was mixed with sorrow, fear, and there’s tension in my shoulders. Our hearts are broken. We feel strong emotions today. We are in mourning. We need time to mourn as our family members, loved ones, friends, and strangers suffer and die from Covid-19. We mourn for those who took their lives last year and this year.

Today, a visibly emotional Joe Biden spoke in Delaware before his journey to Washington, DC. With grief etched on his face, he spoke about his son. I cried. What a blessing and relief to have a decent, compassionate man in the White House. Tomorrow at noon. Thank God.

Early in the 2020 Presidential campaign season, I explained my feelings and emotions to a friend. I felt as if I were dating a textbook narcissist, an abuser. Americans were gaslighted, lied to repeatedly, and we had the rug pulled out from under our feet over and over again by trump and his cowardly administration. We’ve endured a horrific four years under his presidency.

Tonight, I recognize much of what I feel. It resembles the anxiety and fear I felt the night before I left our family home in Brussels, heading to the US with my college-bound children and toward a divorce after a long-time marriage. I could not fully relax until 20, 30 minutes after our plane took off. It was awful.

As surprising as it feels now, it would take a few years to stop looking over my shoulder and thinking in a more positive manner. I believe Joe Biden’s presidency will feel like that for most of us. For as long as white supremacists, far-right extremist groups, and Q-Anon believers live among us, we must remain vigilant. They’ve already shown us who they are.

We will mourn our dead and we will never forget. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in this country. The 400 lights along the Washington Reflecting Pool are beautiful. I hope they remain in place as a forever tribute to the over 400,000 COVID deaths in this country.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. I pray Joe Biden and his administration begin work immediately to find all the missing immigrant children and reunite them with their suffering parents and families. Innocent victims of trump and his callous, ruthless, and heartless administration.

Finally, we will celebrate trump’s final exit from the White House at the butt crack of dawn. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I can’t wait for his trial(s). May he never ever hold public office again. Nor his daughter. smh

Praying and thinking good thoughts for the swearing-in ceremony tomorrow. Prayers tonight for those who lost their lives to the novel coronavirus and their loved ones. Prayers for those who are suffering tonight. I send you a warm virtual hug.

Stay strong, be well.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and an untitled collection of poems about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

IMPEACHED. TWICE.

January 13, 2021

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Surprised? A week ago, the US Capitol was overwhelmed, stormed, and invaded by a mob. People were beaten. Five died. How is anyone surprised he was impeached? Yet today, millions of Americans are enraged, in disbelief–their leader was impeached again. Today was one for the history books–the 45th President of the United States was impeached a second time–the first time in American history.

As I see it, there’s not much the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans agree on. We disagree on national issues, the economy, on immigration, climate change, and government reach. During the past five years, we clearly haven’t seen eye to eye on zero-tolerance immigration issues, Black Lives Matter, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, racism, Covid-19 relief money, misogyny, separating immigrant children from their parents, caging immigrant infants and children, and then losing over 600 immigrant children in our current system. Don’t forget the children. I won’t ever forget.

We disagree on mask-wearing, social distancing, protecting our fellow Americans from a deadly virus, on vaccinations, and what constitutes a right/freedom. Folks still deny we’re living in a deadly global pandemic and still call COVID-19 a hoax. How do you deal with that mentality? Let me know when you figure it out.

Today, Trump loyalists are still screaming, “Stop the steal!”. Staunch Trump supporters and cowardly Republicans still believe Biden is the illegitimate winner of the 2020 Presidential election. Today, the House of Representatives voted to impeach this president. Ten Republican Senators voted for impeachment, a bipartisan impeachment. When was the last time that happened?

Tonight, many questions persist. New theories have come to light, and the FBI investigation continues into the US Capitol insurrection.

Why was there a glaring lack of police presence at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021? Where was the National Guard?

Why didn’t Trump walk to the US Capitol with his people as he said he would? Actually, that one’s easy to answer–he never intended to walk anywhere.

How in the world did the insurgents find Speaker Nancy Pilosi’s office so quickly? What about finding Majority Whip James Clyburn’s secret office?

Who removed the panic buttons from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s office prior to the Capitol riot?

Was the insurrection a planned event or spontaneous event? An inside job? By whom?

