What's Going On . . . Monday, August 7, 2023
MÚSICA PA' CULEBRA
Dahjan Vargas, our percussion teacher, moves to Culebra becoming the first full-time teacher at Música Pa' Culebra.
The prestigious organization Centro de Economia Creativa has made this important step possible through its Maniobra program. The established agreement covers a period of one year with the possibility of two additional ones.
The musician and teacher Vargas, whose main instruments are the drums and marimba, has responded to the interest of the Culebrenses by teaching himself to play and teach the steel drum band. This summer, with only a month of camp, he prepared 3 groups of different ages and levels that performed impressively at our summer camp concert. We’re excited about revitalizing steel drum music in Culebra.
Let's all welcome Dahjan!
This important step brings us a great challenge: to provide a suitable lodging place.
So far, the teachers have stayed at the Fundación de Culebra offices. The situation now forces us to look for suitable alternatives for long-term housing.
If you know of any accommodations available, even if only for a few months, please contact us. We would also consider a recreational vehicle or shipping container already equipped for housing. In addition, we have a shipping container that we would like to convert into a permanent apartment. Any volunteers that could help us do the conversion would be greatly appreciated.
What's Going On . . . Sunday, July 9, 2023
MÚSICA PA' CULEBRA - Summer Music Camp Concert
After 4 intense weeks full of children and youth hungry to learn, we closed summer camp with a concert on Sunday, July 9. More than 90 children and young people passed through the camp. Their ages from 5 to 16 years. They had classes in percussion, band, piano, art, dance, PodCast, production, reading, Legos and children's games.
They also had workshops where they were introduced to the violin and the flute.
The Theme of the Camp: We are stronger than the Hurricane!
For a month they worked to learn how to be strong in an emergency.
I said: What if the Hurricane comes?
Them: You know what, it's leaving!
Me: What if the power goes out?
Them: We have generators!
Me: What if the power goes out again?
Them: We have solar panels!
Me: What if the water goes away?
Them: We have water cisterns!
Me: And if we can't play with electronics, what do we do?
Them: We play, sing, dance, paint and play instruments!
All: We're ready!
As part of our camp message, we introduced information about the Culebra resiliency centers (Museo 1905, Oficina 1908 and the Escuela Ecológica) along with information about other resources available on our island of Culebra.
We worked with the older kids to have them set an example for the younger ones...their motto: What are we? An EXAMPLE! They helped throughout the camp with various tasks. They also recognized that the little ones look at them and want to be like them. So they do set an EXAMPLE! Many kids wanted to stay longer to take advantage of our rooms and instruments. We plan to hire someone to open the classrooms in the afternoons, so they can go practice with supervision.
Production and PodCast classes were a hit with the youth. Most had never been exposed to this and they did not want to leave the studio. They learned that they have to prepare and that their voice can be a powerful thing. They designed logos for their groups with a computer graphics program, developed themes and questions and learned to work as a team. It was a first experience with recording and there is a lot of interest in continuing. It is our goal to work toward developing leaders for a better Culebra.
Maestro Dahjan taught the children and young people on the big Steel drums and they were a highlight of the concert. Camila worked up some choreography with each of the groups that was presented beautifully. All the participants had smiles and proud faces during the presentation.
Culebra has some very talented individuals. This concert was the product of just one month of work. Most of the participants had never played an instrument before. We have great faith that we can grow as a program and help the kids develop many useful skills. This was all possible thanks to a work team full of love and talent: Doug, Dahjan. Judith, Camila, Maribel, Eneida. Luis Alexander, Malena, and our wonderful volunteers: Patricia, Malena 2 and Olivia. Three of our teachers are young people who started camp with us in 2016 and were paid for their work this year.
Thanks to everyone who supports us so we can offer this camp. Without you this would not be possible! We would like to thank Carol Wojciechowicz, Philliple Labeau and Rachel for teacher housing. Thanks to Justin Sullivan, Bertil Chappuis and Carmen Muñoz who help us every year. Also John West and Cindy Stiles, Myrna Matos for answering our call for support. María Amelia and Roberto Fortuño for the pizzas to celebrate the closing of the camp and Cynthia Consuegra from Rolls of Heaven for bringing ice cream popsicles for everyone at the celebration activity. Marinelba Rosado and her daughters Malena and Patricia for the art supplies and Carlos Rodríguez of VAL for bringing them to Culebra. We also want to thank Sandra and Héctor de Milka, Ivonne Ayala, Joana Pérez, Jazmín Albert, María and José Bacardi, Pipi and Joanne Reyes, Nacho and María, Nicole Soriano, Yadira Rivera, Richard Cantwell for boxes of water and snacks. Thanks to the School Canteen Program that prepared lunch for everyone using the Ecological School kitchen and delivering it to camp daily.
Thanks to Jackie and German from H2O Water Taxi for treating the teachers to a trip to Culebrita. Also to Fundación Aireko, Joseen and Tata Rossy for the donation of equipment for the studio.
We set precedents in Culebra with such a large enrollment. We are growing in our eighth year with parents talking about wanting it to last longer. All this is possible because of your support. We do not receive government funding. For the concert we had a full house. We’re very proud of the children’s performances. A good time was had by all.
Thank you to all the parents for the confidence to have your children during this month.
Musicians Present! By Culebra, Always! We continue!
What's Going On . . . Monday, June 12, 2023
MÚSICA PA' CULEBRA - Summer Music Camp
We are very excited to announce our 2023 summer music camp. This will be the eighth consecutive year that we have done it since we started in 2016. This year we made a google link for registration. To our surprise we have, to date, 85 children registered online for this summer. There is a lot of work that goes into running this activity. The excitment of the kids makes it all worth it.
This is the largest group we have had, with ages ranging from 5 and 6 years old to 16 years old. We will have to make adjustments with more support staff and materials.
We are aware of the great responsibility we have, these children and young people will be cared for and exposed to new learning experiences that will accompany them throughout their lives. It will be 4 weeks of music, songs, dance, art, reading, video production, bomba circle, comparsa and crazy Fridays, which is half a day. We have hired a staff of teachers who have already worked with us and the children. In addition, this year we have 3 of our young people who started in 2016 with us as helpers receiving pay for their work.
