Respuesta a Anibal Rodriguez Vera

pag 85 del Nuevo Día:

Fotoperiodistas en Caguas
Aníbal Rodríguez Vera
Profesor


En nuestra isla existen cientos de organizaciones de gestión comunitaria que le ahorran millones de dólares al erario público. Una de ellas es la Asociación de Fotoperiodistas de Puerto Rico que hace más de 19 años le ofrece servicios de capacitación educativa, artística y cultural a jóvenes de comunidades de limitados recursos. Los fotoperiodistas de nuestros medios se han unido para ofrecerle talleres gratuitos a jóvenes de nuestras barriadas pobres. Los adiestran sobre diferentes técnicas en el uso de computadoras y cámaras de fotografía y vídeo. Además les gestionan recursos de la comunidad, que les ofrecen talleres de capacitación para mantenerlos ocupados en sus ratos de ocio.

Veamos una muestra. Me contaba Juanjo, un limpiabotas de la Placita de Santurce, de su maravillosa experiencia en el campamento de verano que auspició recientemente el Taller de Fotoperiodismo. Juanjo aprendió a utilizar correctamente una cámara digital, programas de computadora, usar Internet para sus asignaciones y se benefició de docenas de conferencias que le ofrecieron líderes reconocidos de la comunidad.

Sobre todo, Juanjo y sus amigos de la placita ahora tienen un lugar donde acudir después de sus clases. Como él me señalara, “vamos a matar la fiebre de la fotografía, de las computadoras y sobre todo, a conocer nuevos panas”.
Recientemente la directora del programa de Artes Plásticas del ICP, le negó a los fotoperiodistas una sala para que pudieran exhibir sus fotografías y vídeos, que serán premiados en el concurso que auspicia el Taller de Fotoperiodismo anualmente. Los fotoperiodistas querían exhibir sus trabajos para el beneficio de los miles de estudiantes que participan en sus talleres anualmente.

Lamentable el ICP perdió la oportunidad de atraer a estos jóvenes y familiares de las barriadas de La Perla y de Trastalleres, para que disfrutaran de la exposición de sus maestros y, de paso, para que conocieran el histórico Arsenal de la Marina. No crea que todo está perdido, gracias a que el alcalde William Miranda Marín de Caguas rescató la exposición. La misma se está presentando en el Museo de Arte de esa ciudad, durante todo el mes de agosto.
Una muestra excelente de un trabajo profesional y de gestión comunitaria.


Mi Opinión:

*1. La opinión del profesor esta tratando de crear una tormenta en un vaso de agua. Cual es la razón real detras de este artículo? Dar una queja? Esto se puede resolver de una manera muy fácil. Que el municipo provea transportación a Caguas, al menos por la noche de la apertura. La gente de La Perla o Trastalleres han visto a la saciedad a San Juan. Pues llevalos a Caguas, que tengan otras opciones y otras experiencias. Yo estoy seguro que el alcalde no se hubiera opuesto a esa idea ya que Willie ha demostrado que es el único alcalde en la isla que conoce el arte, sus problemáticas y ha albergado y presentado en Caguas proyectos de renombre internacional

O porque no hacer la exposición en La Perla? El grupo comunitario/artístico Coco de Oro lo hace todo el tiempo con mucho éxito. Es mas, que la fiesta y la entrega de premios sea para la gente de esas comunidades y que de paso se lleve a los altruistas a La Perla para que se enteren de primera mano, como testigos de la noticia, de los problemas que enfrentan estas comunidades marginadas. No es complicado, lo que se necesita es compromiso e imaginación.

2. Si le negaron espacio en el ICP ???eso no tiene nada de escandaloso. El ICP necesita salas para arte y el Taller y la AFP tienen su salas, espacios y dinero de cuotas para poder recurrir a otras alternativas. Es justo. Los artistas necesitan esas salas. La labor del fotoperiodista esta presentada en su contexto, el periódico. El que se le negue una sala no es un complot. A veces no hay espacio.

En el Taller se paga una membresía anual, además de todo el dinero que le da el gobierno, sin contar el equipo. Digo, cuando se le ragalan cámaras a estudiantes de 9 años en adelante eso significa que hay muchos chavos. Y me imagino la AFP también paga una cuota, pues entonces el lugar de la expo es irrelevante...en vez de irse con bombos y platillos en una celebracion exagereda al Centro de Convenciones, alquilen una galeria o algun espacio alternativo y expongan alli....a veces lo han hecho en el Museo de San Juan, otras en Casa España. El solo hecho de mover trabajos de Caguas a una fiesta de una noche en San Juan...eso no es de gratis que se hace. Claro, podemos hablar que todo es auspiciado.

Y quién se va a negar a auspiciar a los trabajadores de la noticia en Puerto Rico?

3. Lo que si me parece ridiculo es que algunos que pagan la cuota no sean incluidos en las exposiciones. No es como si la AFP o el Taller tuviesen un curador residente cualificado para editar lo que va o o que no va...para mi el que paga va y ya. Y otro gran problema es que obliguen a los fotográfos a imprimir y montar sus fotos para las exposiciones... y cuando la expo finaliza, donarlas a un "supuesto archivo." Quién se encarga de la donación? Dónde se guardan las obras? A quién le pertenecen? Cuáles son las limitaciones del derecho de autor en esas piezas donadas? Es verdad que estan en algún lugar o las botan?

digo, hay mucho que aclarar aqui que va mas alla de una queja pasajera.

Arturo Madero y el Arte


el sucio Arturo Madero

Con este tipejo algún artista debría hacer una buena obra de arte y después, se la venden al MAPR, donde su esposa Zoila Levis, es miembro de la junta y gran coleccionista de arte. Ella podrá ver su relevancia socio-cultural.

Lo que me deja perplejo es que personas con un gran "knowledge" en las artes construyan una estructura tan poco atractiva y tan poco relacionada con los edificios del Hilton y del Tribunal Supremo. No entiendo como es que gente con tanto dinero, y que han viajado el mundo, no tengan ningun tipo de sensibilidad. El mal gusto no se lava ni se puede esconder.



Aquí una entrevista con Arturo Madero del 2003 en Summit Reports:
Mr. Madero, thanks so much for receiving us. We know you are a very busy man. We would like to start this interview knowing a little bit of your background. How did you become the President of Lema Developers?

I arrived to Puerto Rico 14 years ago. I am originally from Colombia. I have been always related to the construction, central banking and cement industry. I started working in Puerto Rico mainly with housing development projects. In 1992, I founded Lema Developers & Associates. During the last 10 years, the company has experienced and amazing growth. In the past, we have built over 1,200 residential units all over Puerto Rico. Today, we have several projects under construction, which add up to more than 1,000 residential units. Without a doubt, the project that I really put my heart and soul in its development is Paseo Caribe. This is a 200 million dollars project. Let me share with you how this project was conceived.

I met one of the Vice-Presidents of Hilton International that knew I was working in the Real Estate development business. He offered me the opportunity to do something with a piece of property located next to the Caribe Hilton Hotel that was acquired by Hilton International. Anyone would love to develop a project in such a beautiful place. I accepted the offer, and I have been working on this project for the last four years. Since this development is located at the entrance of San Juan, it has to be a prominent and attractive project. The first thing we did was to create our teamwork. We looked for the best architecture firms in Puerto Rico and in mainland U.S. One of the firms is in charge of the condo-hotel (88 villas in total that can be divided into 264 new hotel rooms. They are located around the Caribe Hilton and will be managed by the hotel like high quality units). Another attribute of this project is a luxury condominium that will be located on the West Side of the project. This condo will bring a new concept never seen before in Puerto Rico. 46 luxury units compose it and it is located over a 7-floor parking building. This project is almost sold out. Another element of the project is what we call the Entertainment Center. This center will have stores, movie theatres, restaurants and a great plaza open to the sea for recreation purposes. The last element of this project is a parking building for 1,500 cars. In addition, we are building Paseo San Jeronimo, which is a path that goes from Ponce De Leon Avenue to the fort. We want to give a better access to the fort either by foot or car. We hope to finish the whole project by the end of 2004 or the first semester of 2005. This project will generate important economic activity for Puerto Rico. It will be the source for 3,500 new employees (direct/indirect). We believe this project would be a destination point either for local residents or for tourists. Moreover, this project will help to create some awareness to the new convention center that is under construction.

This has been the most important project I have been involved with. It's been a difficult one, but I feel very satisfied to be part of it.Could we have more information about the Hilton Villas…

There are 88 villas, each one made of 3 hotel keys. That means 264 hotel rooms. Mainly local residents buy those villas. The owners have several benefits, like tax credits. The owner has the obligation to allow the Caribe Hilton to manage the villas for 10 years. Each of the 10 years, the owner can stay for a period of 30-days (at the owner's choice). They also can stay up to 60 days if there is any availability. This is a way to introduce tourist projects because the hotel will not make any investments, and the investor enjoys several benefits. However, the fact that the owner will rent the villa to the hotel will create certain kind of return to recover the initial investment cost.

What is the price of the villas?

It's around $800,000.

Regarding the condo, you were saying that it is almost sold?

Yes it is. It has been very successfully marketed and very well accepted by buyers.

Tell us a little about the mall and recreational facilities.

It will have about 40 to 50 stores including movie theatres. We cannot give information about our tenants, but we will have local and U.S. mainland companies. It will be a high-end mall with top brands and exclusive boutiques.

Who will manage the mall?

The mall will be managed by a professional property management company and in the future we might sell part or the entire center. We are open to any possibilities.

This is a very important project, not only for San Juan but also for Puerto Rico, but what other projects is LEMA currently developing?

We have several projects under construction, mainly housing. We have another project in the Condado Area called Carrion Court that is a 19-floor building of luxury apartments. In mid-range housing projects, we have a complex of 288 in the Bayamon area. We have another project that could be considered tourist oriented, made of approximately 300 villas, like second homes. It is located in Rio Grande, close to Westin Rio Mar. The owners of these villas could use the hotel facilities besides it has a great location. Basically, our duties as developers are to coordinate and control the projects. We use subcontractors for almost every area of the development process. 22 employees compose Lema Developers. We believe that Puerto Rico has a lot of opportunities; there is a commitment from the government to make our economy stronger. To develop a project like Paseo Caribe you need a total commitment between the government and the private sector.

It is not very common to see in other countries that relationship between the government and the private sector. Do you think there is room for improvement in that relationship?
Sure there is. First of all, they must encourage legislation to improve the economic development and make permits final, in order to shorten the development process and to improve invertors' confidence.


Once Paseo Caribe is finished, do you think there is something left to be done by yourself?
My idea is to keep working within the construction field. I will continue working with housing projects. I don't know if I will have the time to do this kind of projects in the future. However, I will support anyone who does it. These types of projects take about 10 years from its initial conception. It is a very long process. However, it is worth it, because Puerto Rico has a lot of opportunities and resources to offer great things to the world. It has everything that is needed to compete with other countries. Tourism resources had not been exploited fully yet. Tourism is only 7% of our economy. People generally think that Puerto Rico is all about tourism, when really the other industries are the main components of our economy.


Are there many tourists from the states buying houses in Puerto Rico?

There is some but not enough. That is a subject to be explored and promoted.

It sounds kind of strange because hotel rates and tourist traffic are kind of high, especially in San Juan. So we are talking of a market that attracts a high purchasing power. It could be a good market to exploit.
Tourism in Puerto Rico is very expensive. The government is making huge efforts to enlarge its offers and attract other markets by creating more affordable hotels. There is a strong competition with Cuba, and Dominican Republic. For example, Dominican Republic with fewer resources than Puerto Rico has about 60,000 rooms. Puerto Rico only counts with 13,000 rooms. Basically, the tourism flow comes from United States. As I mentioned before, Puerto Rico has a lot of possibilities to become a more attractive destination. Puerto Rico, compared with other countries, has the advantage of the excellent relationship that has with United States.

Mr. Madero thanks so much for your time and comments.