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!
You can still donate to our Música Pa’ Culebra program or to Fundación de Culebra General Fund. Remember that your donation is exempt from contributions. Each contribution is very significant.
Happy Thanksgiving from the island of Culebra! We continue!
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 . . . June 2022
We are Culebra! In celebrating the people of Puerto Rico, we celebrate Culebra and the achievements of our Foundation!
Recently articles appeared in the newspapers El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora about the Fundación de Culebra, the Museum, the Culebrense Environmental Leaders and our program Música Pa’ Culebra. We recognize that these programs are successful because of the level and quality of participation in our community. Braulio Castillo visited us and was very impressed with the MPC program. He and his class of 1976 from San Antonio de Rio Piedras donated a 50” TV and a donation of $300.00!
As part of We are Culebra they brought 5 Cats Steel Band to perform in the plaza. What a pleasure it was to see Luis Alexander and Graciela who started in our Música Pa’ Culebra program in 2016, playing with our beloved steel drum teacher José Fabian Rosa and his group 5 Cats! All of us who were there were excited and enjoyed it very much. We spoke with Fabian and we are excited because we are scheduling another visit for the 3rd weekend of July! We will give details soon! Thanks to GRF Media and the Ferré-Rangel family for this wonderful celebration!
What's Going On . . . June 2022
Silmarie Padron – New Director Of FWS Reserves In The Caribbean
Silmarie Padron, from Culebra, has just been appointed the new manager of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge Complex in the Caribbean!
There are no words to express our pride in one of our own. Silmarie works with us with the LAC program as a volunteer. She is an example for all young people. Congratulations to Silmarie. Everyone here celebrates her achievements! Blessings!
What's Going On . . . June 2022
Culebra Is On The Road To Solar Resilience Thanks to EDF And The Colibri Foundation
Celebrating the Sun and the gift of Resilience for Culebra, 36 families received free emergency solar backup systems! We are all grateful to Fundación Colibrí and the Environmental Defense Fund for them.
On June 20th, we had the honor of celebrating with the directors of the organizations, the families that received them and the community. Our children from Música Pa’ Culebra, played and made a beautiful comparsa with posters of thanks to the donor organizations.
We celebrated as a community and the activity closed with the wonderful music of Wiki Sound! We are all united to make Culebra the First Solar Island of America!
What's Going On . . . July 2022
Save the date: Presentation of a new book by Culebrense author Benjamin Perez
On Saturday July 16, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, we will be at the Culebra Museum presenting the book "The Return of a Lost Soldier - 1968" by our beloved Benjamín Pérez. We hope to see you there!
What's Going On . . . June 2022
We are looking for music teachers!
We are always looking to hire music teachers who can come weekly to offer classes to our children and youth.
If you know of someone who might be interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's Going On . . . 19 de marzo de 2022
Culebrita Book Release - - Lideres Ambiental Culebrense graduation
On March 19 we met at the museum for the presentation of Dr. Aníbal Sepúlveda's Book of Culebrita, a marvel. Our historian Tamara Pérez gave an excellent review of the book. It is available in English or Spanish for $58.00.
During the activity Fundación de Culebra made a commitment to stand by wishes made by our beloved Juan Romero that the rest of the island of Culebrita pass into the hands of the people of Puerto Rico and the Municipality of Culebra. Mr. Fernando Lloveras, president of Para la Naturaleza, commented that, although historical factors have delayed the project, they hope to have the final approval for the dock design within a few months.
Then the author gave away and signed a copy for each of the 12 Culebrense Environmental Leaders who graduated as well as the those present. These young people spent a year taking Nature workshops 2 days a month for a total of 12 workshops. This being a program between Fundación de Culebra with Silmarie Padrón and Para La Naturaleza with Idalmaris Tillman. Both excellent facilitators, who coordinated this complex and special program. The young people developed environmental awareness and a strong commitment to care for and protect our island. They learned and enjoyed experiences for a lifetime. During the activity, a presentation was made of the workshops they took.