A young woman from Culebra told me; "Luz, when my baby is of age I want her to be in all the Foundation programs!" I asked her, “how old is the girl?.” Smiling and proud
she answers “6 months!” It is a great satisfaction to know that you have our program in mind and appreciate what we do for children.
Super proud of this program that we care for with so much love. We would like to thank Marinelba Rosado and her daughters Patricia and Malena; for helping us with art supplies. Carol Wojciechowicz for lending us her Boat House for the teachers to stay this month and Philippe Labeau and Rachael Simon for lending us their studio apartment for the percussion teacher.
We would also like to request financial support to cover our costs. A little bit of each one helps us to continue with this special mission. Remember that our organization Fundación de Culebra has the tax exemption 501-C3. We are prepared and forewarned, that good things are coming…. We continue!
All donations to Música Pa' Culebra should be made to the Culebra Foundation with a note that it is meant for the Música Pa’ Culebra program. Did you know that your donation whether it be money, services or merchandise is tax deductible? Culebra Foundation has 501-C3 tax exempt status. You can make your donation with PAYPAL, ATH Movil or check payable to Fundación de Culebra. Please specify when donating if you would like your donation applied specifically to Música Pa 'Culebra.
Use the ATH Movil App
What's Going On . . . Saturday, February 25, 2023
MÚSICA PA' CULEBRA - Fundraiser
The first segment was a performance by the percussion students of maestro Dahjan Vargas. He started with the little ones playing the small steel drums and they behaved like pros! Alexander and Johanis, played the full size steel drums with help from Fabian on “Mi Viejo San Juan”
Next there was a performance by the dance group of teacher Adriana Chiqués. This group was accompanied by drummers from the school and players from the Wednesday night Bomba Drum Circle. The dancing was spectacular. Then, one of our adult students Yavet, who is blind, played drums to “Con Poder” as well as an interpretation of three drum rhythms. Everyone was impressed with his talent.
Paradise Steel Band with their teacher Fabian Rosa closed the concert playing spectacularly. They started with a piece following a Trinidadian tradition of “coming out” from behind their instruments and presented a new song that got everyone moving! They were joined for a few songs by two new younger members of the band, Alexander and Johanis. We are super proud of them. It was beautiful to see the small children as they watched the big ones playing.
We had a full house. The mothers provided the crowd with an exquisite meal. Yadi, Paulita, Joanna and Richard also cooked. We had a Chinese raffle run by Sara, with prizes donated by many businesses: Club Seabourne, Heather's Pizza, Moncho's, Harspoons, Rolls of Heaven, Jerry's Jeep, La Cava, Sue Zinkowski and Ivonne Ayala. After the show, the tables were set and we all ate and shared as a family the achievements of our children and youth.
We are grateful to all who joined us and to those who supported us even if they did not come..... it was a night of community and family...
“Musicians, PRESENT! For Culebra, ALWAYS!”
What's Going On . . . Sunday, February 12, 2023
Many years celebrating the life of a great musician and human being who is very loved by our community; Victor Felix "Cucuito". His daughter Mayra organized a Caribbean gathering where musicians from Culebra, Loíza and Caguas delighted everyone and shared like brothers. Arcadia, the matron of the musical Munet family at 94 was present and dancing to the announcements! Our beloved José Fabián Rosa Santos, director of the Fundación de Culebra and Música Pa' Culebra's Paradise steel band, came and played steel drums with band member Graciela Bermudez Albert. We met Frankie de Loíza, Bomba Siré, they have a steel drum band in Loiza. He plays a different style steel drum, which his father designed. We exchanged information and we’ll see hat the future holds. The activity lasted until late because the musicians did not want to leave nor the assistants. There was a delicious meal and we all danced and enjoyed ourselves as one great Culebrense and Caribbean family.
Thanks to Mayra La Nena from Loíza and Mayra from Culebra, and to all who cooperated and assisted for this musical celebration. We are also grateful for recognizing the young people of Música Pa' Culebra because the Legacy Continues! Let's continue!
What's Going On . . . Saturday, February 4, 2023
International Chamber Orchestra visits Culebra
Música Pa’ Culebra Children's Workshop
Our young children enjoyed a fun, educational and inspiring concert and activities filled with smiles. The children surprised the musicians with their incredible questions. From which country did they come to which was the first instrument in the world! An experience that will accompany them throughout their lives.
Community Concert at the old school. Full house!
The small children began, sharing their musical activities with Cara Colón, beautiful! Then we listen to the interpretation of the composers Enrique Granados and Robert Schumann. A delight for all. We close the concert with the Legend... our beloved Puerto Rican composer and singer and heartfelt Culebrense Alberto Carrión. His performance was a beautiful and unforgettable closing to the concert.
Thank you to everyone who joined us and to those who support us to make this possible. Especially to the talented musicians Corey Cerovsek, violin, Sofia Kim, violin, Nestor Pou, viola, Cara Elise and Emilio Colón, chelo and Steven Vanhauwaert, piano. The logistics of bringing these musicians in is very challenging. Carrying a 400-pound piano that even the pianist helped carry up the stairs, the lodging, etc. There are many to whom we thank for achieving this wonderful experience for our community and visitors. Grateful to all the musicians for bringing their wonderful music to our island. It was an experience for history.
What's Going On . . . December 2022
The year 2022 is ending soon and we want to thank all of you for the genuine support for our growth as a community organization, with meaningful projects for our community.
We continue…. learning and growing, thanks and blessings to all of you.
By: Elsa Tió Puerto Rican poet
and part-time resident of Culebra
December 19, 2022
Justin Sullivan Christmas Party
Culebra, Puerto Rico
He who gratefully receives all things will be glorified” (D&C 78:19).
Gratitude is the memory of the heart, it is the art of remembering, it is sister to goodness and it ennobles.
