Posted by: ivetteromero | April 17, 2014

2014 New York Caribbean Cup Soccer Tournament


The 2014 New York Caribbean Cup Soccer Tournament opens on May 25, 2014, at 12:30pm in New York. The opening will take place at the Thomas Jefferson Sports Complex, located at 12508 Flatlands Ave (at Shepherd Avenue) in Brooklyn.

Description: This year marks the 23rd season of providing the most exciting soccer tournament in the New York five-borough area. As a matter of fact, the Eastern New York State Soccer Association, which governs soccer on the Eastern Seaboard, recently referred to us as the Champagne of soccer in this area. We are looking forward to another successful Caribbean Cup season in which we will be hosting our third annual Mid-Season Classic August 3rd, 2014.

For further information, you may join the press release party at the Fish Eye Lounge, 5913 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 7:00pm.

For original article, see

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 17, 2014

Cheo Feliciano Dead: Puerto Rican Salsa Great Dies At 78


Salsa star José “Cheo” Feliciano died Thursday morning in a car accident in Puerto Rico, El Nuevo Día reports, Roque Planas reports in The Huffington Post. He was 78.

At around 4:15 a.m. on Thursday morning, Feliciano appeared to lose control of his green Jaguar as he rounded a curve and hit an electric post, according to a police official quoted by El Nuevo Día. Police say that Feliciano was not wearing a seat belt and appeared to have died from a head injury.

“Father will live forever because he has given his music, his heart to his people,” Feliciano’s son José Enrique told El Nuevo Día. “Thank God we have his music to remember him by.”

The legendary salsa and bolero singer was born in the Puerto Rican city of Ponce in 1936.

“We come from a very humble community,” Feliciano told in a 2000 interview. “But it was very musical, everything happening around us had to do in some way with music. I must have been around seven or eight years old when I established my first group. I called it El Combo Las Latas [The Can Combo], because it was cans, it was all latas. We didn’t have any instruments so we made the bars of a guitar with a can, the conga with a can, the bass with a can, everything with a can.”

But it was in New York City that Feliciano would make his name. His father, a carpenter, joined a wave of migrants from the island looking for work in the city when Feliciano was 17.

Knowing he wanted to become a musician, the young Feliciano embedded himself among musicians like Afro-Cuban jazz legend Machito and percussionist Tito Puente, who were developing the sound that would become known as salsa. In a career that spanned six decades, Feliciano performed with the likes of the Joe Cuba Sextet and the Fania All Stars, as well as building a solo career.

His first big break came in 1955, when he sang with the Tito Rodríguez orchestra at The Palladium in New York City.

He would go on to record a series of hits as he came into his own in the 1970s, including “Anacaona,” “Mi triste problema,” “Pa’ que afinquen” and “Si por mi llueve.”

But as his success grew, he struggled with drugs, developing a heroin addiction during his time in New York.

“I was very young and I didn’t know what I was getting into,” Feliciano said of his drug habit in a televised interview. He returned to Puerto Rico, where he sought rehabilitation, according to the Associated Press, and later became an anti-drug spokesperson.

Last year, Feliciano announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer, though he said in a press release that it could be treated.

Feliciano leaves behind his wife, Coco Feliciano, and four sons, according to AP.

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 17, 2014

A Conversation with Juan Gabriel Vásquez and Jess Row


A Conversation with Juan Gabriel Vásquez and Jess Row

April 24, 2014
7:00 p.m.

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY

Celebrated Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vásquez and U.S. writer Jess Row will discuss Vásquez’s acclaimed novel The Sound of Things Falling as well as his latest, Reputaciones, and other works of fiction. Vásquez received the 2012 English PEN Award and the 2011 Alfaguara Prize. This program will be conducted in English. A book-signing will follow the program, in collaboration with Posman Books. Read more.

“Juan Gabriel Vásquez is one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature.”
—Mario Vargas Llosa

Learn more about Review.

Click here for Free Online Access to Editor’s Choices in Review 87

Reservations required. To register yourself and a complimentary guest, click on the links below.

Americas Society Members: FREE. Click here to register online using your personal login.

