Igniting a Revolution

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

Volcan San Miguel – photo by Raúl Colón

The other day when Joaquin Kierce initiated his Pecha Kucha he confirmed he was starting a movement. Joaquin reminded me on the importance of focusing on those who are seeking positive change.

QUICK NOTE: Different to other years where I have complained on a Holiday that is contradictory to Puerto Rico Residents and made 1 or 2 posts on it I want to focus on possible solutions to attack key issues. 

As I write about my experiences of owning a small business and the current economic state of the Puerto Rican, I hope to  somehow improving the environment around me. I understand that I need to highlight those individuals that create positive, global efforts that impact us in a good way.

The Birth of a Series

Days ago I had a conversation via twitter with my good friend Margie Clayman. She is one of the few people I have met online that when others need help she goes above and beyond helping them. Margie pointed out that I should continue writing about what is happening on the Island.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MargieClayman/status/219608546533326848″]

“The Voice of Puerto Rican’s”

I always find it curious that many people state-side get a picture of the Island from Puerto Rican’s (or their descendants) that left the island decades ago. Some are disconnected to what has been happening over the decades and the issues on the island do not impact them directly.

I don’t mind if you want to be connect to your roots. I have many friends like Ricardo Murillo who is not even Puerto Rican that stays connected with the Island. Lucy, from Puerto Rican Parents, lived in the States into her early Thirties and moved here to find out that living on the Island is very different from what she perceived.  She is a good example on how someone who was connected to the island of Puerto Rico, is now seeing the good and the bad from a different lens.


My biggest pet peeve is when folks that don’t even step foot on the island (much less care about it) decide to become a voice for all Puerto Ricans. If you want to amplify the voice of those that struggle, I am all for it. But when they are lazy, won’t do the research, and decide to remain disconnected, it truly hurts the efforts of those that are struggling continuously to make the island a better place.

Days ago someone who I respect and met online Letty Caban shared the idea of maybe getting help from Puerto Rican’s on the outside to solve our local issues. The biggest problem with this is that Puerto Rican’s on the outside focus on dealing with the struggles they encounter on the mainland. Most of them left the island because they did not want to deal with the local issues.

Why would they want to fix what they ran from?

I agree with part of Letty’s suggestion that we need to create deeper connections outside of the island. We need to bring a pool of diverse people from different nationalities and cultures. Since many Puerto Rican have decided to run away (for whatever reason) we need brave humans to help us continue moving forward.

With Letty’s suggestions and Margie’s idea I put myself up to the challenge to create a series of posts focusing on three things:

  1. Those who remain active and working towards improving Puerto Rico.
  2. The Current state of Puerto Rico’s Economic environment.
  3. De-mystifying many of the issues people create and don’t help with the progress.

I May Need your Help

I may need your help in finding those individuals, those unsung heroes that are truly making a difference.

I am going to be working on finding those who are swimming against the current and going for success and if you know one, feel free to nominate them via the comments area or contact me directly.

As I mentioned previously success is remaining active and not giving up when you have an end goal in sight.

Inactivity is failure. But continuing to fight for the well being of this island is something those who choose to live here , like myself, have to do!

Igniting a Revolution Series Posts


  1. BellaVida on July 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I admire your determination Raul.  It will take many like minded individuals to create awareness and change.   I suggested working with people who live in the US after reading the alarming statistics showing a large percentage of the islands talent leaving for the US.   In addition I haven’t seen any true leadership on the island trying to make serious changes even when I lived there.

    I believe for the economic conditions to change both in the US and on the island it must begin with a big objective: creating national products in the science, medical and alternative energy industries.  Then create an educational system where children are educated in a way where they can be active productive contributors in a thriving society.
    We must change.  It is unacceptable to live in an undereducated manipulated society.

    • Raul Colon on July 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

      The biggest problem is that our culture has been taught that if a situation arises you take of to ‘Nueva Yol’ and supposedly they get fixed. 

      The only way we can fix this is keeping more people here and having those people take the complicated challenges that are part of living here! 

      If we want to make change we have to confront those issues from the frontlines. For those on the outside that want to come and help I invite them to the frontlines. 

      Talking strategy and theory on the other side does not do much to leverage the power of those who are here and have demonstrated to be great leaders. The only thing that local press organizations will not talk to you about it. 

  2. liz niev on July 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Hello Raul:

    I have been reading the comments about “Ignite the Revolution”,  I have 0ne question, Is it right to earn $1,200 dollars or less a month in Puerto Rico when you have an bachelor, Master degree or Phd?