It is no coincidence that the term “gratia” derives from the Latin expression “agere gratias”. And that the Greeks had their Three Graces: splendor, joy and blossoming.
For this reason, he who thanks with his heart shines because he pleases the spirit of both the thanked and himself.
Gratitude flourishes when the flower of the smile is drawn on the faces. And it is free, generous, contagious, brave, humble and endless. Gratitude is never an intruder. She is a supportive friend, she is enthusiastic and she speaks to us, because she translates the language of hope.
Gratitude is appreciated with a look, with a friendly hand, with a gesture of solidarity, with words that fall in love, heal and guide, with specific silences. Gratitude feels like the taste of fruit, and the taste of wine, and a love song. It is a form of happiness.
Gratitude is musical. Listen to the chords of the heart and it can be the beginning of something new. Like a love that is born, and a smile that has the power to cross distances, it is an invisible bridge that brings us closer and comforts us. Gratitude is a subtle form of beauty, it awakens kindness.
All of us who are here should feel gratitude and thank God for being able to inhabit, enjoy and live on this beautiful island of Culebra, companion of winds and reefs, with its nets full of illusions and its rainbows after storms. We should feel gratitude in contemplating the seascape that widens our souls, and hearing the song of its birds, giving us the time each day, like good watchmakers with wings.
How can one not appreciate the slow twilight that spills over our sunsets, the rain that makes the seeds grow, the fisherman who throws himself into the sea to bring sustenance, the struggle of the Culebrenses who live with the dignity of their work.
Selfishness does not thank. Love yes. Thanks to the word, thank you, because it fills us with joy. Only he who gives of himself is happy, as Felisa Rincón said. Gratitude has two ways, the nobility of the one who thanks, and the joy of the one who gives.
And we want to thank Justin Sullivan for being part of this community, because gratitude lives in him, they are not mere forms of civility; his generosity is his lifestyle, it comes from his heart, like water from a stream. He could choose to enjoy only for himself and his friends, this beautiful room between the seas. However, with little fuss, he has dedicated himself to sharing, and supporting, many times in silence and with great generosity, innumerable significant collective efforts to gratify the Culebrense people. And above all to share with them his love for music.
Gratitude is the door wide open, it is the echo, the path that brings us here. It is also when Luz Rivera Cantwell organizes dreams on Three Kings Day, because when there is love there is magic and poetry. Gratitude is also Música Pa' Culebra. Joey Sala and Luz know it, just remember the transformation of those young people, when 7 years ago they played paint buckets with sticks, and now with musical instruments they know the freedom of art and discover themselves in their talents...
GRATITUDE IS TO LOVE CULEBRA, with its brave community struggles carried out by so many Culebrenses of yesterday and today. It is the love they feel for their landscape, and their struggles to defend it. Gratitude is not forgetting those who have been working for decades in health, culture, education, and the environment, thus improving the lives of all.
If ingratitude is the blindness of the heart. Gratitude is faithful and bright and it comforts us. Poor is the country that practices ingratitude, forgetting its best men and women.
And if gratitude knows how to be moved by love, let's remember the verse by Violeta Parra sung by Mercedes Sosa that begins:
Thanks to life, which has given me so much.!
What's Going On . . . November 2022
Fundraiser at Club Náutico
Our Culebrense kids played at the Club Nautico in San Juan and they totally delivered!
Luis Alexander made his debut playing a piece with his mentor and the group Five Cats! There are no words of gratitude that say enough to Fabián for being such a dedicated and committed teacher.
We dedicated the activity to our beloved Doug Lang who has always been an essential pillar of the program. The young people thanked him for his dedication to them.
The press came to meet us and profile the band’s story. https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/notas/musica-pa-culebra-continua-con-fuerza-su-mision-para-ayudar-a-la-juventud-de-la-isla-nena/
The famous architect José R. Coleman-Davis presented the model of the future Casa de La Música to help us all visualize the dream.
Thanks to Jorge Ramos, Khrystall and Fabián for the opening Bohemian music. Thanks to Dahjan, Joey, Desi, Christie, Azalea, Carmen, Bernardo, Gilbert, Yadi, Ivonne, Carlos, Doug, Karmyn, Monika, Paco, Jorge, Yari and Carlitos from Carlos Jeep, El Nuevo Día, Teleonce, Target, Martin' s Barbecue, Sandra, Richard, Papito...
Thanks to the organizations that presented FAR, Fundación Flamboyán, Fundación Colibrí, Diaspora of UPR and to all our friends/family from Culebra for being present. Thanks also to those who could not make it, but sent us their contributions.
A lot of intense logistical work is required to make this event happen, but let no one doubt that it is done with much love. The activity was a success and if we missed mentioning anyone, please excuse us and know that we thank you all!
For the first time in history, the students/musicians from Culebra went to see the impressive campus that is also an architectural jewel.
This is the most important institution for music education in Puerto Rico. Together with two other visiting schools, they were given a tour of the institution's facilities. They were then allowed to attend a Big Band (Jazz) rehearsal in the facility's beautiful theater. It was a wonderful experience for the young people. We have admissions information and activity calendars. We look forward to coordinating other experiences for the children of Culebra. We know that there is talent and we want to dream of new possibilities for them!
The famous singer Pirulo sent a special message to the young people of the Band and Música Pa' Culebra!
He will return as a musical mentor for all the children and young people in the program, and we will notify you of his visit. Pirulo came earlier and was with a small group of young people due to Covid restrictions. We are Mega Grateful to Annette Reyes for being a very special connector being. Also thanks for all the support to our Music program, we love you so much! Blessings!
What's Going On . . . June 2022
Música Pa’ Culebra Summer Camp 2022
7th Culebra Music Camp: Greetings to the sun!
The camp closing concert was a night of celebration and joy where almost 50 children presented their skills and talents! The energy level was high and the Old School was packed with excited families and friends of the program. We had a total of about 75 children during the month with many children in the 6-8 year old age group. Some kids were with us for a week and others for the whole month. There were Culebrenses from both schools as well as kids who live in the US and come with their families for the summer. They shared lessons and activities in groups of 5 or 6 students in percussion, piano, art, dance, flute and ukulele, as well as traditional games and a Lego table. They painted bee boxes for the museum, read stories and poetry. The older kids spent time in the studio learning how to make a podcast and in the dance room working up hip hop dances! It is important that these students are given the opportunity to experiment, learn and share in protected and accessible spaces! We expect a lot from this group in a few years...
