This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Foreigners care More About Puerto Rico Than Most People Born There
Revised: July 24th,2022
Before we start, I want to clarify that I don’t mean ALL of Puerto Rico. There are many people who do care about this paradise but I find that a majority of people don’t. I would always find people here sitting next to the trash and not doing a thing about it.
I have live in the beautiful paradise that is Puerto Rico for the last 11 years, after being born and raised in Brooklyn, NY all of my life. I moved here to open a bar but I ended up becoming the self imposed guardian of the beaches and rivers, which could be read more about here. Or see the video below.
Basically I grew tired of seeing this beautiful island treated with such disrespect and like a landfill. So I have been on a mission trying to raise awareness to the trash and it just seems like I came here to pick up trash.
Someone not from here is picking up trash
I am certain that many from Boriken will get angry at the title and call me a colonizer as many have when I share this, but As I go around the island of Puerto Rico, protesting and cleaning up the beaches, I get many people from here with the same response, once they find out that I am not native from here, especially When people see that my Spanish is limited and that I am not native to this island, they would tell me how sad that someone who was not born here cares more about this paradise than the people who were born here. And so, the title comes from what the people tell me constantly.
My response has always been that we all belong to this earth, it is our home and no matter where you are at, it must be taken care of and never neglected. It is our responsibility to take care of our mother Earth.
They would tell me that this island needs more people like me. I always tell them to go look in the mirror and there you would find that person.
I am sure that I have done more for this island in my small amount of time, than many of the people born and raised on the island who treat it like trash. As I feel like many just don’t love this island. But I sure do.
This is our home
In my world, I don’t view this land as separate from the rest of the world. I view it as one with the rest of the world. I don’t believe in the concept or race or flags as I wrote here.
This is as much as my home as it is anyone else, just like the birds who migrate to different parts of the world.
But little do the people realize that the trash that they litter across the beach, negatively affects the world around us and the species that do call this whole world home.
As that garbage will enter the ocean and the current will take it around this world, not only killing other species but in time, it will make its way back threefold.
“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
What fuels my passion
My passion has been fueled by the neglect and ignorance of the people. I would drive up and down these beautiful roads that are filled with trash and I really don’t understand how the people here can passively accept this without getting outraged. It has become normal for the people to see. It has become second nature.
I see many people just walk over garbage, sit next to it on the beaches and rivers and not do one thing. This island is so beautiful it is a paradise, but it has become a lost paradise.
Tourist cleaning the beaches
I met a tourist from Mexico on vacation in Puerto Rico and he was cleaning around the beach, picking up the trash that the people here continue to leave behind.
I always continue meeting others from countries like Germany who now lives here and is also doing beach cleanups. This is something I see it on a constant basis. I have met countless others who now call Puerto Rico their home contribute to something positive on this island, while the majority of the people from this island continue to ignore the garbage as I find them sitting next to the trash as if it was normal, When I am out cleaning the beaches, they would just stare at you like something is wrong with you. Like why are you picking up our decoration.
It seems like this island needs more people from other countries to make the change for the betterment of this island, since most of the people from here don’t want to make the change as I see that the ones who want the change are in the minority. I guess that is why many want statehood. So others could come and do the things necessary to change things since many here don’t want to.
Pride means nothing
We no longer respect the land, cause we have no respect for mother earth and thus we have no respect for ourselves. The people could wave their flags and be proud all they like, But it really doesn’t mean a thing when you treat your home like a landfill.
But hey I am sure they would travel to some other country where they won’t dare litter. It is so sad to see the destruction of this beautiful island that should be treated like the paradise it is.
Many are so prideful of this island and with good reason. But that pride doesn’t mean anything when you treat the island like trash and do nothing for it.
“Like a man who has been dying for many days, a man in your city is numb to the stench.”
― Chief Seattle
Being very vocal
You damn right I will be vocal about it. The majority of people of this island might not admire and cherish the beauty because I truly think many have taken this magical paradise for granted as many just don’t know what they truly have, but I do. I see the magic that is found on every inch of this island I just won’t sit idly by and let this beauty and magic perish and be destroyed.
I have been very vocal and some would find me very radical and extreme with my approach, some might see me as a foreigner trying to paint a bad image of the island and the beautiful people here. Which is not the case. I am doing something many people don’t have the courage to do, nor care to do. I’ve been threatened many times. Recently, shot in my face for defending the beaches of a place I was not even born or raised in. While many here stay quiet and won’t do a thing about all the injustices that face this island.
I love Boriken
I love this paradise. Again I was not born here but I was reborn here and it is where I connected to nature and to myself. It is my home and I will defend it as I have and if you also love your home, this beautiful Mother Earth, You would as well.
Some might tell me, “well why don’t you leave, if you don’t like it”. Those are the ones who want to see their island destroyed by passively doing nothing.
Why would I leave, when there is so much to fight for. I speak for the birds, the fishes and other marine life that cannot speak. For the future generations that will be left with this inundation of trash. I speak for mother nature. We all have a voice and we must use that voice to combat all of these injustices.
Let’s be the change
I write this not to belittle anyone, but to light a fire under the people’s ass. Many might not agree with me way of doing things, but my intentions is for my words to ignite the same passion and love I have for this paradise. many would get more angry at me for writing this title and this blog, when they should be outraged at all this trash. Trash that many of the people here generate as many think it is tourist who trashing when we know full well it is the people here doing it as I see it on a daily basis.
I want people to feel what I feel when I see the beaches, rivers and this whole island filled with trash. We must all do our part. It starts with the way you raise your kids and show them how to respect the land, not neglect it.
We must teach them respect, consideration and values. It just seems like all of that has been thrown out the window as the parents expect the schools to teach their kids everything. It Also starts with educating ourselves. How as adults could we teach our children when many remain ignorant themselves.
I want everyone to know that we are the change. Let’s stop waiting for others to come to change things for us. let’s Be that change.
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This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)