What should be done to the non-mask-wearing Republicans, who sheltered in place with Democrats, who are now Covid-19 positive? Can the GOP members be fined and removed from their jobs?

Will GOP members be allowed to carry their weapons into any government building? Can they choose to not go through metal detectors? Will they be fined? Removed from their jobs?

Will Trump be convicted in a Senate trial?

Should President-elect Joe Biden’s outdoor swearing-in ceremony proceed as planned? Are 20,000 National Guard members enough to keep everyone present at the inauguration safe?

Truth, justice, and accountability must happen before we begin talks of unity. Welcome to 2021. So many questions. So many investigations. So many warnings, and it’s only January 13.

In my state, 80+ year-olds received their vaccines, which is wonderful. Seventy-plus-year-olds will receive their first vaccine this weekend. My group is next.

On the writing front, I submitted my poetry collection to my publisher last week. I believe we decided on a great title, and I’m hoping for an April publication date–Poetry Month. I’m excited!

Be safe and continue to wear your mask.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and an untitled collection of poems about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

Capitol Hill Insurrection

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Photo by Jesus Con S Silbada on Pexels.com

Well, damn. The new year started with a BANG, literally. Shocking and sad, but not surprising. Tonight, I am still a bit shell-shocked and more than alarmed as dozens of news reports roll out with accompanying videos shot from different angles, inside and outside the US Capitol.

On Monday, I’d expressed concern to a friend about the MAGA crowds in DC. By Tuesday, the crowd seemed to grow in size and unruliness. I watched trump rile up his base, along with his son, Senators Cruz, McCarthy, and a junior Senator named Josh Hawley.

Today is Three King’s Day. As I replied to a Facebook message, a video popped up on my laptop screen. The Now Then video showed a large chanting mob at the US Capital, waving trump flags, Confederate flags, and placards with the words, “Stop the steal”.

I expected all that. It was nothing new, however, something felt different from previous trump rallies I’d watched. The intense rage of the crowd was palpable. Their faces were contorted in rage. I spotted camo jackets, gas masks, bull horns, American flags. Some protestors shoved reporters, yelled in their faces. Not a face mask to be seen in a sea of red MAGA hats. Then I saw a guy waving an American flag tied to a pitchfork. Something ugly and violent was about to go down. You could feel it. And go down it would, in a way I never thought I’d see in this country. Yet equally, not at all surprising.

Minutes later, a cameraman panned the crowd. Before I knew it, the mob surged forward. Folks clamored over the concrete barriers, ran up the steps of the Capital and fanned out in front of a small group of Capital Hill police. Holy shit. I immediately posted on Facebook. Why wasn’t the National Guard in full force? Where was the FBI? Homeland Security? This was no longer a crowd of protestors. It looked like a riot. How could the powers that be have missed that this protest could turn violent? Was the lack of police presence and push-back planned? By whom? I had my suspicions. I turned on the news.

The next videos were shot inside the Capitol. They were chilling. I felt nauseated. A bloody woman was rushed out on a stretcher. The president was silent. What the hell was going on?

An hour later or less, President-elect Joe Biden used the words domestic terrorists. Their crime? Insurrection. It is what it is.

The differences between the Black Lives Matters rallies and protests last summer and this mob are stark, black and white. The treatment of the mob and those who illegally entered the Capital and exited with souvenirs, smiles, and jeers was breathtaking, shocking. I joined millions of Americans who asked the question:

What would have happened if the mob had been black? Brown? I shudder to think what a blood bath that would have been.

In the next days, we’ll watch the GOP sidestep, lie, and present the case that trump did not, in fact, incite a riot, an insurrection. They will again gaslight the American public. But friends, myriad news videos, selfies, first-hand accounts, thousands of photographs will show the truth. And soon, patriotic friends and family members will point fingers and accuse the insurrectionists, who didn’t even bother to wear masks. Nice.

The majority of American people want trump out. The majority of Americans want his Republican henchmen and women out. We voted.

Most of us believe that deadly, bloody insurrection was inspired, incited, and led by the president of the United States. And it’s not over. Some say it’s only the beginning. Trump will be impeached. The first US president in history to be impeached twice will be Donald J. Trump.

Justice and accountability first. Unity second or third. Will this country ever see unity? That remains to be seen. I seriously doubt I will see real unity in my lifetime. I pray I’m wrong.