Thanks to everyone who supported us in making it happen! We would like to thank our camp team of 8 teachers and 5 young volunteers who spent 4 weeks preparing and caring for our little ones and young people. Special thanks to Carol Wolgie for lending us her home for the teachers' accommodation.
What's Going On . . . April 9, 2022
William Cepeda and his Afro Rican Jazz Quintet workshop and concert in Culebra.
William Cepeda Workshop
William Cepeda and his wonderful musicians presented a workshop to children and adults about the music of Puerto Rico and its 5 musical genres: plena, bomba, danza, peasant music and Taino music with its magical seashells. We learned, we laughed and they created songs with the names of the children, something they will remember all their lives. The mission of keeping new generations educated about our music and promoting it, was more than achieved. We have already begun to dream together of other ways to collaborate and bring William and his musicians to Culebra in the future.
Concert with William Cepeda and his Afro Rican Jazz Quintet
Later that afternoon William Cepeda and his Afro Rican Jazz Quintet presented a masterful concert at the old school in Culebra. This was musical food for the soul. With a full house we had a concert of international magnitude. Cepeda presented all musical genres seasoned with masterful jazz. Each of the musicians performed excellently. A true musical banquet. With great pride, the children and young people of Música Pa' Culebra joined the band and showed confidence and talent in their performance. Luis Alexander, Eduardo, Mauro, Samuel, José José and Camila. We are mega proud of everyone! William made the crowd dance, sing and travel through his music. He was delighted with the diversity of people he met and shared with during the day. Special thanks to Doug Lang and Dahjan Vargas for the sound and support. Without them it would have been impossible. Thanks to William Cepeda and his group as well as everyone else who shared an afternoon full of magic and new sounds for the history of Música Pa 'Culebra! Grateful and Blessed. We continue!
What's Going On . . . April 9, 2022
William Cepeda and his Afro Rican Jazz Quintet visit Culebra.
What's Going On . . . January 29, 2022
International Chamber Orchestra Visits Culebra
The Fundación de Culebra and Música Pa’ Culebra had the honor of hosting the ICO for our first concert of the year 2022. On Saturday morning January 29th, five prestigious international musicians offered a workshop for children and young people from the program. In it they played music, presented the instruments, gave piano master classes and taught some fun exercises for reading music.
The children really enjoyed it, they learned and their spirits were fed by beautiful music. Little 6-year-old Isabella told them that music calmed her down…. José José, one of the older kids, told us that the music made him feel like he was inside a movie! Experiences for a life.
There was a concert by the International Chamber Orchestra that evening at the old school. It was a night of magic and food for our spirit.
The night began with our youth from the MPC Paradise Steel Band, led by our dear José Fabián Rosa. They played wonderfully, surprising and delighting those present with their impressive development. Then the young Daphne Padrón performed a beautiful Yoruba piece on the piano that moved everyone.
Then the prestigious international musicians began to offer us this musical gift... with an excellent performance by each one of them. We heard a beautiful selection from classic composers; Haydn, Sarasate and Mendelssohn. Followed by a beautiful composition by Emilio Colón "N" Tango and closing with Spanish Dance (Vida Breve) by Manuel de Falla arranged by Emilio Colón. It was a night full of magic and wonderful music.
These types of events come with many logistics challenges and we would like to thank all the sponsors and those who helped us make it a reality. The end result was incredible. Special thanks to the 5 magnificent musicians for making us travel through the beauty of the emotions with their musical interpretations! To all the attendees, thank you for joining us and helping us make dreams come true... we continue!
What's Going On . . . 20 de noviembre de 2021
Concierto de Carnaval
Club Naútico in San Juan
November 3, 2021
What a wonderful night….
In just three weeks we organized the activity at the Club Nautico, San Juan. A group of 3 musketeers; Desireé Mieses, Christie Dubón and Azalea Ortiz and with our Dartagñan Joey Sala in San Juan were the heroes of achieving the logistics of the activity with our hearts and our gratitude as payment. As we have said, fantastic volunteers are a big part of what makes us tick!
We worked very hard in these times of Covid to make everyone feel safe, for maximum enjoyment of the activity.
The event started with a brief introduction of the Culebra Foundation with a beautiful video that Inversión Cultural produced for us. Not being able to bring the young children, we presented videos of the young children talking about their experience at MPC and playing. Then we had Daphne Padrón perform two beautiful and emotional pieces of music on the piano. She was followed by Olivia Sizer singing Hallelujah, with her great friend Alberto Carrión on the keyboard, who also helped her practice in Culebra. She was also accompanied by Camila Cortés on ukulele and Luis Alexander Rivera on cajon. Her voice and her courage moved everyone.
Then we presented the music video Culebra es un Paraíso, lyrics by Alberto Carrión and José Fabián Rosa; music by Alberto Carrión. It was produced to raise environmental awareness and to educate visitors about our Canal Luis Peña Marine Reserve using music and the voices of our MPC kids. The entire video and music production was done in the Música Pa’ Culebra studio and orchestrated by our talented Doug Lang. Doug once again managed to show off the best of our team of musicians and new talents.
During the last year, maestro Fabián has been teaching the traditional Bomba drumming styles of Puerto Rico. For the next part of the event, the students then masterfully presented all the bomba rhythms they learned. They performed them excellently. They were accompanied by a bomba singer and a guest dancer. We also had our special dancer Camila Cortes who moved everyone with the flavor and joy of her dancing. From this moment the dancers in the audience were up from their chairs dancing to the rhythm of the music. For that night we were free to laugh, dance and share with the wonderful music of our children from Culebra.