Then 4 of the young people presented 3 economic development projects that support a sustainable future. One for horseback riding, another for snorkeling excursions and another for bird watching. All this with a business plan with income projections as well as discounts if they took 2 or more excursions, supporting each other. These 12 young people are and will be names to be remembered because I know they will make history. Check out the video of this special and important project, please do not miss it, the young people talk about their experience in the program.
This is our first group of young people and soon we will begin with the recruitment of the second.
What's Going On . . . 20 de octubre de 2021
Música Pa' Culebra
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
Fundación de Culebra
State Office of Emergency Management: donation and training of Collaborators for emergencies in Culebra.
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.
Cultural Nest of the Cultural Investment Organization. Nido Cultural has supported us for a year in administrative areas and related to how we publicize our projects. They visited us to make a short video of the organization. They shared with us at the closing concert of Camp, interviewing Fabián Rosa. Also to Sonia Arocho on the museum, Sandra Rivera from the Culebra Digital Archive project and Luz Rivera-Cantwell on the Culebra Environmental Leaders project and the Culebra Foundation in General.
Música Pa' Culebra
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
Fundación de Culebra
Environmental Defense Fund. Our collaborators visited us to bring their work team from Puerto Rico. This visit is the first since the pandemic. We toured the different neighborhoods of Culebra, we saw the different housing structures and the possible energy needs of the different families. We then met to establish a preliminary working document on eligibility to place a solar energy system in some residences. Working to be the first Solar Island in America.
First Group Culebra Environmental Leaders:
Silmarie Padrón, a marine biologist from Culebra with a record of success in the environmental field, joins the Fundación de Culebra team. At this time we had already coordinated the start of the Culebrenses Environmental Leaders project, with the support of Para La Naturaleza. There are no coincidences but synchronicities, the perfect moment. This is a 1 year project where 11 young Culebranses will receive instruction in various areas of nature in Culebra and will visit other places outside of our island. The idea is to train them and expose them to careers in the environmental area while being ambassadors in the work of protection and enjoyment of our island.
Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades
are our collaborators and they visited us to see our programs live. We thank SonyaCanetti and Natalia Olivero Huffman for their visit and collaboration.
Theater: Rehearsals begin under the direction of maestro Cecilio Reyes.
Theater: Rehearsals begin under the direction of maestro Cecilio Reyes.
Música Pa' Culebra
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
Fundación de Culebra
Mangrove photography contest.
We decided that we have the most beautiful mangroves in Culebra, so to make our exhibition in the museum we did the photography contest. It was a success and young and old participated. You can visit the museum to enjoy them.
Museum; Beekeeping, the bees have been hard at work and we have had to remove two combs with the valuable help of Steve Bohm. We end our Mangrove Exhibition with an exhibition of a water tank where the importance of the same is seen in a practical way. We received the support of Para La Naturaleza and we especially thank Idalmaris Tillman and Santiago Oliver.
Música Pa' Culebra
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
Noemí González donated showcases for the Museum
The Luis Peña Canal Reserve project with Conservatory began with Alfredo Montañez Acuña on Tamarindo beach. This is a project with Protectores de Cuencas from a concept of Music and the Sea by Annette Reyes.
Fundación de Culebra
Música Pa' Culebra
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.
We started individual classes for piano, Percussion and Steel Drum
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?
General Projects of the Fundacion de Culebra
-Reading Project: Leo and his traveling books. We've re-activated a reading project for pre-school children who are learning to read. Several years ago we developed a program for beginning readers using Leo the Lion, a puppet who likes to read. Leo delivers books for children to read. Some of these reading sessions were recorded and put on Facebook for everyone to hear. This has proven to be a great way to encourage out of school children who are bored and lacking in educational encouragement.
-Fresh fish delivery project donated by Tony and Dru for the aging and the lonely in Culebra. It was more than bringing fresh fish, it was bringing a few words of encouragement and company to people in isolation. The common phrase was: "Thank you for remembering me!" Thanks to the generosity of our fishermen, who distributed fish 4 times.