    Because this is what is been happening in Puerto Rico, for those living in the states.  I’m surprise with the people who go tothe US to start a new life and stay over there for almost 30 years and after 30 years they want to come back to Puerto Rico to live their “retirement”.  Wao, wao. 

    Dont get me wrong,  Is ok to move  to the United States for a better living.  I been thinking moving to, but it have a cost.

    For example, when they start living again in Puerto Rico, they are the  firsts to complaint about the “situations” not to say PROBLEMS in the different government agencies when they  go to -“VISIT”- any. 

    Hello, What they did while living in US for “fixing” this problems at the government agencies in PUerto Rico so,  when they get to Puerto Rico everything is a breeze and smooth like in the States (USA). 

    Anyone living in Puerto Rico know what a “Colecturia” is, I wont translate that to English, you know the pain in the neck that you will have we you have to buy a “Marbete”. You have to wait about hour and a half (1:30) in line.  I been buying marbetes for about 18 years, so  I waste like 1,620 hours of my life in a freaking “colecturia” for not getting stop by  the Police when they check for the wonderful “Marbete”, well I always comply with the law. 

    Who wants to teach a course in Efficiency or Effectiveness to the “colecturia” employees.  For that,  you have to be a friend of a friend who have contacts in the government so you can get the wonderful contract for teaching Efficiency and Effectiveness to the Puerto Rican Government employees.  After that you will be facing the reality that a few – not for say a bunch- will be absent -maybe “calling sick” – or for a lot of other reasons.  Am I been ironic, yes of course I’m ironic.

    The problem is not the government is US, the PEOPLE of PUERTO RICO  who are fanatics when they go to vote for candidates.  They don’t check how many Senators comply with their so called promises to help the People of PUerto Rico. 
    How many of you saw a “Plan” explaining what they will do, what they will fix, and which area they will be  working with after they  are elected.  
    We don’t even ask for one to be done for our area.  Reality check.

    I’m not talking about the governor,  I’m talking about the Senators, “the all mighty SENATORS”, that live in PUerto Rico like kings with a salary of about $120,000 plus.  How many Puerto Ricans living in the States, called or wrote a letter about the “working plan” the SENATOR had for the area they used to live, tell me, how many of you.  But is good and fine to return to Puerto Rico and live “your last years”  after been working, breaking your back and neck for about 30 plus years.  Well it’s seen to you.

    HELLO, WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT,  How many of you who went to United States in la “guagua”  struggle for about an hour or two in traffic to get to your job in the morning. I do and the same thing coming back home.  Not to talk about the road conditions.

    I don’t see many of them in la “AUTOPISTA” when I go to my job in the morning.  How many of them called the Puerto Rican Department of Transportation (Autoridad de Carreteras) asking how long will take to fix a bridge or a road in the area they used to live.  They will face the wonderful efficiency of the government agencies if they call from the States asking when that will be happening,  you know what will happen: they will hang up on you, or they will transfer your call to the Twilight Zone, I’m not kidding, come ON make a Call and see for yourself.  If you want to make a call, visit gobierno.pr and look for “Autoridad de Carreteras, come on make the call and Please let me know How was your call.  Puerto Rico DOES IT BETTER.

    The education, public health, Puerto Rican economy is not the problem, the real problem is US,  the Puerto Ricans,  “nosotros los boricuas”, because we let this happen, and later we complaint,  Because WE dont act, instead we act the fool.  

    I went the other day to my home town “YOU KNOW GETTING IN TOUCH WITH MY “ROOTS”, and I had a crave for a candy, what  best place to go than your home town bakery store, well the only one now because the otherS are close, the reasons I don’t know.  Well may be is the excellent “economy” we have,  the economy, yea right.  17,000 people are on the street with no job and like 2,000 students graduating from college EVERY YEAR.  Do the math.

    My point, I pay 60 cents  for a home made candy-(used to pay .30 cents), HELLO and It wasn’t a big one, OK.  When I was at high school I used to pay 65 cents for “Una libra the Pan” and 35 cents for “Media libra”, now $2.00 dollars.  My father when he was a kid,  pay only 3 cents for a piece of bread with butter, ham and cheese(not Borden).

    Raul, you know We both  have kids,  and I don’t know what kind of life mine will see when she turn 17.   I don’t know  If  I will be able to pay for her college education.  How much will cost “una libra de Pan” when she turn 17, I don’t know.  If things keep the same like now that will be maybe the only possible thing for me to buy to pass the day.  Like Everybody I hope for the best.

