Today is...  
Why Jí
About This Website
by Don Jibaro

Some time ago, I was playing guitar in a restaurant in Los Angeles, where I met an intelligent young Puerto Rican man who, as we sipped some espressos, told me about his struggles with the duality of the ethnicity of Puerto Ricans in the United States. By the inflections of his speech, I understood that to be "what you appear to be" to society and "what you are in reality" were to different things. From then on, I kept seeing the phenomenon of identity as a virtual necessity to express that ethnicity.

As part of the Diáspora, we take the Christmas, Easter and most holiday seasons too deep to heart. That's good. Our rich cultural traditions dominate the essence of our thinking... a cuatro... guiros... pasteles... La Plaza del Recreo...!!! Ah... We can't help but to have a couple of "pasteles" and maybe a cup of "coquito" in the back of our minds. Unfortunately, after January, all seems to fade away.

Like other ethnic groups, we, as Hispanic immigrants into the U.S.A., rely on that identity to establish our position in today's society. It's vital for us to accept it, since the world urges us to recognize ourselves as it recognizes us, not as we really are or anything else.

The many misconceptions, battles with stereotypes and individual struggles have made it essential for me to build this website. The majority of JIBAROS.COM readers are, evidently enough, outside of Puerto Rico... the majority of them are in the United States. That's why most of the data is in English with Spanish flavor rather than vice-versa.

As Puerto Ricans, we've inherited a life with so much spice, flavor and wonderful color that many times it gets shadowed by our need to survive in today's society. The human race beckons: "We gotta work harder to stay afloat." Because of this, many times we forget to stop and taste the "mavi".

Concerning the people involved in making this site, it's just me, Don Jíbaro, one person doing all the work from a small corner of my house. I am not saying that boastfully... it's just that there's no one to help and since I get no money from the website I can't hire anyone to help. Yes, I make pennies with some advertisers here and there, but I put those up to turn my readers on to a good deal, rather that making myself a lot of dough. I turn down a lot of advertisement from folks that are out to get you as consumers. ¡Ahh, aah... not here!

About me... My name is Orlando, Orly... Orlo, et al. Nobody knows Orlando the artist, writer, musician. They know Don Jíbaro, my pen name, nom de plume, literary double... a pseudonym adopted to protect my identity. A pen name is used if a writer's real name is likely to be confused with the name of another writer or notable individual, or if their real name is deemed to be unsuitable. Orlando was a furious killer warrior. Not my idea of a man. I am an artist... a student of all things.

I consider myself somewhat of a curmudgeon.. a sensitive guy with a distaste for mediocrity who hides pain behind misanthropy. I can easily turn pain into humor while at the same time attack the shaggy-dog phony because it devalues genuine sentiment. I also dislike the insincerely emotional such as hypocritical expressions of sympathy, a silly love song and definitely people who pretend to live their lives as a cheap sentimental soap opera.

To my detriment, people think that I have no hair on my tongue. Yet some consider me as endowed with a somewhat keen perception and sly wit. For what it is worth, I thank each and everyone of them three. Yes, thanks!

"Don Jibaro might have gotten a bad rap in the same way that the messenger is blamed for the message: commenting on the human condition without apology and continually refusing to applaud mediocrity, and if given the opportunity, howl it down vehemently with morose glee... Subsequently, my versions of the truth might get softened with humor." --Don Juan Wino Kurr.

Still, my fan base is comprised of people from within all ethnic groups who share a love, interest or passion for all things human and all things different. My goal is to promote the beauty and depth of our culture, its values and positive influence... as a contribution to the wellness of our local communities.

One of the activities that I'd love to see is having domino games, FREE mini-concerts, readings, cuatro, guitar and conga classes, and many other CLEAN fun activities. My simple vision is uniting existing social groups into a community where trust, respect and charity can be promoted and practiced. Helping and feeding the poor will be our altruistic objective... We can do it! It's a tough street out there, but we can do this!

Jí has become way more than just a blog, but  a web magazine (e-zine) that celebrates the humble Puerto Rican countryman, the one that makes mistakes but seeks resiliently to bounce back without missing a beat. He learns from his errors and will not allow history to repeat itself on him.

So, this website is for you to be transported to a "virtual" Borinquen... to tell the world that we are not boring. We are happy, creative and sharp folk and have more than meets the eye. YES, we have a people to uplift and I am just doing my share.


"Fools won't take advice, but the  smart will listen." (Proverbs 12:15)

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