-Covid-19 Education for the community and visitors. The Culebra Foundation with the support of Mercy Corps placed 3 Covid protocol banners at the two ferry ports and the airport.
Presentation with Dr. Antonio Puras at the Culebra Clinic
- We supported an activity where the distinguished and much loved Dr. Antonio Puras, presented information about Covid-19, its spread and the measures to control it.
-We brought free Covid-19, Serological and Molecular Testing Clinics to the entire population of Culebra. In addition to the tests, masks were distributed to the attendees.
History Project website: https://fundacionculebra.omeka.net
-Tamara Pérez and Sandra Rivera, with the Diaspora Group of the UPR have built a website for Culebra that has plans, old photos, oral history interviews, old videos, etc. This is a great source for information on the history of Culebra. The site has been very well received by residents and visitors who were here to live that history. The site illustrates the diverse challenges of living in Culebra. All are invited to visit the website.
-Distribution of assorted goods to the community: masks, toys, painting books, watercolors and sanitizer. A thousand thanks to Vieques Air Links for supporting Fundación de Culebra and other agencies in Culebra, donating the sanitizer to protect us.
-Supporting and informing the public about the Census and its importance.
-Offering support to merchants with Covid-19 security information to help prepare for reopening.
-Supporting the Ecological School and Abbie’s School graduation activity.
Música Pa’ Culebra Project / Community in Antigua Escuela
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.
- We restored an old steel drum as a souvenir of the great group Los Isleños
- We restored a table donated by PLN for an exhibition on the mangroves and their importance to island life.
- We are using the Covid related downtime to reorganize and change up the exhibitions. We are also working on the security protocols for the opening in December.
- The fruit tree and maintenance project was expanded at the museum facilities with the help of Georgie Romero.
- We relocated another honeycomb out of the window to a new bee box. We continue to protect them. Thanks to John Maldonado of D’s Garden.
Solar cart racing and independent solar team
- This is a project sponsored by EDF (EnviromentalDefenseFund) and with the support of the Borintek company. The goal of this project is to educate our children and young people about how solar energy works. This project is part of a plan to move Culebra towards being the 1st Solar Island in America.
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.
Juan J. Romero Sanes (September 22, 1935 - August 19, 2020)
With immense sadness, the Culebra Foundation announces that our founder, Juan J. Romero Sanes, passed away on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. He left us as he wanted, on his island and surrounded by his family and loved ones.
Juan is one of the great pillars of Culebra. His legacy and work to preserve our history, culture and community is impressive. He started the non-profit organization Fundación de Culebra in 1994 and it continues to this day. As a community leader, he coordinated volunteers who worked on the reconstruction of historic buildings, getting photos, identifying them, etc.
Among his great achievements was the transfer of the Culebrita Lighthouse from the US government to the Municipality and his dream for its restoration in association with Para La Naturaleza. He headed up the restoration of the historic 1905 building, which became the Culebra Museum in 2008, receiving thousands of visitors. He guided the reconstruction of the 1908 building, which became offices of the Foundation and a depository for archeological artifacts and other documents, including a collection of old photos and plans. He wrote a book on the history of Culebra.
Juan was a visionary man ... who even in lonely moments had his life mission very clear. We did a very simple farewell ceremony at the Museum that he loved so much with a group of friends, on Friday, August 21. Well, we had a storm happening on Saturday and the Covid-19 emergency. After the Covid-19 emergency passes, we will celebrate his life so that we can all share in his achievements, which are the achievements of the entire community.
We appreciate all the messages, calls and expressions of affection on behalf of his son Georgie, grandson Mario, other relatives and his family from Fundación de Culebra. Juan was a special being whom I had the honor to share for many years in the work of the Foundation and as another father who gave me the Universe in Culebra.
Rest in peace Juan… we will never forget you and we will preserve your legacy forever.
"Death does not exist, people only die when you forget them, if you can remember me, I will always be with you" Isabel Allende
Fundación de Culebra proudly presents the
Juan J. Romero Collection 9/4/2020
Fundación de Culebra proudly presents its website that is dedicated to presenting the Juan J. Romero Collection.