    As a compliment for living in Puerto Rico you can’t  trust the officers who work  at the
    election offices. (colegios de votación).  Ask the Guaynabo Mayor.  What a shame.

    I don’t know about the people who share their point of view, but for me the solution is not becoming a part of the United State or keeping the “ELA” or be an independent country, the solutions are taking care of the real problems like checking the different candidates for the elections, Governors, Senators and the others.

    If any one of them what to be reelected, please check what they did for the area he represented,  how many school he helped to build, how many businesses he helped to establish in THE area.  CHECK IF he REALLY WORKED FOR THE PEOPLE or FOR HIM instead,  getting money under the table for granting contracts.  A few of them are in jail because of that, well the ones that get caught.

    A lot of them drive a fancy car, because  I pay for that freaking car with my taxes and I can’t drive it.  I drive a 1998 car, I don’t know you, but maybe a 2012 model will be fine for me to drive, BUT, HELLO,   I CAN’T  MY SALARY IS NOT ENOUGH and I HAVE TO JOBS.  By the way I’m the one fixing anything that break you know for saving a couple of bucks, THANK YOU, I KNOW,  I KNOW, NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR a SOCIAL LIFE.

    But like someone said to me “You are not so special”. 



    • Raul Colon on July 9, 2012 at 7:52 am


      Igniting the revolution goes deeper into not having to wait for government to find us solutions. For those of us like me that use to drive a fancy car now I focus on improving the well being of those around us. 

      I try to change my small world with the purpose of little by little impacting in a positive way the small world of those around me. 

      I agree with you. So many of on the Island (And outside) focus on the status but forget that their are issues that go well above politics. 

      For example I have too move due to the fact that they placed windmills very close to my house. Some people may think I am against them because of political beliefs etc. I am moving because I have done my research and see the health risks they pose. 

      My advice to you Lizardo. You are a brilliant guy you have decided to stay here. We need more people like you to start looking for ways to make changes so we can all live bigger lifestyles. By just staying here you have made your most difficult decision the other decisions hopefully will be easier and will inspire change. 

      I believe in you and don’t wait for anyone start your own revolution my teacher and friend! 

  3. liz niev on July 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I like you aptitude. 

    Is sad to know that you move because of the windmills. 

    I have a couple of them almost in my backyard. 

    It’s supposed That the Municipality of Santa Isabel make public hearings about the windmills.  I never get any notification.

    When I said “they drive fancy cars”,  I was talking about the Politicians, Senators and the others, Politicians who  drive “fancy cars” paid with our taxes, yours and mine. 

    We can drive any car we want, we pay the loan with our salary not with constituents money coming from the taxes.

    I heard that Pierlussi spend monthly $1,400 in car allowance in washington DC.  Wao.  That was inthe News,  The News channel ask citizens in washington what they think about a politician spending $1,400 in car allowance.  The Washington Citizens said, that the amount of money is outrageous for car allowance.

    I would like to take a bus to get to my job every morning, but we don’t any have buses in our Puerto Rico coming or going to different  towns.

    I’m the one who believe if with pay taxes every April 15, the government HAVE TO use the money for improving citizens life (Puerto Rican people).  

    I believe we have to push the Politicians the “cangrimans” at the capitol Hill (El capitolio) for spending our money the right way.

    I had a conversation with a Puerto Rican ex-marine and ex-police officer who live in the United States  and told me  he dont have any problem paying taxes  because “he see how the money is use ” where  he live in the states. 
    Are we asking for too much?

    I pay taxes and I dont know how the money is use.  I dont know if people realize that all the improvement, all the major repairs you see on the highways is because the money comes from the federal government.

    I been asking my self if Puerto Rico would stand a real economical depression and recession if the United States is not able in any way to send money to Puerto Rico.  Are we be able to stand for our self if that kind of situation occurs.

    Well, Whats is the NEXT STEP?

    **Say hi to lucy for me.**

    • Raul Colon on July 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      I never got a notification they did many things hiding the name of the company from getting insurance to even testing the soil. This has been verified by multiple sources I have spoken too. 

      I think we have been in an economical Depression since the Spaniards arrive. When we see money moving around its because something went wrong and people are splurging because they got the money from elsewhere. 

      Once again the U.S. does not send as much to us as they get out of our relationship so at the end of the day we need to fend for ourselves by collaborating together!