Non-Members: $20. Purchase tickets online.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 17, 2014

Gabriel García Márquez, Literary Pioneer, Dies at 87


Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose “One Hundred Years of Solitude” established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City, Jonathan Kandell reports in The New York Times. He was 87.

His death was confirmed by Cristobal Pera, his former editor at Random House.

Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — who were embraced both by critics and by a mass audience.

“Each new work of his is received by expectant critics and readers as an event of world importance,” the Swedish Academy of Letters said in awarding him the Nobel.

Mr. García Márquez was considered the supreme exponent, if not the creator, of the literary genre known as magic realism, in which the miraculous and the real converge. In his novels and stories, storms rage for years, flowers drift from the skies, tyrants survive for centuries, priests levitate, and corpses fail to decompose. And, more plausibly, lovers rekindle their passion after a half century apart.

Magic realism, he said, sprang from Latin America’s history of vicious dictators and romantic revolutionaries, of long years of hunger, illness and violence. In accepting his Nobel, Mr. García Márquez said: “Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination. For our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.”

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” would sell more than 20 million copies. The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda called it “the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since ‘Don Quixote.’ ” The novelist William Kennedy hailed it as “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.”

Mr. García Márquez made no claim to have invented magic realism; he pointed out that elements of it had appeared before in Latin American literature. But no one before him had used the style with such artistry, exuberance and power. Magic realism would soon inspire writers on both sides of the Atlantic, most notably Isabel Allende in Chile and Salman Rushdie in Britain.

A difficult year for the loss of great poets. Baraca and now Marquez. the literary heroes of my otherwise miss spent youth
sleeve just now
Great cosmic travels have been earned by the man who took us on so many. God speed Gabriel Garcia. May you have many more hundreds of years…
Suffering from lymphatic cancer, which was diagnosed in 1999, Mr. García Márquez devoted most of his subsequent writing to his memoirs. One exception was the novel “Memories of My Melancholy Whores,” about the love affair between a 90-year-old man and a 14-year-old prostitute, published in 2004.

In July 2012, his brother, Jaime, was quoted as saying that Mr. García Márquez had senile dementia and had stopped writing. . But Jaime Abello, director of the Gabriel García Márquez New Journalism Foundation in Cartagena, said that the condition had not been clinically diagnosed.

Mr. Pera, the author’s editor at Random House Mondadori, said at the time that Mr. García Márquez had been working on a novel, “We’ll See Each Other in August,” but that no publication date had been scheduled. The author seemed disinclined to have it published, Mr. Pera said: “He told me, ‘This far along I don’t need to publish more.’ ”

Besides his wife, Mercedes, he is survived by two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo.

For the original report go to

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 17, 2014

A Small Tablet Company Brings High-Tech Hopes to Haiti


Peter Granitz (NPR) reports on what he considers to be a boost to Haiti’s economy and entry into the high-tech race: the appearance of Surtab, a Port-au-Prince-based company that makes Android tablets. Now, explains the company’s Belgian-born and Kenyan-raised CEO, Maarten Boute, the Caribbean diaspora can buy tablets “Made in Haiti.” Here are excerpts with a link to the full article and radio report below:

Haiti has struggled to rebuild since a devastating earthquake more than four years ago. Most of the population lives on less than $2 a day and there are few open jobs for the millions of unemployed. But there’s a bright spot: The Western Hemisphere’s poorest country is getting into the high-tech race thanks to Surtab, a Port-au-Prince-based company that makes Android tablets.

“Last month we [produced] 2,500. This month, as soon as we get components, we’re now going to have a run rate of about 3,000-3,500,” says Maarten Boute, Surtab’s CEO. “So we’re gradually ramping up.” Before the tablet business, the Belgian-born and Kenyan-raised Boute headed up Haiti’s largest mobile company, Digicel. He says the combination of a booming population and the country’s decent 3G network make Haiti a prime market.