I pray Joe Biden and everyone at the Presidential Inauguration are safe on January 20th.

Stay safe and continue to wear your mask. Tragically, people are still dying in record numbers.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and an untitled collection of poems about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

Back in the Day

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

This week, in a normal year (remember those?), I would have donated and helped hand out canned goods and coats at the mission down the street. I would have picked up a fresh turkey, fresh cranberries, baking and sweet potatoes, spinach, corn, and the ingredients for baking bread, muffins, and pumpkin pies for Christmas dinner.

If it was my turn to host our family, the white linen tablecloth and napkins would be pressed, white candles bought, the good plates washed and the silver polished. I would have gathered greenery, berries, and picked grape leaves from the grapevines in the courtyard to decorate the grapevine wreaths on my front door and the kitchen door. I love Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, the appropriate-sized baking pans, bowls, pots, and cooking utensils would be washed and ready for morning. Cookbooks propped open to favorite family recipes, piled one on top of the other in order of preparation, would wait on the oak table in my kitchen. The aroma of simmering cinnamon sticks, cloves, cranberries, and orange peel would fill my home as I wait for my children to arrive. I’m happiest when surrounded by my children and family.

Around 8 in the morning, still in my pajamas with a good café con leche, food prepping would begin–cutting, chopping, dicing, boiling mashing, sautéing, and blanching—with Christmas music playing in the background. My children would join me later in the kitchen. We have wonderful memories of Christmases past.

Christmas 2020 will be different.

This Christmas season, I’m blessed to spend time with my daughter and her boyfriend and we will sorely miss my son and his girlfriend. We will miss family. The separations will remind us how different this holiday season is, but what is normal this year? Not much. Our lives will never be the same…and if I think on it, for some of us, that’s a very good thing. Change is good. And Lord knows, this nation needs drastic changes.

Despite the challenges, heartaches, and anxiety of 2020, we shall make new memories, have fun, take photographs to share with each other at a later time, and count ourselves truly blessed.

From my home to yours, I wish you a safe and healthy holiday season. Stay safe.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and a collection of poems, titled “Thoughts on Near-Fictional Relationships”. The poems are about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

Thanksgiving 2020 – Blessings and Necessary Sacrifices

4 am, Thanksgiving morning.

** This morning, I discovered this blog post was not published. I know. My brain feels fuzzy and my sleep patterns have been disrupted this holiday season. To be sure, it’s way too early to be up. I guess old habits die hard.

On this American holiday, I give all thanks to the Native American community and their ancestors. I think of the Spaniards, who settled in Florida and founded St. Augustine, America’s oldest city, in September 1565. One hundred years before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. One hundred years. It is more than time to rewrite American history books.

This holiday season, as Covid-19 rampages across this country, some people still refuse to wear masks and practice social distance. Airports are filled with passengers traveling home for the holiday. I will celebrate alone. In quarantine without my children and my family. For the first time. No cooking, no baking. No laughter in my kitchen, no stories around the dinner table. If I’m entirely honest, I will endure the day. Too dramatic? Yeah, it is.

Like me, millions of parents and grandparents are without their beloved children and cherished grandchildren today. Most parents won’t know what the hell to do with themselves. Millions of young adults are away from their families and friends. Many single folks, who’ve lived alone for years and years, will really feel alone today. I feel you.

All this makes me sad and nostalgic. I’m grieving the past. No one told me this would happen in my 60s and the only way I know how to snap out of this is to acknowledge my feelings, write it out, and count my many blessings.

I’m alive. Today, I woke up relatively healthy and virus-free. Thankfully, so are my children and family members. That’s why I’m celebrating Thanksgiving alone this year–I want to see my daughter and her boyfriend at Christmas (we’ll isolate for two weeks beforehand and drive to our rented cabin), and I want to see my son and his girlfriend in 2021. The only way to do that is to isolate myself along with my baby, my quarantine buddy, my Chihuahua named Sophie.

