Hispanicize 2014 was better than ever (kudos Manny & Team), we assisted in the expansion of the Positive Impact Awards, we launched Capicu’s School of Poetic Arts (La SoPA) at Boricua College, and established an amazing group of emerging writers and poets. Right after we returned from Miami, we were presented the opportunity to assist the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Committee “take the parade back” by adding some dimension to the experience. We were tasked to engage the community via social media (and our Radio Capicu show) to promote the cultural and educational aspects of the parade; aspects that many felt were lost over the years due to a board that was disconnected from the community.
I will not lie… the #QueBonitaBandera campaign has been one of the coolest projects we have ever taken on. The minute the project was on the table, I knew exactly how I wanted it to come to life and I assembled an amazing team of artists, writers, photographers and social media reporters who tapped into an incredible audience of passionate Puerto Ricans. GM Diversity even chipped in and loaned us a 2015 Tahoe to serve as #TeamCapicu’s mobile command center on 5th Ave (THANK YOU!). We were ready and willing to take on the most extensive Social Media Live Reporting project we have ever had.
On the flip side, although we were working the parade, we also were able to secure our first parade float ever, a dream come true for Papo and I. This year we dedicated our float to Julia Burgos, featured the musical talents of Machete Movement and had special guest of honor Jesus ‘Papoleto’ Melendez.
I do not think I have to tell you how important (I thought) this day was for me to have my phone in my hand, but the universe had other plans for me. I was late to the designated parking lot for the parade organizers forcing me to look for a garage to park the truck. I found myself over 20 blocks from our parade float staging area and forced to take a cab back downtown. When I jumped out the cab I put my iphone on the roof, found cash to pay the cabbie and grabbed my bag to get to my destination. I am shaking my head as I write this because for the second year in a row, I lost my phone at the parade only to have it returned to me immediately after the parade.
Yes… this happened last year and I freaked out. It ruined my experience… when #TeamCapicu and I went to lunch at La Fonda Boricua after we marched in the parade, I was in bad spirits and I spent the whole time asking people to call my phone to locate it. The fact that I was not able to post in real time bothered me. Did the world come to an end? Not at all… once I got my phone back, life went on.
Life is really all about how you handle things. This year I was in a different place, when I realized I lost my phone I spent approximately 3 minutes trying to recover it, took a deep breath and remembered what happened last year. NOT AGAIN… I refused to let this consume me and realized this was just the universe telling me that I needed to lift my head and enjoy the experience. I needed to enjoy the fact that I was working my dream project, that we were educating and connecting people all over the world to our cultural legacy. Most importantly, we were going to host over 70 marchers in our contingent to promote real community building in NYC alongside Capicu Cultural Showcase. I needed to be present for them… alongside Papo and #TeamCapicu. Besides, I already hired the best team to carry out the work and ultimately I needed to trust them to deliver results and they did.
What did I learn from this? I learned that often, I am presented with amazing opportunities to experience meaningful things and I sometimes take it for granted. I learned that sometimes I do not need to engage in realtime, that it is ok to tell a bigger, better story later on to be able to experience the moment in it’s entirety. I will hold this lesson close as I get ready for a new set of adventures to happen in the coming months.
Moving forward… I will make it my business to look up and enjoy some of the amazing moments, knowing that it is living this moment that provides me with inspiration beyond belief.
Special thanks are in order for Jennifer Vanessa, our super Costa Rican Admin for managing / monitoring the social project via IPAD as Papo and I engaged our guests and enjoyed our moment on 5th Ave. I also want to thank our social reporter – La Gitana, our photographer – Sandra Guzman and our special guest from Miami, celebrity social reporter Lynn Ponder (1/2 of the WebCityGirls) who collectively did an amazing job covering the parade on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. (wanna take a peak at some of our coverage? visit our #QueBonitaBandera tagboard)
Last but not least, I want to thank the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Committee for restoring pride, education and our cultural legacy to the parade… bien hecho… asi se hace!