“It wouldn’t make sense in the smaller Caribbean islands, where your local market is not that big and where your diaspora is not that big either. One of our key next growth factors is that we’ll start exporting from Haiti, fulfilled … directly in Haiti … to the diaspora,” Boute says. “A lot of demand has come from there because people want to show that ‘Hey, Haiti can do this.’ “

Boute says Surtab, founded last year, won’t make a dent in the global tablet industry. He’s honing in on the developing world. One of his first orders was for 600 tablets for a Kenyan law school. About 90 percent of Surtab’s sales have been in Haiti thus far.

Smartphones do exist in Haiti, but you’re much more likely to see a stripped down mobile unit on the street. Tablets exist here, too, though they’re prohibitively expensive.

Surtab offers three models: a low-level Wi-Fi version that retails for about $85. A step above is a 3G model that Boute likens to an iPad Mini in both look and function. It retails for about $150, and it’s been the best seller. At the top of the chain is a 3G model with an HD screen, which sells for about $285.

The initial investment in the company was bolstered by a $200,000 grant from the U.S. government. And the Haitian government gave the company a five-year reprieve from duty taxes.

For full article and radio program, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 17, 2014

Cubans, Start Your Engines!


Drag racing, which used to be common before, has returned to Cuba. As Jim Motavalli explains, “On the line are the ’57 Chevys and Fords that time forgot.” Now this is the subject of an unfinished film by film director Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, who speaks about the challenges of completing it. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Cuba is finally letting people buy new cars, though the prices of even economy vehicles are so outrageous that only the elite can afford them. For now, most people are sticking to their pre-revolutionary American iron, which is why ’57 Chevys are a very common sight on the streets of Havana. Under the hood might be the engine from a Russian truck, but hey, it’s still got the fins and chrome (most of the time, anyway). But did you know that they hold drag races in Cuba? I thought that was counter-revolutionary. [. . .]

Actually, Cuban racing is on again, off again, depending on the authorities’ moods. When the Pope came to Cuba in 2012, the imminent racing day was canceled because they needed every safety barricade in the country. A year went by.

This situation presented a challenge for film director Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt. He was in Cuba for another project, and heard about the upcoming race. He stuck around, but the postponements kept coming. Perlmutt gathered a ton of footage, and got so involved he was bringing spare parts through customs, but eventually spent all his money. You can probably guess that the official race is eventually held, because they wouldn’t have a movie otherwise, but let’s leave much of the mystery in place.


[. . .] What’s next, then? A Kickstarter campaign! The movie, Havana Motor Club, is in post-production, but the filmmakers are trying to raise $52,250 for last-minute music, sound design and licensing, and have come up with half of it — $25,050 — so far.

Perlmutt says his film pits two racers, Rey (’56 Chevy) and Carlos (’58 Thunderbird, among other cars), against each other, and the drama is not only who will win, but whether the race will be held at all. Frustrated Cubans, he said, get their ya-yas out with illegal street racing, which can turn disastrous with all the pedestrians, bicyclists and stray animals using Cuban streets. “The more they ban and prohibit it, the more popular it gets on the streets,” Perlmutt said. “It’s a macho thing, a rebel activity that allows people to gamble.”

Perlmutt’s previous film was “Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel” (2012), and before that he was an editor on “Valentino: The Last Emporer.” “Yes, two fashion films, so Havana is my masculine film,” he said. [. . .]

See trailer here:

For full article and fantastic photos, see


Posted by: ivetteromero | April 16, 2014

Oil Spill in Puerto Rico

lagoAuthorities in Puerto Rico are investigating who caused a diesel spill they say has contaminated the popular Condado lagoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Officials are advising people not to bathe in the Condado Lagoon. The lagoon was one of the locations used for an Ironman triathlete event over the past weekend. It is also a popular spot for swimmers, kayakers and standup paddle boarders. Authorities said the spill apparently occurred late Tuesday. It is unclear how many gallons of diesel were spilled.

The lagoon is part of the San Juan Bay Estuary.

Last year, Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padila signed legislation designating the Condado Lagoon, marking a major milestone in the restoration of a body of water once known as the sewer of San Juan.

The lagoon in the heart of San Juan’s tourism sector was once one of the capital city’s main dumping sites for sewage, but it now attracts tourists and has been the site of several Ironman competitions. The lagoon’s calm, clear water has made it the epicenter of standup paddleboarding in Puerto Rico.

