I arrived in Panama at seven in the morning, right in the middle of a soccer match. Walking through the terminal, everyone was glued to their cellphones, watching the team’s progress against England – not so different from Brazil, except if you consider the fact that the stores were even open to begin with. Game day is a holiday with which I was completely unfamiliar until this past month. Continue reading

San Juan

I used to walk past the Julia de Burgos mural on 106th street almost every day when I lived in East Harlem. I had never read anything by her before and I loved the daily, poetic reminder she gave me. While I was in Puerto Rico last week, I kept thinking of that mural and the connection between NY and Puerto Rico, two places tightly tied together by culture, love, and pride. Continue reading

A Weekend in Petrópolis

Petrópolis, also known as the Imperial City, is about an hour and a half bus ride from Rio de Janeiro and is not to be confused with propolis, the throat spray, as I have a tendency to do. I also have a tendency to overreact to the prospect of sitting on a bus for over an hour, but in spite of the steady drive into the mountains, it wasn’t nearly as terrible as I expected. Continue reading