Showing posts with label San Antonio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Antonio. Show all posts

Friday, July 04, 2014

#FridayReads: The Feast of San Sebastian By Jonathan Marcantoni

Have you read The Feast of San Sebastian By Jonathan Marcantoni? It's a "raw, gritty and frightening socio-political thriller set in the island paradise of Puerto Rico," according to reviews that debuted last year:

Two Haitians are smuggled into Puerto Rico with promises of work and a better future, but are instead forced into slave labor at an American factory. Ilan is a middleman on the black market whose guilty conscience has led to alcoholism and gambling debts to the biggest crime boss in Puerto Rico. These three men's lives will collide when Ilan is forced to pay his debt by arranging for the assassination of the corrupt Superintendent of Police. 

What follows is an examination of the decadence and injustice of a colonial society on the brink of self-destruction.



Jonathan Marcantoni is the author of Traveler’s Rest and Communion (with Jean Blasiar), both published by Savant Books and Publications. He has been a freelance writer and editor since 2004. His family is from Utuado and Fajardo, Puerto Rico. He currently lives in San Antonio, TX with his wife and three daughters.

Author Jonathan Marcantoni
His intention with this book is to educate, and hopefully, to create action in its readers. The problems facing Puerto Rico can be remedied, but only if we work together as a people to make a better future for our families and for our country.

This book was inspired by the study “Trafficking of Persons in Puerto Rico: An Invisible Challenge” by César A. Rey Hernández, Ph.D. and Luisa Hernández Angueira, Ph.D. The crimes and criminal syndicates depicted in the book are based on cases described in that study and in articles published in the newspaper El Nuevo Día and reported by Wapa TV. 

The raids on slum communities, including La Perla, occurred between 2009 and 2011, with the raid on La Perla leading to the resignation of then-Superintendent of Police José Figueroa Sancha, who is the basis for the Superintendent in the book.
 
The yola operation that brings the Haitians over still exists and has grown rather than decreased over the last several years. It should be understood that the immigrants who come to Puerto Rico do so largely to go to the United States, making Puerto Rico a transit state for illegal immigrants, and in turn, for smugglers. 

Puerto Rico’s human trafficking problem is in direct relation with its relationship to the United States, and not because life there is any better than the immigrant’s homeland. While Dominicans make up the majority of immigrants who use the Canal de Mona to travel to Puerto Rico, there are also large numbers of Haitians, Chinese and Cuban immigrants who use the route as well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Book: Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit by J.R. Martinez

Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit is the inspiring true story of actor, motivational speaker, and former U.S. Army soldier, J.R. Martinez. Full of Heart chronicles Martinez's incredible, and uniquely American journey through poverty, hardship, and tragedy, to his rise as a hero and media darling.

The inspiring true story of actor, motivational speaker, and former U.S. Army soldier, J.R. Martinez, Full of Heart chronicles Martinez's incredible, and uniquely American journey through poverty, hardship, and tragedy, to his rise as a hero and media darling.

Full of Heart is an intimate and inspirational chronicle of J.R. Martinez's life story. Martinez recounts his childhood in the South as the son of a single mother, a Salvadoran immigrant struggling to make ends meet. At the age of 17-showing the determination and drive that would become his trademark-Martinez convinced his mom to move to Georgia, where Martinez believed he would have a better chance of being recruited to play college football. 

But when Martinez's football dreams collapsed and he didn't have the financial resources or grades to attend college, he turned to the U.S. Army and soon found himself serving in Iraq.

In April 2003, at 19 years old, Martinez's Humvee hit a landmine and he suffered severe smoke inhalation and disfiguring burns to over 40 percent of his body. Martinez was sent to the Army Burn Center in San Antonio, where he spent the next 34 months in grueling recovery. During this time, Martinez shared his experiences with other patients and listened to theirs. 

His fellow soldiers, along with the local and then national media, soon latched onto Martinez's inspiring personality, leading to a career as a popular motivational speaker, daytime television star, and Dancing with the Stars contestant.

Full of Heart is Martinez's entire and yet untold story-one that will attract his large fan base, as well as the many others who will find both his life and story utterly accessible and appealing. Martinez's memoir of triumphing over extraordinary obstacles through pure resilience, optimism, and strength of spirit will inspire legions of people.
 
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