We are very fortunate. Today, many Americans don’t have roofs over their heads, they are out of work, and no paychecks are coming in. Families are going hungry and businesses are shuttering their doors. Please consider donating to the many organizations feeding people this holiday season and beyond.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have tragically died and hundreds of thousands more are suffering with the virus. A dear friend and his wife are currently battling the virus and I’m very worried about them. People are dying alone. Family members are saying their last goodbyes to loved ones over cell phones and laptops. It’s horrendous, unimaginable, yet it’s happening across this nation and around the world. Our heroes, the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, are exhausted and emotionally traumatized.

For the sake of your family members and friends, strangers, and hospital personnel, stay home. It’s one day. A long weekend for some. As my friend said, “Better to miss Thanksgiving this year than to be ventilated in ICU for Christmas and the new year.” Amen.

Stay safe. January 20, 2021 can’t come soon enough.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and a collection of poems, titled “Thoughts on Near-Fictional Relationships”. The poems are about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

National Puerto Rican Virtual Artisans Fair & Book Expo

If you missed the opening of this wonderful artisan and author event, no worries– the 2020 National Puerto Rican Virtual Artisans Fair & Book Expo will continue for one year! So, you have plenty of time to peruse our vendor pages and to order books or hand-crafted items for those on your holiday gift list, and beyond.

This year, I’m honored to be a participating author. I invite you to visit the well-appointed and easy-to-navigate pages created by our webmaster extraordinaire, Vivian Monserrate Cotte.

https://www.comitenoviembrevirtualfair.org

Many thanks to Olga Ayala, Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor, and Teresa A. Santiago and others for making this annual event a possibility and a success.

Stay safe. Wear your mask. Practice safe distancing this holiday season. We want to see you on the other side of this pandemic.

Happy reading and writing.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and a collection of poems, titled “Thoughts on Near-Fictional Relationships”. The poems are about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

2020 National Puerto Rican Virtual Artisans Fair & Book Expo

Celebrating Puerto Rican Heritage in 2020

Once again, I’m proud to support and to participate in the National Puerto Rican Virtual Artisans Fair and Book Expo to be held on November 21 and 22, 2020. The virtual event (because 2020) is sponsored by Comité Noviembre and PRIDA, Puerto Rican Institute for the Development of the Arts, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Puerto Rican artists and the arts.

http://www.comitenoviembrevirtualfair.org

Comite Noviembre Logo.png
COMITÉ NOVIEMBRE ~ NATIONAL PUERTO RICAN VIRTUAL ARTISANS FAIR & BOOK EXPO

Comité Noviembre is a 34-year-old non-profit organization created to commemorate and pay tribute to the contributions Puerto Ricans have made to this nation, support educational opportunities for youth through college scholarships and promote, acknowledge, create awareness and take ownership of our rich culture, language, and history. Comité Noviembre is the only collaboration of its kind in the United States that brings together the collective talents and resources of the following Puerto Rican organizations: ASPIRA of New YorkCentro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College (CUNY)El Museo del BarrioEugenio Maria de Hostos Community College (CUNY)Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic ElderlyLa Casa de la Herencia Cultural PuertorriqueñaLa Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular,  Justice Committee: NCPRR, and the Puerto Rican Institute for the Development of the Arts (PRIDA).

In the last seven months, the world as we knew it has changed in ways that will leave powerful marks on all our lives.  Many of us have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic and many of us have been sick and have survived. We have lost our jobs, our homes, and are uncertain of our future.  Yet our spirit of giving back and assisting the less fortunate has persevered. It is in this collective of undeniable courage, hope, and love that Comité Noviembre is moving forward.  

We are proud that all of our annual programs are going virtual, especially our eagerly awaited annual Comité Noviembre National Puerto Rican Artisans Fair & Book Expo.  The safety of our visitors, artists, authors, and staff is of the utmost importance.

Although we are greatly saddened that we will not be able to be at our home, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, we are proud of our incredible partnership over the past 11 years and promise that we will be back at Hostos next year for Comité Noviembre’s 35th anniversary.   

The Puerto Rican Institute for the Development of the Arts (PRIDA) was founded in 2013, by a group of dedicated artisans and cultural activists, Olga Ayala, Luis Cordero, Lourdes García, and Comité Noviembre’s Teresa A. Santiago.  Today PRIDA continues to be an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Puerto Rican artists and the arts.

We hope you will support the many wonderful artisans and authors participating in the Comité Noviembre National Puerto Rican Virtual Artisans Fair & Book Expo and on November 21, 2020, visit each participants’ page, shop their products, and share with friends!

