Unity March For Puerto Rico

November  19th, 1493: Christopher Columbus “discovered” the island of Puerto Rico. Today, 524 years later from when Columbus set his eyes on our beautiful island: We marched in unity.

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Unity March For Puerto Rico 2017 Washington DC Image by: Evaliz Sanz

From a meteorological standpoint, Maria was nearly a worst-case scenario for the territory: The center of a huge, nearly Category 5 hurricane made a direct hit on Puerto Rico, lashing the island with wind and rain for longer than 30 hours. “It was as if a 50- to 60-mile-wide tornado raged across Puerto Rico, like a buzz saw,” Jeff Weber, a meteorologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The Hurricane roared straight across the center of the island, a behmoth totally covering the entire land, it’s force destroying the power grid and within hours the island went dark. The winds howled and uprooted centuries old trees and decimated crops. Roofs were completely torn off. Flooding destroyed homes, wiped out roads and bridges. To a place that was no stranger to Hurricanes, this was a monster.

Today, nearly 60 days after and many people are still without power, food, clean water, medicine and essentials. Their homes only a pile of rubble, their jobs and schools no longer functioning. Their money running out as water, food and gas are being sold for 2-3 times the normal amount. Not only has it been a devastating event to the landscape of the island, the economy, the ecosystem, and the people are in a very delicate condition. Hundreds of thousands of residents have had to leave the island in order to receive medical care and continue with their education or to find a job in order to support themselves and rebuild their lives. Others, cant afford to leave and others can’t afford to stay. Some are staying to rebuild. Some are arriving to provide aid. One step at a time.

Not all is hopeless. The people of Puerto Rico are resilient and have a very strong will. During times like these, they really need a hand. There are many ways to help. From organizations accepting donations, churches on the island that are distributing aid, and individuals directly helping the people. We have family in Puerto Rico and after hearing they had gone two weeks without food or water, my husband and I started a donation to help them and their neighbors. We have been so blessed to have received a good amount of money from our donors. Because of them, we were able to send packages full of food, water, medicine, batteries, mosquito repellent, camping gear and baby essentials to the neighbors of Aguirre in Salinas, Puerto Rico. We have been sending packages since October and will continue our efforts during Thanksgiving and Christmas, to help in any way we can.

No more than ever, it is important to be the voice for our fellow Boricuas. Whatever we can do to help is exactly what is needed. Even if you do not have a dollar to spare, simply talking about Puerto Rico and keeping others informed can work miracles for someone on the island.

We will not forget Puerto Rico


Would you like to help a family in Puerto Rico? Send a care package!
Puerto Rico Donation
With the Holidays fast approaching, please think of those in Puerto Rico who are in need. USPS: Flat rate boxes are free. You can walk right in the post office and grab them. The large Flat Rate box ships for $18.85 regardless of the weight. You will be surprised at how much food and how much hope a little box can hold. Contact me for more information.

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All Photos by: Evaliz Sanz // Please leave credits if reposting images

Once Upon a Midday Dreary in The District…

November in Maryland is pretty much our last chance of bearable weather before it starts getting frosty. Usually, if its rainy and dismal outside, the first thing I want to do is stay in, however, this time I really wanted to seize the day. The most difficult part about planning a day trip to the Capitol, is deciding where you want to go and what you want to see. There are countless museums and monuments. And most of them are FREE! You could spend a whole weekend in DC and still not see everything. My mother in law recently relocated to Maryland with us after the hurricane in Puerto Rico, so we wanted to take her out to see DC for the first time. Our trip started at the Archives Metro where we grabbed a hot drink and walked to the National Mall.

 

We boarded the DC Circulator from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. The bus also circles around the Tidal Basin where you get a great view of the beautiful Jefferson Memorial and stops at the MLK Jr. Memorial before arriving at Lincoln.

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Before climbing the steps to see Mr. Lincoln, on the lower level to the left there is an entrance to a room that holds some information and quotes. Restrooms and elevator are also located on this lower level. Upstairs to the right of Abe, you’ll find a small gift shop.

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The walk down on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial always gives me a special feeling. I always pause to think about important events that took place here. On the steps if you take a good look, you’ll find a tile marking the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous “I Have A Dream Speech”.

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We walked down the Reflection Pool towards The National WWII Memorial.

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 On our way to the Smithsonian Metro, we stumbled into the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Afterwards, we boarded on the train for our journey home.

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What are some of the things you’d like to see me capture from DC?


Travel Notes:

  • I’m currently five months pregnant so we didn’t want to do heavy walking. Taking the bus was very helpful. Today was my toddlers first time on the train and he loved it! I was very nervous to travel with a stroller and thought that maybe the walk would be difficult, but this was a very easy trip. The Metro and the Bus are stroller friendly. DC is very accessible and after this trip, I can’t wait to take my kiddo back.

  • Always come as early as you can, DC can get very crowded. Especially the museums. Most of the Smithsonian Museums open at 10am until 5pm.

  • The DC Circulator is the red bus that circles the National Mall. You can locate bus stops by a red sign. As a person who gets lost everywhere, the travel system by bus and metro is extremely easy to understand. Costs $1 Cash to ride or use your MetroCard.

  • All photos taken by me with a Sonya7 using a 50mm Sony lens and a 12mm Rokinon lens. Edited on VSCO. Please leave credits if reposting my images.

Ways to Show You’re Grateful This Month

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

November is the month of thanks and of giving. During the time between the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, life can feel a bit nostalgic. Perhaps we feel like we didn’t accomplish enough, or we feel like time just flew right past us. Either way, it’s a good time to take a moment to reflect on what the entire year has been about and how we can be thankful to have made it this far.

Here are some simple ways to show gratitude:

  1. Morning routine: Take three minutes to yourself. Be thankful for a new day.
  2. Evening: Take three minutes and list 3 small things you are grateful for.
  3. Send a simple Thank You card (or email/text) just because.
  4. Pay it forward: Pay for the next persons coffee or meal.
  5. Our Planet: Go for a walk, take a trash bag and pick up any litter you find.
  6. Teachers: If you have a professor or mentor, take a minute to let them know how important their work has been to you. If you have a child, a handmade gift for teacher is the perfect thank you.
  7. Give the gift of surprise: Cook your loved ones favorite meal, or give a gift card for no reason.
  8. Volunteer your time! There are people in a nursing home who just need someone to play scrabble with, there are animals that need someone to give them some love. ( view local volunteer listings at: Volunteer MatchCreate The Good )
  9. Donate clothes. If you haven’t used something in over 6 months. Let it go! Someone else needs it more than you.
  10. Donate food (before Thanksgiving)
  11. Tape anonymous happy notes on neighbors doors. You never know if it could make their day so much better.
  12. Compliment a stranger!

Most of these options are free or cost very little.
The best way to be thankful, is to give back.