The federal government’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last year awarded $40,000 to the Corporation for The Conservation of The San Juan Bay Estuary to remove litter from Condado Lagoon, one of two natural lagoons in Puerto Rico. [. . .] There has been an extensive program to replant mangroves along the shores of the lagoon to create nurseries for young fish and protect the banks from erosion.

A Condado Lagoon Taino Coral Trail and Reef Enhancement Project is a habitat restoration project consisting of 44 artificial reef modules that was constructed following the Morris J. Berman oil spill of 1994. Since the first phase of the Reef Enhancement Project, the number of fish and other species within the lagoon has increased.

But threats to the lagoon remain.

For full article see


Guadeloupe-based writer/director Fabienne Orain Chomaud is in the process of gathering funds to complete her short film Nightmare before Wedding, a Creole adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (with a wink to Tim Burton’s Nightmare before Christmas).

Description: Lili has an appointment at noon to get married but she cannot remember in which church. She crosses Guadeloupe’s Grande-Terre out on her grena (local name for a moped) crossing through cane fields and banana plantations. Rushing from place to place, and from one church to another, Lili will have to go through trials and tribulations to complete her journey of initiation.

For more details and to contribute to its production, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 16, 2014

Haiti Cultural Exchange Announces “Selebrasyon!”


Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX), a non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, New York, has announced “Selebrasyon!”—a large-scale festival of Haitian arts and culture. The festival will take place from May 18 to June 30, 2014.  

Selebrasyon! will kick off on Haitian Flag Day, as part of Haitian Heritage Month, at Parkside and Ocean Avenues with a free outdoor celebration of Haitian culture with live music, crafts, food, and dance workshops. The kick-off event will be followed by six weeks of programming showcasing Haitian arts in the diaspora and from Haiti.  Highlights of the festival include open studio tours, a commissioned installation by visual artist Engels at FiveMyles Gallery in Crown Heights, a performance by Grammy-nominated band Boukman Eksperyans, and the U.S. Premiere screening of La Rèn Solèy, a film by Frantz Voltaire and Nitze Mathelier followed by a tribute performance to renowned vocalists Toto Bissainthe, Martha Jean-Claude and Lumane Casimir.

Selebrasyon! Calendar of Events (still in subject to additions)

Selebrasyon! Opening Night—Saturday, May 17, FiveMyles Gallery | 558 St Johns Place | Brooklyn, New York; Join us for a special evening of support for Selebrasyon! featuring performances by Brown Rice Family and poet Michèle Voltaire Marcelin, an art installation unveiling by Engels, a culinary demonstration and hors d’oeuvres, a special kick off toast, exclusive raffle prizes, and more…

Haitian Flag Day Selebrasyon!—Sunday, May 18, Parkside Plaza | Ocean Ave & Parkside Ave on Prospect Park | Brooklyn, New York; A free outdoor celebration of Haitian culture with live music, crafts, food, and dance workshops. Music by DJ Sabine Blaizin with co-hosts poet Mr Jeff Dess, Elsie Saint-Louis of HAUP, and Carine Jocelyn of Diaspora Community Services.

‘An n’ Pale | Café Conversation with Haiti-based singer & author Mimerose “Manzè” Beaubrun—Friday, May 23, FiveMyles Gallery | 558 St Johns Place | Brooklyn, New York; Join us for a conversation with Manzè Beaubrun, lead singer and co-founder of Boukman Eksperyans, about her new book Nan Domi: An Initiate’s Journey into Haitian Vodou, followed by a performance with Boukman Eksperyans.

Lacaye HCX @ BAM | DanceAfrica—Saturday, May 24, Lacaye Restaurant | 35 Lafayette Avenue | Brooklyn, New York; HCX and Lacaye Restaurant team up at DanceAfrica for a special day of community fun with live music, Phoenix Refined (NYC’s 1st Haitian masquerade camp), and drink specials!