Then the moment we were all waiting for arrived, the Paradise Steel Band kicked into gear. These young musicians who started playing as a band during three weeks of Summer Camp this past June 2021, played that night in spectacular fashion. They surprised and made all the attendees dance. We have to thank Liza and Edwin García, friends of the Croabas, who donated the restoration of the old steel drums, Edwin doing the painting. I would especially like to thank the teacher José Fabián Rosa, who shared his talent and taught the children with so much love, restoring to Culebra the spirit of the steel drum which was a tradition that had all but disappeared.
The surprise at the end, was the generous donation from Justin Sullivan; a property in Culebra, through the Culebra Foundation, to be known as Casa de la Música. This multi-use space will include teachers' lodging and a community center for poetry, music, internet and assorted other activities. I suggest you read his beautiful writing, which we've attached below. It is a house that needs many improvements and will need many hands to make the dream come true, but we are celebrating in gratitude for all the blessings that continue to come even in challenging times like these.
A message from Justin Sullivan . . .
Aldous Huxley wrote: “From pure sensation to the intuition of beauty, from pleasure and pain to love and the mystical ecstasy and death — all the things that are fundamental, all the things that, to the human spirit, are most profoundly significant, can only be experienced, not expressed. The rest is always and everywhere silence. After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
It has been one of the great pleasures of my life to have been present at the birth and development of Música Pa' Culebra. In the hope that the program continues long after I am gone, and with the desire to keep Culebra lands in Culebra hands whenever possible, I am delighted to have purchased and donated this modest home for the Foundation and our special Community. In the coming months, we hope to turn this house into living quarters for our teachers, a community center where people can print and copy documents, use the internet, and gather for readings, poetry and … music. We will need your support, so please give generously.
All my best, Justin
We thank all the attendees. You made it possible to make reality of the dream of our young musicians to play in San Juan. We would also like to thank Club Nautico and its generous members, William Cepeda, Alexis Bousquets, Santos Rivera, Méndez y Compañía, Target and Jerry's Jeep, Yadira Rivera, Douglas Lang, Carlos and Yaritza Cortes for taking care of our treasures, the children, Ilonka and the Municipality from Carolina for the lodging and Maite Rolón. We would also like to thank all the organizations that were there; Fundación Ángel Ramos, Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades, Fundación Comunitaria, Fundación Colibrí, Fundación Villa Mi Terruño, Anette Reyes and Protectores de Cuencas, Martin's BBQ, Maite Rolón from Laboratorios Rolón, Melanie Nevárez, Sandra Rodriguez de Hechizos Gráficos, Inversión Cultural.
Thanks as well to Inversión Cultural for producing such a beautiful video for Fundación de Culebra and to Javier del Valle of Fundación Ángel Ramos for contributing photographs of the event. Finally, thank you to all those who through the years have always been there for Música Pa' Culebra. You know who you are.
Thank you for sharing a wonderful Culebra night in San Juan.
What's Going On . . . 20 de octubre de 2021
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Club Naútico in San Juan / 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Suggested donation: $100pp
Save the date and reserve your space at the Fundación de Culebra fundraiser at Club Nautico for Música Pa’ Culebra. This is one not to miss. There has been much activity and growth as we navigated The Covid Pandemic . The students of Música Pa' Culebra are eager to reach out and share their talents.
COVID PROTOCOL: We will have a large room, but with limited capacity. A Covid vaccination and a Covid test no more than 48 hours before the event will be required. We will have antigen tests (results in 10 minutes) available at the activity. Please let us know if you will need it when confirming your space. We look forward to reconnecting with all in safety and in health.
What's Going On . . . 6/30/2021
Josy La Torre
Visit of the singer to learn about the projects of Fundación de Culebra and document them for a program of the Instituto de Cultura Coloqueo in various towns and this one in Culebra. Josy was very impressed, especially with Daphne Padrón who played a melody in piano that moved us all.
MPC Celebrates 6th Anniversary
On-site Summer Camp 2021
Piano/Ukulele/Percussion/ Steel Drums/Art
Summer arrived, and taking lots of care, we went face-to-face. And it was an epic summer.
Thanks to the wonderful team that, for a month, worked with so much love with our children from Culebra. There are no words to describe how healing it was and how the children's joy rubbed off on all of us. We had 50 children during the month; young ones in the morning and old ones in the afternoon divided into groups of 5 and 6 students. We also offered Drum Circle and Steel Drum Band rehearsals until 7:00. Thanks to the team; José Fabián Rosa, Edgardo Vega, Stephanie Rodríguez, Alejandra Guzmán, Daliana Dickson, Doug in the Studio and Luz coordinating. We would especially like to thank “uncle” Mario Albert for helping in the evenings and Mayor Edilberto Romero for coming and supporting us at the concert. We had our young children or "musical seeds" who were super good and enjoyed all the activities to the fullest. Many of the older kids have been in the program for 6 years and under the direction of maestro Fabián Rosa they created the Paradise Steel Band. Neither the children nor the parents wanted this summer to end. All this lead to our summer concert on June 25th.
MPC Summer Camp Concert . . . 6/25/2021
A magical and very happy night, where the Culebra family got together with so much joy, after being locked down
for so long. . . .
The power to share was so needed. The conert repertoire included, dance by the little ones, piano and ukulele among others. We had a beautiful performance by Olivia in a Hallelujah solo that moved everyone. The circle of Barriles where all the older kids participated and there was a Bomba dance by two of the girls. The closing segment was from the Paradise Steel Band, the MPC youth steel drum band led by maestro Fabián. In just 3 weeks they put together a repertoire of 5 songs that raised the spirits of everyone present and those who tuned in online. Reviewing the achievements after so many difficulties is something that fills us with satisfaction. Our biggest reward is that everyone said it was the best camp of their life and they didn't want it to end. It has not been easy but as I always say…. We continue.
Video Premiere of "Culebra es un Paraíso". . . 6/25/2021
The Música Pa ’Culebra program produced a video to promote the protection of our Canal Luis Peña Marine Reserve. This was a collaboration with the organization Protectores de Cuencas.
