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The movement that changed an Island

Carmen Gonzalez | San Juan, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

A peaceful sit-down, she sat in front of the Governor's Mansion for more than a week .

Known for its history, colorful buildings, music, and people, Old San Juan witnessed something extraordinary this summer. Something so powerful that it became an example to the entire world of what happens when people stand and band together for what seems like an impossible cause.

A Government group text ignited a movement of courage and determination like never seen before, one that would, for the first time in the history of PR, make a Governor accountable for years of corruption and, ultimately, force them to resign.

I grew up following the rule of our government. At that time, we were not a culture of protesting for a better future.  Today, everyone from kids to “abuelitas” are questioning and demanding accountability from their leaders. This summer, they marched, sang, prayed, and banged pots and pans at 8 PM every night to let the world know they wanted change.

This is a different Island than the one I knew. The changes being brought by a new generation, one  taking responsibility for their future and the future of generations to come, are something we never thought of or even imagined possible.

 

When I landed in PR back in July 2019, I knew the rumors of what was happening with the Governor’s cabinet from a recently published, extremely damaging group text.

For two weeks, thanks to my camera and what I can see and understand through its lens, I had the privilege of witnessing the kind of protest that can only be seen in Puerto Rico — one filled with music, prayers, a tribute to the 3,057 victims of Hurricane Maria and peaceful sit-downs.

 

 

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