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Newsletter: June - September 2022

EducaKit Project Launch

On June 3rd, 2022 we launched the EducaKit Project reaching over 46 students from the Aguadilla region, thanks to the support from FirstBank. This new initiative was designed by the Fundación Cortés team to maximize the reach of our Educa Cortés Program: The Art of Wellness and Mental Health. Since 2022 we decided to include the EducaKit as part of what we give to every Program participant as an essential tool to unique opportunity to further promote creative expression. It allows each participates to take with them the necessary materials to continue practicing wellness exercises at home and share them with their family and community.

Educa Cortés Program: The Art of Wellness and Mental Health / emphasis on anti-racist education

During the month of June 2022 we were concluding a series of programs and activities that promote anti-racist education through the arts. As part of the process we participated in the 1st International Summit of Afrodescendency 2022 offered by the UPR Río Piedras where we were able to learn new practices that allowed us to supplement our teaching and learning practices. We were able to impact 112 students from Loíza and surrounding towns, who also enjoyed our previous art exhibition: La Borinqueña in San Juan. We were also able to visit schools from the region of Loíza to offer the Educa Cortés Program and took part in Los Superhéroes del Ambiente Summer Camp offered by COPI (Corporación Piñones Se Integra).

Furthermore, we organized a Virtual Educa Meeting: Anti-racist education and how the media plays a fundamental role in the discussion where we invited: Mayra Santos-Febres, Sandra Rodríguez-Cotto, Ámbar Suárez Cubille and Yanira Caraballo to be the panelists. We give thanks to Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico/Kellogg Foundation for the support that allows us to develop these activities.

Virtual Program for the Elderly 2022

On the 23rd of June 2022 we were recipients of a donation given by the Programa Mano Amiga geared to support our Virtual Program for the Elderly. We give thanks to Fundaciones Plaza del Caribe and Plaza Las Américas for the support to offer this program, which is being co-sponsored by The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) supervised under AAFAF to reach a total of 300 older adults from across the island. Thanks to the support from these two sponsors, this program will continue to be offered until May of 2023. Great news!

Educa Cortés Summer Program 2022 : The Art of Wellness and Agroecology

During the past month of July 2022 we received 42 students, mainly from public schools from the region of San Juan. The children and youth were participating in workshops focused on agroecology, wellness and art offered at Fundación Cortés for the second year on a row, lead by Jerome Zayas, Stephanie Rivera and Angélica Rivera, respectively. We wish to recognize the excellent work that four of our alumni students from the Cortés Summer Art Workshops did, working as assistants, motivated by their experiences from past programs from which they were a part of.

This Summer 2022 we chose to focus on environmental protection and different practices related to sustainability. We are filled with joy to continue our alliance with the Finca Escuela de La Perla and the Municipio de San Juan to have used their spaces for the agroecology and art workshops we offered. We received a visit from Dulce Coco, who recited his Afro-lyrical poetry and a visit from beekeeper, Rafael Dávila who brought along some of his bees to teach us of the importance of these organisms within the environment. As part of the Summer Program we took a fieldtrip to COPI to learn more of the project that is going on over there about the reforestation of mangroves in the region of Piñones and Loíza, as well as enjoy a great bomba workshop.

We also recognize the visit to the Escuela Deportiva de Vela and its program, Sail4Reefs, where we learned about the conservation of coral reefs and the sport of sailing as tools to learn and take care of our oceans. Thanks to the interventions of Dr. Antares Ramos Álvarez and our great Olympic athlete, Enrique Quique Figueroa, our students deepened their knowledge in ecological awareness. We are profoundly thankful to the sponsorship of Peter Alfond Foundation in supporting us for the second consecutive year to offer this program, which was also possible with funds from the Red Nose for Puerto Rico Fund administered by Puerto Rico Community Foundation.

1st Non-Profit Organizations Summit in Puerto Rico

On August 12th, 2022 our Executive Director & Lead Educator, Adelisa González-Lugo participated in the first symposium titled "Financial Community Advisers Summit". As part of the presentation Anitza Cox, Esq. explained: "There has been a significant increase of community based organizations, which impact 1 out of 5 people in Puerto Rico, mostly low income women and older adults". This is the sixth edition of this study, which was sponsored by Filantropía PR.

4th Encuentro Internacional de Ética Aplicada: Veo lo Bueno en Ti, Veo lo Bueno en Mí

We took part in the 4th Encuentro Internacional de Ética Aplicada: Veo lo Bueno en Ti, Veo lo Bueno en Mí, which took place on August 26th, 2022 in the School of Medicine (RCM) of the University of Puerto Rico. This activity was attended by professionals at the international level who shared their initiatives to promote ethical practices in different areas of specialty, giving emphasis on the social changes that we are going through and how ethics is an essential tool for humanity to continue developing in the right direction. Then, on August 27th, 2022 we developed an activity with the participation from the community, as part of the 1st Festival de Ética Aplicada Veo lo Bueno en Ti; Veo lo Bueno en Mí celebrated in Cueva María de la Cruz Historical Park in Loíza. We worked on an artistic piece that represented the sectors of Loíza using African textiles, stitching them together by those who attended. Thanks for the invitation!

Special guests in the Fundación Cortés

We were honored by the visit of the Subsecretary of Commerce, Don Graves, along with his team and guests including Frankie Miranda, President of Hispanic Federation, last August 11th 2022 at Fundación Cortés. He was excited for the work that we do and empathetic with the necessity to offer psychosocial support to our communities. Later in August Around we also started establishing an alliance with the Auxiliary Secretary of Montessori Education (ASME) of the Puerto Rico Department of Education, through which we will be impacting youth and educators that guide themselves with this educational model. We also received a very special visit from a cohort of educators from Center For Design Thinking and Innovation in Education who participated in an Educa Cortés Program: The Art of Wellness and Mental Health. Thank you all for visiting!

A hug from Puerto Rico to New York

On August 31st of 2022 we presented ourselves for the first time in the Chocobar Cortés Bronx, in New York! There, over 30 people attended, including Maria Ángela López-Vilella, Executive Director of Museo Las Américas in Puerto Rico, the artists Marcos Dimas and Deliz Elsie, Nydia Edgecombe, Lourdes "Lala" Torres of The Evelina 100 Committee of NY, among others, who took part in the first fundraising activity of Fundación Cortés in New York. The support from our brothers and sisters in the diaspora was very meaningful to us and we recognize the necessity to continue sharing spaces that bring us together both in and outside of the island. Thanks to the sponsorship of Don Q New York and Chocobar Cortés Bronx for making this wonderful activity a reality.

Coalición por la Lectura

Since the past month of July, our colleague, Roxana Sánchez Ortiz, has been representing Fundación Cortés in the Coalición por la Lectura, working alongside other Third Sector organizations like: Puerto Rico Education Initiative, Fundación Flamboyán, Titín Foundation, Center For Design Thinking and Innovation in Education, Fundación Colibrí, Fundación Atención, Atención, Fundación Banco Popular, among others, with the support from the Puerto Rico Department of Education. This initiative seeks to promote reading at different levels, starting with K-3rd grades, to strengthen literacy skills among our youth and overcome academic challenges. Excellent!

SAVE THE DATE! New exhibition at Fundación Cortés

We will re-open to the general public next December 8th with a new exhibit that commemorates our 10th anniversary, curated by internationally recognized Cuban art critic and independent writer, Gerardo Mosquera. Save the date and come see what Fundación Cortés has to offer! Don't miss it!

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