After a full week of testing, on Monday — New Year’s Eve — we are finally opening the doors to a beta version of the Parranda network, an online/ offline project dedicated to the economic, civic, and cultural development of a “Greater Puerto Rico.” Among the first folks to go through the door: 1,000-plus boricuas – from San Juan, Orlando, New York, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and many other locations – who pre-registered for membership at Parranda.org. They will lead the way on this first leg of our journey to construct an interactive map of who we are, where we are, and what we care about.
It’s a huge undertaking, we admit. But it’s worth doing. By creating the new map of Puerto Rico – a Puerto Rico whose identity is not defined by its borders, but by its people, wherever they happen to live – we will take a critical first step in laying the foundation for a community that is large enough — and aligned sufficiently — to begin tackling Puerto Rico’s greatest problems, and meeting its greatest opportunities. But we can’t get to that level of size or alignment without the help of many different boricuas. We are asking all Puerto Ricans, everywhere, to come join Parranda and help get this party started. And there are at least five things you can do to help:
1. Join the Parranda. If you are seeing this blog post before December 31, please visit parranda.org and pre-register with your name and preferred email address. If you are seeing this on December 31st or after – the doors to the network are open. Simply go to the home page and walk through the easy registration process.
2. Tell us where you live. This is partof the registration process, and it will help us with the mapping project.
3. Invite family, friends … and friends of Puerto Rico. We’re making it easy for you to invite others to join Parranda directly from our Web site. And note: you do not have to be Puerto Rican to join Parranda. Any friend of Puerto Rico is a citizen of Parranda.
4. Tell the world you have joined Parranda. We’re making it easy for you to do this, too. Directly from our Web site, you can send messages to your networks on Facebook, Twitter, and, soon, other platforms. But if you are doing this on your own, try posting the following on your networks: “I am a parrandero from [your city], representing the Greater Puerto Rico. Please come join me at Parranda.org. #parrandaPR.”
5. Write for Parranda. If you are reporter, blogger, broadcast producer, please help us spread the word. If you would like to write for the Parranda blog – La Placita – let us know. This is the first of many forums for the Parranda community and we’re looking for folks who can help us define the projects, themes and conversations that most matter to us leading up to andbeyond the mapping project.
If you are a boricua, you probably already know this: a parranda is a holiday party – both fun and serious – where people knock on the doors of the neighbors and take them along for a long journey to meet and celebrate with other neighbors. Same is true with Parranda.org. But our neighbors are far apart. And the doors we are knocking on are virtual. But the parranda we are starting is both fun and serious, and we cannot do it without you. We’re counting on you to fortify the more than 1,000 people who have already pre-registered and help us bring in the 8 million-plus people who proudly call themselves Puerto Rican.
This post is also available in: Spanish