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June 29, 2009 at 2:00 PM

WEPAAAA!!!! I’m back from Puerto Rico

WOW!

What an amazing time I had in Puerto Rico, can’t even tell you. But I will try.

I was in San Juan for the annual National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention. I spent a week working with college grads on their print stories (editing them) for publication in the convention newspaper. I worked with some outstanding professionals (now friends) and the students got a lot out of the experience though the work was long and demanding.

I didn’t get to go to any workshops or professional developments sessions because of how busy I was with editing, but I did get to do some cool things away from the convention. The most fun was the two nights at the Nuyorican Cafe listening to live Salsa from a band called Combo Rican. If you love Salsa, you’ll love them. Turn down your volume on this video, kind of loud in there!

I am such a soccer nut now that I took two students to nearby Bayamon to watch the local USL-1 team practice at its stadium. I posted video on an earlier blog entry. The Puerto Rico Islanders are the top team in the USL-1 standings and yes, I got a jersey! Orange with cool advertising all over. My best souvenir from the island.

Puerto Rico 6-22-09 010.jpg

On Friday I went to suburban Carolina, where baseball legend Roberto Clemente was born. I drove around with city media relations rep Marvin Fonseca. Former boxing champ Alexis Arguello was in town from Nicaragua to honor Clemente’s legacy and to take part in the opening of a new boxing academy in the area. That’s him in the video with the flowers.

Arguello is now mayor of Managua, Nicaragua and was recognized by Carolina’s mayor, Jose Carlos Aponte Dalmau.

At the Carolina Gigantes stadium, which is a replica of the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark at Arlington but smaller, there was a huge statue of Clemente.

6-26-09PR_009.jpg

On Saturday I toured El Morro, the historic Spanish fort that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and San Juan Harbor. It is now a ruin but it is 460 years old. The convention ended that night with a grand celebration at a beach resort.

Puerto Rico 6-27-09 016.jpg

Thanks to Tom Wyrwich for filling in for me while I was gone, thanks to the Times for allowing me to go and now its back to work! I guess I missed quite a game yesterday.

-Jose

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