On behalf of the National Puerto Rican Artisans Fair & Book Expo Committee, 

Siempre p’alante,

Olga Ayala

Artisan, Olga Ayala Handicrafts (Hecho A Mano)

Co-Chair, National Puerto Rican Artisans Fair &  Book Expo 

Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor, Esq.,

Author and Co-Chair, National Puerto Rican Artisans Fair & Book Expo 

Teresa A. Santiago

Chairwoman, Comité Noviembre

Centro Voices, Center for Puerto Rican Studies: Where to Donate to Disaster Relief Efforts for Puerto Rico

Josue Mendez

Donate to Disaster Relief Efforts for Puerto Rico

Organization: Puerto Rican Family Institute
Donations accepted: Bultos para emergencias, extintores de fuego, kits de primeros auxilios, baterías, linternas, botellas de agua, bolsas de basuras gruesas, productos de higiene personal, utensilios, papel toalla, comida seca para gatos y perros, pañales, fórmula de bebé, rompecabezas u otra actividad para niños.
State: NY
Donation site: 145 West 15th St. New York, NY (1st Floor)
Details: 11 al 18 de enero de 2020, Lunes a Viernes de 9:00 am – 7:00 pm | Sabados de 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Contact: 212-924-6320 | dbenitez@prfi.org


Organization: Friendly Hands Inc.
Donations accepted: Baterías, linternas, carpas, ropa de cama, barritas de merienda y suministros para bebés.
State: NY
Donation site: 229 E118th St New York, NY
Details: 11 al 18 de enero de 2020, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Contact:


Organization: Community Prevention Alternatives For Families In Crisis Center Inc.
Donations accepted: Botellas de Agua, baterías, linternas, pañales, fórmula de bebé y  kits de primeros auxilios.
State: NY
Donation site: 143-40 41st Ave, Flushing, NY
Details: Rep. Grace Meng, Northeast Queens District Office | 40-13 159th St. Unit C, Flushing, NY, Por favor llamar primero al 718-909-4634 | Martha Flores-Vazquez
Contact: Rep. Grace Meng, Northeast Queens District Office | 40-13 159th St. Unit C, Flushing, NY


Organization: Lucille Roberts
Donations accepted:
State: NY
Donation site:
Details: 430 89th St Brooklyn, NY
Contact:


Organization: St. Lucy Old Roman Catholic Church
Donations accepted: Baterías, linternas, pañales para adultos y bebés, artículos médicos, kits de primeros auxilios y fórmula de bebé
State: NY
Donation site: 802 Kent Ave. Brooklyn, NY
Details:
Contact: Ebony Quinonez | 347-634-8278


Organization: Evento coordinado por: Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Concejal Rubén D‎íaz Sr. y El asambleísta Marcos A.Crespo.
Donations accepted: Agua, baterías, kits de primeros auxilios, alimentos enlatados, linternas, pañales y fórmula de bebé.
State: NY
Donation site: Intersección entre Southern Blvd y Aldus Street, Bronx, NY 10459
Details: Sábado, 18 de enero de 2020, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Contact:


Organization: El Maestro Inc.
Donations accepted: Kit de primeros auxilios, productos de higiene personal, artículos para bebés y personas mayores de edad
State: NY
Donation site: 1300 Southern Boulevard Bronx, New York
Details: Mon. –  Fri. until Jan. 25
Contact: Ponce Laspina | 646-299-6507 |  tuconsentido@aol.com


Organization: Bronx Chamber of Commerce & Police Department of New York 45th Precinct
Donations accepted: Baterías, Lámparas Solares, Sábanas, Carpas, Linternas y kits de primeros auxilios.
State: NY
Donation site: 45th Precinct, 2877 Barkley Avenue, Bronx, NY
Details:
Contact:


Organization: Residence Inn by Marriott
Donations accepted: Baterías, Lámparas Solares, Sábanas, Carpas, Linternas y kits de primeros auxilios.
State: NY
Donation site: 1776 Eastchester Road, Bronx, NY
Details:
Contact:


Organization: Applebee’s (Marble Hill)
Donations accepted: Baterías, Lámparas Solares, Sábanas, Carpas, Linternas y kits de primeros auxilios.
State: NY
Donation site: 76 W 225th St, Bronx, NY
Details:
Contact: 718-597-4629


