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Newsletter: May - June 2021

We share the best moments during the period of May - June 2021

Published on August 11, 2021

It is with great pride that on Monday, June 7, 2021, we inaugurate the ninth exhibition curated by Doctor and Professor Adlín Ríos Rigau with works from the Chocolate Cortés Collection entitled: Family Cortés: Art, Culture and Entrepreneurship. In the Collective Room: Ignacio Cortés del Valle, the exhibit showcases part of the artistic heritage of five generations in the family and celebrates 92 years of the company Cortés Hermanos LLC.

Since last June 7th in the Focus Room: Pedro Cortés Forteza, we inaugurate our fifth exhibition of the Guest Artists Program with the exhibition of La Borinqueña in San Juan, curated by the renowned graphic novelist and philanthropist: Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez, who is also the creator of said Afro-Puerto Rican superheroine. The room brings together the creative process for the making of the comic and celebrates the heritage of Puerto Rican culture, while extending a hug to our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters who live in the diaspora.

Since last April Cortés Hermanos began the campaign Activate your powers with the Arts! Starting the sale of Chocolate Cortés bars, Special Edition with La Borinqueña. With the purchase of these bars, you will be making a donation to the Educational and Cultural Programs of the Cortés Foundation and you will be able to collect a wonderful story divided into four episodes directed by La Borinqueña.

Additionally, you can visit the page where you will find a variety of promotional materiales that benefit Fundación Cortés and Somos Arte.

Congratulations to Phenomenon Films! The production house created by the students of our digital cinema workshops and of the pilot program of Wellness Group Mentoring, who competed in the 7th Ponte Los Cortos Festival with "Nada es como antes". You can access their youtube to see the trailer, from which Shery Marrero received the award for Best Supporting Actress and we are very proud with her recognition.

You can also access the video "Basta Ya", on our YouTube channel created by these students in our Mentoring Program. It provides guidance on the problem of gender violence in Puerto Rico.

On June 2, 2021, we celebrated the successful closure of the pilot program Educa Cortés: The Art of Wellness and Agroecology together with the families of the participants. It was sponsored by the Red Nose for Puerto Rico Fund, Comic Relief USA, Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico, Chocolate Cortés and Chocobar Cortés. We where able to expand this program and launch the 2021 Summer Program, for which an alliance was made with the Department of Art and Culture of the Municipality of San Juan.

In preparation for the Summer Program, on June 22, our Educational Guides was trained and certified in a First Aid and CPR workshop, facilitated by Luis Vázquez, from Betto Ambulance.

Summer Program 2021 Educa Cortés: The Art of Wellbeing and Agroecology. During the month of July we received a total of 40 participants between the ages of 5-18, who received a La Borinqueña comic, art materials, among many other things. Reading and the values ​​of the Fundación Cortés were actively integrated and they had the opportunity to attend the following workshops:

  • Wellness and Mental Health- by Stephanie Rivera, our Program Manager, where students practiced mindfulness, identified emotions and channeled them through creative expression through comics.

  • Agroecology, by Jerome Zayas, visual artist and cook, held at the La Perla Farm School. The students worked on the land while learning about food safety.

  • Art and Nature in charge of the visual artist and professor of the School of Fine Arts and Design, Angélica Rivera and was facilitated in the Carnegie Library. We thank the municipality of San Juan for giving us the opportunity.

We were invited to participate in the final presentation of the 2021 class of the program Creative Solutions for the Common Good, organized by Junipero Serra High School. This class brought together high school students from California and South Africa and was attended by leaders from over twenty countries around the world. One of the presentations of a student inspired us to create the "Score Card", with which the students measured the impact of the 2021 Summer Program workshops in a self-managed way.

We recognize Ever Ibarra Berríos, who was part of the Program Educa Cortés: The Art of Wellness and Self-Management during the month of May, and since then has volunteered to help us take care of the well-being of the participants of the 2021 Summer Program. Ever Ibarra has several years volunteering in multiple initiatives throughout Latin America and we witnessed her passion for social justice. We appreciate her initiative of sewing hats for everyone in the Program to protect us from the sun, as well as the pouches with the names of each participant to equip our young people when they return to school. We love you, 4-Ever!

We are honored to have the visit of the young entrepreneur Pedro Carlo Crespo Rodríguez, founder of the company Terra Industries LLC. As part of the Summer Program, each participant was given a "Terra Box" to start their own gardens and thus promoting sustainability practices in their family.

We thank the entire Chocobar Cortés team for providing the children's snacks, and always supporting us in our projects. We love you, team!

We had the honor of being part of the workshop "Activate the Power of Touch to know the trees" facilitated by the ethnobotanical researcher María Benedetti, to learn to know the trees of the community in Old San Juan. In addition, the students learned a new song to honor Mother Nature.

During the fourth week of the Summer Program, the participants were able to meet Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez in a virtual way. It was a very exciting surprise where students were able to learn more about his creative process and upcoming adventures from La Borinqueña. In addition, they were able to share their impressions after reading comic #1 during the entire month of July. Thanks to all the participants for becoming our superheroes and superheroines during the summer, demonstrating the values ​​and talents that our youth possess. All this was possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Peter Alfond Foundation.

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