We made an invitation to Culebra's dear friend and famous composer Alberto Carrión. Alberto wrote, with our teacher José Fabián Rosa, a beautiful song "Culebra es un Paraíso". Alberto also composed the music for it. He came and taught the little singers how to use their voices in the studio and worked in a very special way with the entire production team. It was painstaking and beautiful work that brought many people together to make a wonderful educational video. We are very grateful to everyone who supported us especially Doug Lang for always going the extra mile. We hope you enjoy it and share it. We take pride in our Canal Luis Peña Marine Reserve! Culebra is a Paradise!
We remind you that due to the pandemic we have not been able to do any fundraising activities. So any financial contribution is welcome and necessary to continue with the work we do.
Growing up gives a lot of satisfaction, but at the same time increases expenses because our children and young people ask for more. Help us to help …… be part of this effort that is an achievement of so many people in different ways. Please click here to make a donation.
We want to thank everyone who supports us. Carol Wolgie for lending us her house so part of the teachers had lodging. Thanks especially to Justin Sullivan for believing in us from day one and dreaming together for better opportunities for our children and youth.
What's Going On . . . 5/30/2021
Steel Drum Restoration
Laiza García and Edwin Cruz de las Croabas were on a mission to bring the old Steel drums to restore, some had to be discarded, but they donated two that belonged to the famous musician Jack Warren.
Drum Circle every Tuesday at 6:00 pm with teacher José Fabián Rosa
What's Going On . . . 4/30/2021
We received a donation of Barriles drums for Bomba from the Episcopal Church (Father José and Father Jorge Rosa). We had our two percussion teachers Gabriel Carpena and José Fabián Rosa in an activity with the students to officially receive them. A big present.
We contacted Alberto to write a song for the children about the protection of the Canal Luis Peña Reserve. He composed the music and the lyrics with our teacher José Fabián Rosa. He met several times with the little singers, our musicians and Doug in the studio to teach them how to better use their voices, etc. Then our musicians wanted to complement the video with other aspects and it resulted in a super laborious but at the same time fruitful experience in a beautiful video of the Reserve. Grateful for sharing your talent, time, and love.
Pirulo and his Tribe.
Pirulo, a renowned Salsa singer from Puerto Rico, visited us. He participated in the Watershed Protectors Project and gave a motivational talk to young people from Música Pa ’Culebra. Although with few students, because of the protocol they enjoyed it immensely and the messages of persevering, being a team and supporting each other penetrated deeply in our young people.
What's Going On . . . March 30, 2021
We started individual classes for piano, Percussion and Steel Drum.
We installed the floor of the Multipurpose/Dance Room.
PodCast recording of Grupo de Corales del Este Puerto Rico.
Doug Lang in the MPC studio worked on the technical part of the Podcast with Abimarie Otaño Cruz and Alfredo Montañez and collaborators.
Culebra Canta was an adult singing contest in Culebra. Luz Rivera-Cantwell participated as a judge in addition to two other people. It was very entertaining and for weeks the community waited for Saturday to see it. Very close competition, there is a lot of talent in Culebra. The winner was Ivette Rodríguez. He will help the winner Fundación de Culebra record a demo with her music and voice.
What's Going On . . . November 24, 2020
We have not communicated for awhile because we have been working hard to train ourselves and adapt to the times that we are now living in. What have we been doing?
Remote and face-to-face classes / MPC2020 Concierto Virtual
- Our children have worked remotely and face-to-face with their dedicated teachers to perform a very special virtual concert, which we hope will be enjoyed by all. We want to thank the MPC teachers for their dedication and effort in organizing and recording this concert. We also thank, very especially, Douglas Lang for the production of it, excellent! We will be premiering the MPC2020 Concierto Virtual on December 6, 2020 on FaceBook at 7:00 pm. It will be available after that on the Musica Pa'Culebra YouTube page
-Ten computer tablets, a tenor steel drum and a small beginners steel drum were donated by Mr. Misla and his wife Magaly.
-Fundación de Culebra has moved its large printer to the old school so it can be used by the community. We want to thank everyone who donated ink for it.
- Donated fast internet for all music and art rooms so that children and young people can have access.
Laiza and Edwin
- who are friends of Culebra and the Fundación de Culebra are helping to restore the old steel drums we had. These drums include a bass, double second and double tenor. We are very excited that little by little we will have enough instruments to put together a steel drum band in Culebra!
- Eduardo Puig facilitated the donation of a grand piano that we have restored. It was a complicated mission to transport it and install it in the studio, but it was achieved. Once the piano is tuned, we will be making it available for anyone interested in playing it. Now even the mothers of the children are encouraged to study on such a beautiful piano.
Keyboard Room Improvements
- Thanks to Amy and Dusty Ballinger, parents of two girls in the program, who donated air conditioning equipment and the installation. We fitted the acoustic panels and plastic screens so that the keyboard room is now protected from inclement weather, noise and dust. This gives the instruments greater durability.
Recording Studio Improvements
- The rooms have been painted and the acoustic panels were decorated by the children with the direction of the art teachers Daliana and Cynthia. Everything is more organized and the room has been configured as a teleconference room where the kids can take their virtual / face-to-face classes or go to practice their instruments.
All of this would not be possible without the support of many organizations and people in the community. Every little effort causes us great satisfaction, and working together on these projects enhances commitment and makes the community stronger.
Thanksgiving is coming up. That word is too small for all the love we feel on our work team for all of you. Thanks to your help in many different forms, we can make all these wonderful things possible for our children, youth and community! This year it will not be possible to have our fundraising activity due to the emergency, so we would appreciate any donation to our organization.
We wish you health, happiness and many blessings.
Fundación de Culebra / Corona Virus-Covid19
May 4, 2020, Culebra - 0 cases of Covid-19
Cheers! We live every day as a challenge. These are times of uncertainty and times for re-inventing ourselves and looking for new ways of living. We are proud that through our teamwork and effort we are still at 0 cases.
Our program - Música Pa’ Culebra . . . 5/4/20
- Before isolation was established, we presented a singing handwashing workshop with the children of the Música Pa ’Culebra program.
- We have distributed instruments to MPC students at their homes. In this way they can continue practicing and being productive. At the same time bringing joy to their families.
- We are beginning the preparations for the online classes. The piano lessons started last week. Steel drum, guitar and percussion lessons will start shortly.
- We are buying some drum pads and sticks so that young children can play drums and congas at home and benefit from online classes.
- We are looking for ways to get keyboards for the little ones and another Steel drum to facilitate the classes.We currently have 7 steel drum students and only 3 steel drums.
- We are building a program to acquire tablets and laptops so that children can take online classes. Many children have access limited to parent's cell phones. This makes the visual part of remote teaching difficult.
Much has happened so far this year. . . 02/23/20
On Sunday, December 23, 2020 at 5:30 pm we had our annual February fundraiser.
Thanks to all the people who came to show their love and support for our kids and our community! It was a night full of music and great memories. Thanks to Justin for being a great host, opening his house to our kids and guests. Thanks also to the parents that provided all the great food and effort putting the event together.
Music Pa ’Culebra is celebrating a year full of
initiatives and achievements in 2019. . . 12/29/19
On Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm we had the Semester Closing Concert.
This was a concert where the little ones performed a series of simple but successful presentations. They represent the next wave of Música Pa Culebra! The big ones we see starting to shine as confident musicians as they work together to learn music and the art of performance. We had a house full of proud family members and visitors who joined us in supportintg our children.
In November we had our fundraiser at Club Nautico, which was a big success.
The children performed a set of music that demonstrated their talent. They did a wonderful job of showing their musical progress to an audience that was largely made up of people from the main island. It was a very successful event. Logistics were a real challenge, but we learn more every day and seeing the effect on children makes all the effort worth it. A grand piano was donated that needed repair, but it is finished and we are waiting now for the transportation details to fall into place. This piano was donated by a person who attended the Club Nautico event.
Music Pa ’Culebra is celebrating a year full
of initiatives and
achievements in 2019.
This year our summer camp had 64 children, 4 music teachers and 2 art teachers.
This Fall semester we have an enrollment of 45 children in the Friday and Saturday programs. The piano teacher started some introductory music lessons for kids from 3 to 5 years old, which the children and their mothers have enjoyed very much. It is also the first semester that we added mid-week music classes for adults and children. Our Conga and Rhythms of the Caribbean classes have been very busy.
'During 2019 we have coordinated free concerts in Culebra with visiting artists such as:
• William Cepeda Afrorican Jazz
• The 5 Cats Calypso Band
• The Orchestra of the Interamerican University of Bomba y Plena
• New Docta Chamber Music Group
We are also offering art classes for all ages of children every Saturday. This has been very successful and has added a new dimension to our program.
The Culebra Foundation signed a collaborative agreement with the Interamerican University to support our music program. We already had a visiting teacher who spent time reviewing our program. The plan is for Interamerican to help us develop a music curriculum along with new activities to encourage parents to participate in the program.
We plan to continue working and growing in 2020. We have a long-term vision of making Culebra a place where music and the arts are a cultural highlight for the community and for visitors. We hope to create opportunities for our musicians to play around Culebra and throughout Puerto Rico.
As you can see there has been a lot of progress. We are already celebrating our 4th year of Música Pa Culebra and 25 years of the Culebra Foundation.
We have started our fall semester at
Música Pa' Culebra. . . 09/25/19
This session runs from August to December 2019. This semester is a very challenging one because we are growing rapidly and we are working on some new additions to the program.
To achieve this, we have hired the Anthony Sierra part time. He moved to Culebra in August and joins us as percussion teacher. We have also added Doug Lang as coordinator of teacher and children's activities. This past week for the first time they made a musical presentation at the Ecological School with some of the MPC students. We hope to make these presentations a monthly occurrence.
We have some facility improvements on our list. We just replaced an ailing Air Conditioner.
We are also fitting out a booth for the recording studio, which has become a magnet for the older kids. We still need a couple French doors or a sliding door, to connect both rooms. We are also looking for ceiling acoustic tiles and office dividers to finalize the recording studio sound proofing.
We want to thank Eduardo Puig, Odarissa Rivera, Elsita Tió, Juan Carlos Montalvo, Carmen Sabater and Dawn Keon for instrument donations! Instruments are always welcome! We received the donation of a 16-passenger Transit bus that will help us take the children to various activities on the island and in Puerto Rico.
As you can see we have been very busy! We are currently in need of financial contributions because the major expense of the program is the payment to teachers. We are excited to see the response we have received from the children and the community in general to the new course offers. There is a group of adults asking for individual classes ... But in order to continue growing we need you to donate. No matter what your financial contribution, it is important. Remember that we have 501-C3 so you can deduct your contributions from the donation!
With you supporting our children, we continue!
Music in the Plaza and
February Fundraiser is a huge success. . . 02/18/2019
Music In The Plaza was an event where the resident community and visitors gathered to support our children of Música Pa 'Culebra.
All the children played, even the 6-year-olds that only started in February. The older students played, and surprised everyone with their progress in both playing and performing. They're clearly feeling more comfortable in front of an audience. They opened the performance, which left everyone hungry for more music from the kids. Two of the mothers addressed the audience. One mother shared her volunteer experience one summer and explained the complexity of managing and teaching children music. The other mother explained how the program is teaching her son to read music and gave her son the opportunity to develop his dream of playing music. A dream that would have been difficult without Música Pa 'Culebra.
The 5 Cats played a lively set after the kids. Their Calypso music delighted the community and did a great job bringing everyone together.
The fundraising activity at Justin's house was a total success.
Justin was a tremendous host for the children of Música Pa 'Culebra, their parents and all the guests. The food prepared by the parents and friends of the program was exquisite. We had a Silent Auction prepared by Cindy Golbert, to whom we are very grateful, with the help of all those who donated for it, which was very good. The children played a different and wider repertoire, which left everyone very pleased. Then the 5 Cats played their Calypso music, which got the dancing started and even included a little limbo. Graciela, one of the girls who plays the steel drum, joined the 5 Cats in the last song and it was excellent. Joa another of the girls who plays the steel drum said she wants to continue practicing to play professionally with a band like the 5 Cats! The 5 Cats pledged to help us develop our steel drum band and teach the kids every time they are hired to play in Culebra.
The joy and energy that was created that night was magical. Thanks again to Justin Sullivan for opening the doors of his home and supporting our children. Many thanks to all those who attended and those who support us so that this dream of music in Culebra becomes a reality. Blessings!
5 Cats Steel Band
Call Fabian: 787-595-4255
Concert of Mexican Music 11/24/2018
Música Pa’ Culebra invites you to a Mexican music concert, free for the whole community. We want to present different types of music for the enjoyment of all. We will introduce you to two groups that play traditional music and also new music, and classical music performances with new rhythms. In addition, the musicians will give a free workshop to our children of the program.
Don't miss it!
Carribean Night to Benefit
Musica Pa’ Culebra 11/14/2018
Save the Date
The Club Naútico of San Juan will be the host of a musical event whose objective is to raise funds for the Música Pa' Culebra program. This program has been run successfully for 3 and a half years by the Fundación de Culebra. Fundación de Culebra is a community-based organization that has been providing services in the areas of history, culture, nature and community for 24 years. This is the first time, that the music program has presented an activity outside of Culebra.
Música Pa 'Culebra started as a 6-week summer camp in 2015. "We started with drum sticks, 25 paint pails, 2 old keyboards, 3 guitars, 3 teachers, 25 children .... and a lot of hope, "said Luz Rivera-Cantwell, director of the Foundation. "Today we have about 40 young people in the program with adequate instruments and we operate in the summer and during the school semesters. Many have played a part in making this program the success that it is. "
The activity, which will take place outdoors at the Club Naútico of San Juan, will have a Caribbean atmosphere with typical delights. The dress is "Playera Chic" and the music begins at 6:30 pm with the teachers, followed by a presentation by some of Culebra's children, and ends with the "5 Cats Steel Band" that play Calypso. The suggested donation is $50 per person. Cocktails courtesy of Méndez & Compañia.
The money raised will increase the teaching hours and allow for the expansion of a two level program for beginning and intermediate students. "The program has been running for three and a half years and we need to support musicians that have advanced to an intermediate skill level." said Joey Sala, co-founder of the program, a Culebra part-time resident and music lover. He adds that "Many good things are coming from here for the present and future of Culebra."
SUMMARY: Benefit for Música Pa’ Culebra
Wednesday, November 14
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Club Naútico of San Juan, Marina Hall
Suggested donation $ 50.00 pp
CONTACT: Luz Rivera 787-617-8517
Joey Sala 787-505-2780
Concierto de Mayo 5/20/18
Successful Fundraiser For a
Full-time Music Teacher! 2/25/18
We would like to thank everyone who helped to make our Musica Pa' Culebra February Fundraiser a success. We had a crowd of around 100 people made up of full and part-time residents, friends, visitors, students, musicians, family and Culebra supporters who brought a remarkable feeling of celebration to the event. The food was prepared by parents and friends of the project and was delicious. The musician Roberto Figueroa, from Oh Brasil, delighted us with his music. To add to the delight, the kids had the chance to wow us with their skill and excitement by performing 4 songs from their current repertoire. For many at the event, it was a first glimpse at the positive effect that Musica Pa' Culebra is having on the youth of this island. It was a super festive event.
We would especially like to thank Terry Bischoff and Dennis Rivera for lending us their beautiful residence for the activity. We'd like to thank everybody who came, as well as those far away who sent donations. We would like to thank Carlos Rodríguez of Vieques Air Links for providing transportation for our musical guest Roberto Figueroa. We would also like to thank all parents and collaborators who helped to put all the pieces together to make it happen.
The end result is that we managed to raise enough funds to get closer to our goals of having a full-time teacher for the program, providing year-round music education for the children, helping organize groups and creating musical opportunities for our community.
Thanks to everyone, onward and upward!
Music is a building Block.
Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether by listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument. One of the more interesting aspects of music is that it has benefits that are almost too many to list. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning, memory and coordination. Music teaches collaboration, self-reliance, self-confidence, creativity and discipline. Music engages people and creates positive opportunities for community interaction. Music events get people excited. The skills learned playing music are a building block for life.
With its spectacular island surroundings and its mix of local culture and visitors from around the world, Culebra is an excellent place to create opportunities for music to flourish.
Musica Pa' Culebra
Everything changed during the summer of 2016. Thanks to the Fundacion De Culebra and support from Joey Sala and a small group of Culebra lovers, Musica Pa Culebra was born. The municipality of Culebra provided some classrooms located at the old public school. After a lot of hard work, the classrooms were conditioned and some instruments were donated. We recruited 3 teachers (senior students from the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico) and organized a 6 week summer camp. There were 38 Culebren children from the Escuela Ecologica and Abbie's School who participated. It was a huge success! On the closing night, the children performed a presentation of 18 musical pieces. More than 150 people from the community attended. The kids were proud of their accomplishments and now they want more music!
Where do we go from here?
We are currently in the process of putting together the pieces to make Musica Pa Culebra an on-going part of life in Culebra.
We're working toward securing long term access to the rooms we use in the old school and planning renovations.
We're building a program that runs through the school year and the summer.
We're hiring teachers, acquiring instruments, and developing curriculum and public events.
We're building support to make Musica Pa Culebra on-going and self-sustaining.
We invite you to get involved.
We couldn't do this without help of all kinds. We need help fixing rooms, painting, wiring, plumbing, running events, teaching, supervising the facility, fixing instruments, spreading the word and raising money. Every day more pieces fall into place as Musica Pa Culebra takes shape. We invite you to get involved. If you would like to have us keep you informed about all that is happening, please join our email list and don't hesitate to call or shoot us an email if you have ideas. And of course, donations are always welcome; please visit our donation page.
Thank you for your support!
© 2017 All Rights Reserved Fundación de Culebra.