Throughout his life, Juan dedicated himself to being the archivist of all documents, photos, newspaper clippings, maps, videos and interviews about Culebra. Many of these manuscript documents he cleaned or translated. All these materials have been in our offices where, a few years ago, we began the process of organizing, classifying and digitizing them. READ MORE . . .
Fundación de Culebra / Corona Virus-Covid19
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.
May 4, 2020, Culebra - 0 cases of Covid-19
Our work in the Community . . . 5/4/20
- Bilingual newsletter on Covid-19. It was posted on Facebook and a paper version was posted in grocery stores, post office, bank, etc.
- We have provided updates through the FaceBook page of what is happening in the country and in Culebra with accurate and timely information for the entire community.
- We are operating our programs following isolation in place procedure.
- We take courses with FEMA, Fundación Flamboyán, Hispanic Federation, Fundación Ángel Ramos, Fundación por PR, Mercy Corps and Asociación de Museos de PR to train in different areas and explore grant opportunities that have arisen to address this situation.
- We have created social media activities to entertain children.
- Sandra Rivera from our office has continued the work of digitizing documents and old videos, posting them on our page www.fundacionomeka.net. This has been a resource for people to explore our collections during quarantine and to provide relief and distraction in the emergency.
- Sandra has been posting videos of Culebra history, music and culture on our Facebook page to maintain the spirit of the community while doing educational work.
- We are working on putting an audio system on our van to support the general population, and particularly people that do not have internet. This helps keep everyone informed and keeps the community spirits up.
- We have continued the development plan for green areas and office facilities (1908) and our facilities for Musica Pa' Culebra and our Arts program at the Old Town School.
- We have been the link to facilitate donations of various types, from masks, sanitizers and fresh fish. We have made the distribution so that they reach those who need it most.
- We have offered an Emotional Support line for our community. FUERZA - 787-617-8517
- We have been in communication with FEMA so that they know our needs. We even asked them to work with the Port Authority on a protocol for cleaning ferries, ferry terminals (2) and the airport to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
Please consider making a financial donation.
Our work at the museum . . . 5/4/20
- We were early to close the Museum to visitors and it remains closed until further notice. Although this is our main income in the general fund during peak season, it was clearly necessary. This we did in anticipation of the government's general closure.
- We started working on a script to develop a virtual tour to our museum, coordinated by Sonia Arocho, the museum's director.
- We continue taking care of the museum: our garden, planting fruit trees and our beekeeping project. We thank Ricky Carrion and his daughter Kairi Mar, both Culebrenses beekeepers for their help.
- We finished the design of our label for the museum's small bottles of honey.
- We have continued the development plan for green areas and office facilities for the museum(1905).
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.
Those we appreciate . . . 5/4/20
- Lilly Zeller's support.She has sewn cloth masks for all employees of primary support agencies: police, garbage collectors, DRNA, hospital, etc. and made some for children that we distribute to children with respiratory and other risky conditions.
- The support of Carlos RodrÍguez y Vieques Airlinks who sent us protective masks, disinfectants, etc. to share with the community.
- The support of Eduardo Puig and family; and María Eugenia Ferré-Rangel and her family.They have supplied us with painting and activity books, toys, crayons and colored pencils to celebrate Children's Day. This helps to keep children entertained at home and gives parents a break during this difficult emergency.
- Matt Ashburn has donated 500 disposable masks to be distributed in the community. We started the Love Patrol for our community. Here 3 colleagues from Fundación de Culebra distribute masks to people who are on the street without masks. In this way we all take care of ourselves.
- The support of Anthony “Tony” Negrón and Druso Daubon, fishermen who wanted to donate fresh fish. We coordinate with them and distribute the fish to elderly people and others that we know were in need.
Stuff that would be helpful . . . 5/4/20
- We are looking for donated 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.
- Paints, brushes, sticker books, small pools for children. This is so that the children can entertain and alleviate the long hours of confinement with their relatives.
- Irrigation system for our orchard and fruit tree area.
- New or used keyboards (pianitos) for young children
- Children's drum sticks
- A Steel drumTenor (used or new)
- Please consider making a financial donation. Our main income to the General Fund of the Culebra Foundation comes from admission donations to the Museum and the sales from the museum store and museum items that are sold in La Cava. The closure of everything due to the emergency occurred at the peak of the season. At this time we do not know when it will reopen and when we can receive a visitors again.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
The Culebra Foundation is celebrating a year full of initiatives and achievements in 2019. We have two resiliency centers for emergencies and community support that were established this year. One is at our 1905 museum and one at our 1908 offices. Both buildings have solar energy systems, storage and filtration systems for drinking water. We still need a satellite Internet system, but we hope to add it soon. Each step closer, so that Culebra is the first Solar island in the Caribbean!
A great achievement is the beginning of the web page of documents, plans, oral interviews of Culebra characters, old photos, etc. It is a project in progress with the Diaspora group of the University of Puerto Rico. The page is https://fundacionculebra.omeka.net/ We invite you to visit it.
We thank all the individuals and collaborators of Fundación de Culebra and its programs immensely. Your input is crucial and is what with those funds and support makes us move forward. Definitely another crucial element is our team that voluntarily gives heart to what it does: Juan J. Romero, Josefina Vélez, Sonia Arocho, Yadira Rivera, Jorlena Sayán, Maridel Peña, Cuca Parrilla, Sandra Rivera, Cecilio Reyes, Joey Sala and Doug Lang
This was the closing of the great celebration of our 25 years ... working with the community for the community ... We continue!
The restoration of the sculpture Hector the Protector begins this week and we are honored to have the famous international sculptor Thomas Dambo of Denmark and his team. Hurricane Maria brought us the sculpture he had made in Culebra. Dambo is known because he makes his gigantic sculptures with recycled material of wooden pallets, sending a message of the importance of reusing and recycling. We are very proud to have it. We are still collecting funds to cover the costs of the project. So cheer up, then you will make an emblematic table with all the names of those who contribute. Be part of the story and join this special project! READ MORE. . .
The Energy Bureau visited Culebra, September 12 of 2018 to talk about our situation.
The Energy Bureau visited Culebra, September 12 of 2018 to talk about our situation. They are not the AEE, they are a group created to oversee PREPA. The municipality asked for help and that's why they came. There was a large group of residents. They told us that we should object to ALL bills to PREPA. You can register your objections by mail, at the local office or online. They explained the regular procedures that PREPA has for complaints. We explained that this is not a regular situation. They did not know about our situation. They will receive comments up to 2 more weeks at email@example.com, directed to the commissioner. We explained that the situation in Culebra is NOT a group of individual cases but is one case comprising the whole island with the generators. They agreed that in a month they will have a report and they will give us a copy of it. For you to know there are two research projects; one in the Senate and one in the House; we have to go and raise our voices because they have the power to create a law that covers us and takes care of our unique situation and even places us in a situation of energy emergency one year from Maria. Included here is the presentation of the Culebra Foundation that was presented that day. We continue!
Here is the Culebra Foundation Presentation to this group:
Speech to AEE on the AEE Billing of electrical energy in Culebra when using Corps of Engineers and Diesel generators and supervision of FEMA
Greetings to all;
The Culebra Foundation, represented today by my person Luz Rivera-Cantwell, began a process with the community of objection to the AEE for the billing energy services post hurricane Maria.
We obtained a Certification from the Municipality of Culebra where it is established that the service was interrupted from September 20 following Maria's hurricaine. That the service is partially restored on September 22 until December 4, 2017, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the PREPA generator. We have to thank immensely Carlos Torres and the boys of the AEE ( Culebra Crew) because they were the ones who fixed the whole transmission. That on December 4 the US Corps of Engineers installed 2 mega generators that generate the energy to the present. We add a copy of this Certification. And we add that Fema is the one that supplies the fuel, the handling of it and the engineer that supervises the operation and is available for mechanical problems. We thank the mayor of Culebra William Iván Solís and Orlando Bermúdez for the support and the document.