La Rèn Solèy | U.S. Film Premiere, Panel Discussion & Live Musical Tribute to Martha Jean-Claude, Toto Bissainthe and Lumane Casimir—Saturday, May 31, ShapeShifter Lab | 18 Whitwell Place | Brooklyn, New York; The premiere screening of La Rèn Solèy, a film by Frantz Voltaire & Nitze Mathelier will include a post-screening discussion and live tribute performance with special female guest vocalists accompanied by Buyu Ambroise & the Blues in Red Band.

Creativity Unleashed | Adult Workshop—Saturday, June 7, FiveMyles Gallery | 558 St Johns Place | Brooklyn, New York; Creativity Unleashed will offer individuals hands-on workshops led by Haitian and Haitian-American artists. Using both traditional and artist-developed techniques, participants will create original works and gain first-hand knowledge from artists about their craft.

Lirik Ayiti: Rasin/Chimen—Lyric Haiti: Roots/Routes, Sunday, June 8, Bowery Poetry Club | 308 Bowery | New York, New York; Join us for a night of spoken word where writers, poets, and artists come together to share Haitian stories and poems about their New York Haitian-American experiences.

Atis Angaje Forum—Wednesday, June 11, Brecht Forum | 388 Atlantic Avenue | Brooklyn, New York; Artists of the “Atis Angaje” movement will discuss their experiences and political work during the Duvalier regime.

Mutation X062 | Installation & performance by Haiti-based artist Maksaens Denis—Friday, June 20, FiveMyles Gallery | 558 St Johns Place | Brooklyn, New York; Experimental digital and performance artist, Maksaens Denis will perform Mutation X0, and discuss his career while sharing his digital media technique.

HCX | Open Studios Tour—Sundays from May 25 – June 22, Various Locations; View new works and pieces by visiting the creative studios of Haitian and Haitian-American artists for an intimate opportunity to discuss their career, style, and inspiration.

Krik? Krak! Storytelling & Songs—This free family program is sure to entertain kids as well as their parents with classic Haitian tales. Storytelling will be led by Haitian authors, performers and musicians whose dramatic retellings will incite a love of Haitian myth and color children’s dreams with wonder.

For more information on Selebrasyon! and sponsorship opportunities please visit or contact Régine M. Roumain, Executive Director, Haiti Cultural Exchange at 347-565-4429 or via email at


Exo unit by Reaction Housing

Following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the UN and other humanitarian organizations scrambled to provide sufficient housing for 1.5 million Haitians. At the end of 2013, around 150,000 people were still living in temporary structures and makeshift tents. The following article stresses new, more durable, long-term solutions that have come up as responses to the high cost of building and rebuilding shelters made from flimsy plywood and plastic sheeting. Here are excerpts:

Reaction Housing, a Texas-based startup, thinks it has an answer. Inspired by the Styrofoam coffee cup, the Exo is low-cost, portable and easy to assemble. The company’s founder, Michael McDaniel, came up with the idea after becoming frustrated with the slow humanitarian response following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “There are simply no purpose-built products from the ground up that meet the specific needs of disaster responses,” says McDaniel, citing the pitfalls of using travel trailers and modified shipping containers. [. . .]

Looking like a mini aircraft hangar, the Exo consists of two parts: a base and a dome. There are digital door locks, skylights, access to electricity, air conditioning and heating and access to water and sewer services; bathrooms and kitchens can be fitted too. The Exo’s features may not be groundbreaking, but they address issues of decent living – such as sanitation and safety – that tents and trailers often don’t.

Each unit costs around $5,000 – a fraction of what it cost (roughly $20,000) to provide a basic trailer for a family affected by Hurricane Katrina. The units can be stacked together, making transportation easier, and because it’s lightweight (under 180kg) it can be assembled quickly without tools or machinery. Just like flipping a Styrofoam cup upside down, the Exo can be flipped off a lorry or ship with relative ease. “At the end of the Exo’s useful life, the entire structure can be recycled [placed in storage for reuse],” McDaniel adds. “You can’t do that with a trailer.”

See Exo units here: Exo units: the shelters redefining emergency housing – in pictures

For full article, see

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,396 other followers

%d bloggers like this: