Art & Heart for Puerto Rico

By Melissa Fuentes CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
January 24, 2018

Nearing the end of 2017, Puerto Rico endured one of the toughest hurricanes recorded in history. Puerto Ricans were left with limited supplies and resources and lacked one of the essentials in life; water. Seeking help from anyone willing and able, numerous organizations and charities funded and collected donations to send out. However, a passionate fourth-year theater major, Bryan Sosa, came across a CNN video that discussed how the president’s donations were not being sent out, they were simply sitting in the warehouse. Sosa, felt compelled to do something on his part to make sure Puerto Ricans were getting the help they needed. Roaming around campus he stopped by Scotty’s for a water bottle and that is when his act of kindness stirred. “Why don’t we just send out water bottles ourselves, while also creating art?” he thought to himself.  As the producer of the Latina Latino Latinx Play Project (LLL), he immediately shared this idea with his org and they all came together to create Voces Unidas; Support Puerto Rico. Still they felt the need to invite more people to contribute. “I wanted the community to feel engaged, [and believe] that they can change something,” he shared. The org did just that; they bought stacks of water bottles and blank labels, went out to different spots on campus and asked students to write an encouraging message on them. These positive labels replaced the original on the water bottles and were then shipped out during the holiday season. Being an advocate for communities in need both locally and nationally, Sosa believed this water donation was necessary “in terms of making [the] voices heard - the voices of Latin people.” Fall quarter was successful, but Sosa and his team do not plan on stopping there. They are continuously working on plays that share raw Latin stories such as an upcoming stage reading titled Mr. Bundy and a full stage performance titled Stand and Deliver. Furthermore, with these projects in mind, Sosa hopes people realize that “art is simple, it can be simple, and it can be incredibly impactful.”

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