We present a document of Objection to the Invoice of EEE under the protection of Law no. 3 of January 17, 2018 of the Governor of PR.
We quote "Law 3-2018 prohibits the AEE from billing and charging its customers for any consumption reflected in their meters or consumption meters as a result of generation and consumption of electric power that is not generated and distributed by the AEE in situations of emergency"
Article 2 of Law 3-2018 provides: "Any customer of the PREPA which has been billed or charged for a consumption reflected in its meter as a result of the energy generated by the use of an electric generator or power plant that does not has been the product of the generation and distribution by the own AEE, could thus claim it to the public corporation, so that it carries out the corresponding adjustment in the invoice, return of money or credit, as applicable .... . We include a copy of the objection document. We want to thank the lawyer Celso Rivera for donating to us in his personal character the help and preparing the same when requesting it for our community.
In addition, the Culebra Foundation on May 9, 2018 sends a letter to FEMA where we ask for your position, since Culebra is still in an emergency state of energy. We have not received a response yet. What we have confirmed is that the FEMA agency is the one that pays for the diesel, the engineer and manages the operation. We want to take advantage of and appreciate the support beyond your responsibilities of Tom Ryan who has been with us for almost a year and is leaving Culebra at the end of the month.
We want it to be clear that:
1. Culebra is still without the service of the PREPA and it is not responsible to say that PREPA has already restored the service 100%.
2. You have to review invoices that came very high without any justification and some business that worked with your personal generators during the emergency, which was what allowed us to have food in the grocery stores.
3. Culebra is in an emergency energy situation and solutions must be urgently sought. We know of the proposals to power the islands of Culebra and Vieques, the agency was settled and we would like them to be shared with the community. The service is for us and we should be able to comment on it. 4. We are willing to pay for what PREPA currently provides, which is the transmission of energy.
5. We are still in post-Maria emergency and in emergency situations we have to make changes, be creative and be fair with the situation. FEMA provides this help to help the population not because they want to make a gift to the agency.
6. We ask PREPA to do justice to our situation and create a new formula to calculate the payment where we pay for the transmission of energy that is what they are providing us at this time. Not generation or fuel (which is the most expensive).
We are worried that if FEMA leave Culebra, what will happen to us? What is PREPA's plan as a transition process? Our daily life, hospital, infant care centers, schools, residences, businesses, agencies, in short, almost all social and economic activity depends on energy. Our concern is valid and we need answers. We appreciate the fact that they came to Culebra to listen and to answer our concerns. We would like to know if today you have answers to some of the questions we propose here.
Fundación de Culebra
Box 331, Culebra, PR 00775
The Culebra Foundation says thank you!
Thanks for the love, solidarity and support you have offered to our children, our community and our island of Culebra during 2017.
This is a moment of reflection, a time to rethink what we want our island to be, both its natural resources and community. It is a moment where all of us who love Culebra must voice our concerns. Each one contributing what he can; skills, volunteer work, materials and/or economic resources. It is a time when we can take action and make Culebra stronger and more resilient. Culebra touches us all, let's work together for a stronger future.
We present below a summary of those who have supported Culebra in recent months, recognizing all the heroes that contribute to our community.
Relief and help after Hurricanes Irma and Maria
The Culebra Foundation has been working hard to help during this emergency. From the beginning we organized with other Culebra community groups and published a bilingual daily bulletin, so that the community had information in the absence of normal communications. We worked on the community request to the governor of PR to intervene in the situation of the generators that have been located in Culebra since 2008 and have been unavailable for use because of a legal dispute.
We collaborated with the Municipality of Culebra in organizing and distributing aid and supplies that it received, as well as helping in the community meetings by translating for the population that speaks English.
In this process we have been in communication and meetings with the Foundation for Puerto Rico, which helped us obtain the communications antennas that were placed in the Municipality for the community, provided by Hughes and installed by the Puerto Rican satellite engineer Nahim Merheb, with the help of Carlos Rodríguez of Vieques Air Link. They have also helped us channel the needs of the island to the agencies, achieving important aid. Special thanks to Jon Borsow and Maria (Baby) Jaunarena.