Organization: El Puente
Donations accepted: water filters, solar flashlights and tents
State: NY
Donation site: 211 South 4th St., Brooklyn, NY 11249
Details:
Contact: 


Organization: Tainas Unidas, United fro PR Earthquake Victims
Donations accepted: Personal hygiene, first aid supplies, tents, flashlighets, etc
State: NJ
Donation site: Tainos Kitchen, 849 Mt. Prospect Avenue, Newark, NJ 07104
Details: Mon- Sun 10-8pm, Sun
Contact: 973.991.6827 or 973.391.3054


Organization: Nueva York por Puerto Rico / New York for Puerto Rico
Donations accepted:
State: NY
Donation site: Overthrow Boxing Club 9 Bleeker Street, Manhattan
Details: Sunday, January 25th 4pm to 11pm
Contact:


Organization: City of Perth Amboy Mayor Wanda Dua
Donations accepted:
State: NJ
Donation site: Alexandar Jankowski Community Center 1 Olive Street Perh Amboy, NJ 08861
Details: Until Wednesday, 1/15, from 9am to 7pm
Contact: (732) 826-1690 x4305


Organization: Bronx County Expo & Freddy Perez Jr.
Donations accepted: Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Concert
State: NY
Donation site: Lehman College, Lehman Center Concert Hall
Details: 1/17 Music Fundraiser, 7pm
Contact: www.lehmancenter.org


Organization: Andrew Padilla, For Brigada Solidaria Oeste & Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer, INC
Donations accepted: Open Mic & Auction
State: NY
Donation site: Teddy’s 256 East 112th Street
Details: 1/16, 6pm – 2am Open Mic
Contact:


Organization: Segunda Quimbamba
Donations accepted:
State: NJ
Donation site: 340 3rd Street Jersey City, NY 07302
Details: 1/26 12:30pm – 4pm
Contact:


Organization: Puerto Rock Steady Music Festival
Donations accepted: Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Fund Fundraiser
State: NJ
Donation site: gofundme.com/f/s94n37-puerto-rico-earthquake
Details: Humanitarian mission currently in PR
Contact: website: harper4humanity.com


Organization: CT Juntos Por Puerto Rico / CT Together for Puerto Rico
Donations accepted: Fundraising
State: CT
Donation site: https://www.hartfordprparade.com
Details:
Contact: CICDPRParade@gmail.com


Organization: United to Help Puerto Rico
Donations accepted: Collecting backpacks and emergency supplies
State: PA
Donation site: Iglesia Vida Abundante Labanon, 607 Chestnut Street, Lebanon PA
Details: icvalebanon@gmail.com
Contact: Pastor Madeline Berrios (717) 389-6594


Organization: Concilio Mava y Iglesia Cristinana Vida Abundante
Donations accepted: Collecting backpacks and emergency supplies
State: PA
Donation site: 70 West Main Street Adamstown, PA
Details:
Contact: Pastor Jose Rivera, (7171) 661-7636


Organization: Iglesia Cristiana Vida Abundante, Lancaster
Donations accepted: Collecting backpacks and emergency supplies
State: PA
Donation site: Lancaster, PA
Details:
Contact: Pastora Lissette Colon, (717) 333-5868


Organization: Ministerio en Busca de lo Que se habia Perdido
Donations accepted: Collecting backpacks and emergency supplies
State: PA
Donation site: Hazelton, PA
Details:
Contact: Pastor Joshua Silva, (570) 497-1819


Organization: Help Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief
Donations accepted: Flashlights, alcohol pads, badaids, gauze, ducktape, small radios, fist aid kits, batteries
State: OH
Donation site: Sacred Heart Chapel, 4301 Pearl Ave Lorain OH
Details: Monday – Friday, January 13 – 17, 4pm to 8pm
Contact: (440) 277-7231


Organization: LAMA Lorain P.R. Earthquake Relief
Donations accepted: Flashlights, alcohol pads, badaids, gauze, ducktape, small radios, fist aid kits, batteries, whistles
State: OH
Donation site: 2200 Cleveland Blvd., Lorain, OH 44052
Details: Monday – Friday, January 13 – 17, 4pm to 8pm
Contact: 440.225.1561