We also collaborated with the group ComPRmetidos. They lent us a satellite phone in the first months of the crisis, when there was no communication of any sort. We thank Isabel Rullán and Carmen Muñoz.
The Banco Popular Foundation has been very helpful in collaborating with the donation of a portable solar desalinization plant, which we plan to locate on Flamenco Beach, as an education and sustainability project. We are coordinating with them other efforts towards the Flamenco beach that we will share later. They have also contributed to the Educational Association of Culebra, a community center with preschool, donating scholarships for parents who have become unemployed at this time due to the hurricane. Special thanks to Ana Maria Vidal and Jose Manuel Lozano for their help and commitment.
The Crossing Oceans for Friendship organization and Joseph Manuel Ojeda donated 100 Sawyer filters to our community. We thank our community for bringing them on their sailboat and thinking about our island. The Culebra Foundation shared 40 of the filters with Americorps de Culebra for a recycling project. We took on the task of assembling them and going to the different centers, groups and schools to explain the function of the filters to large and small and the importance of them.
For Nature (Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico) sent us donations from UNESCO and other aid for the community that was distributed in collaboration with the Educational Association of Culebra. In addition they chose us as a center of relief to the community, so they will be installing a system of solar panels in our offices (Building 1908) with cistern. We thank Lic. Fernando Lloveras and Anamar Carrión for their commitment.
United For Puerto Rico donated a power plant to use at the offices of the Culebra Foundation during the emergency. In addition, the Foundation for a Better Puerto Rico, by Dennis Rivera and Terry Bishoff, lent us a small power plant for the music program. Also from the beginning some friends of Shay and Jean-Francoise (of the Dinghy Dock) lent us a powerful solar plant that helped us enormously for the piano lessons and instrument amplifiers. Many thanks to Jerry's Jeep for being the official sponsor of Música Pa 'Culebra, providing transportation to our music teachers.
The Culebra Foundation has facilitated various donations made through the Culebra Foundation for our community by an incredible group of friends from Culebra, partial residents and even strangers in solidarity with our island. We want to thank all those who have put their trust in us and who have sent donations in different ways to alleviate the impact of our community. We have also been talking about community sustainability projects that we hope to share later. The love and affection we have received has been wonderful.
We are currently working with merchants to reopen our island and community and mobilize our economy. We have been meeting with merchants and coordinating with other businesses such as Vieques Air Link to have air transportation options. We are making a request to the governor of PR to intervene in the ferry transportation issues.
It has been a lot of work but the satisfaction has been immensely rewarding, thanks to teamwork and an incredible community. We want to specially thank Architect Diego Morell for all the support and work in all the projects. Onward!
History Museum of Culebra
During this post hurricane season, we have been working hard to maintain our facilities. Especially the Museum, since in February, we'll be celebrating the tenth anniversary. We have worked on the patio, painting, changing and moving showcases, fixing lamps and preparing other surprises for everyone. In fact we did a guided tour at night (it was when we had light) in the museum for all FEMA workers and other relief personnel, it was a success and gave them an important background of the history and culture of our island. We thank Yadira Rivera, Digna Feliciano, Aléxis Bermúdez, Angel Navedo and our museum director Sonia Arocho.
The Culebra Foundation proudly reports that the Música Pa 'Culebra program began one week after Hurricanes María and Irma. Our intention was to give the children of Culebra a safe place, with snacks, fun, supervision and learning. The school of Culebra began the last week of November, so the only thing that many children had was the music lessons.
Música Pa' Culebra
Coming Soon - Art workshops for children and adolescents.
501-C3 - The Culebra Foundation, Inc. now has it's 501-C3, which allows companies to make tax deductible donations. Also, it allows us to apply for federal funds. If someone has experience with this type of proposal and is interested in helping us, please communicate with Luz Rivera or Sonia Arocho.