Pa'lante!


…In Puerto Rican culture, from the island to the Bronx, it’s an expression steeped in meaning, and roughly translates from Spanish as “forward” or “onward.” It gained currency as street slang amid the community activism and fight for Puerto Rican self-determination that grew out of Spanish Harlem in the late 1960s.


These days, Pa’lante speaks to a new generation of Puerto Ricans who recognize that their spirit of moving forward, of hustling, and persevering is an important collective “culture train” that energizes them as the economy of Puerto Rico faces a historic meltdown.


The Pa'lante portraiture series explores the perspectives of young Puerto Ricans pursuing a variety of different fields. It aims to portray the hustle mentality of the present day, something people can learn from. It teaches us about the hope of people, born without privilege, who are willing to fight for a chance at a better life.


http://thegroundtruthproject.org/portraits-of-resilience-puerto-rican-millennials-face-economic-meltdown-with-a-spirit-of-palante/


http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/03/reframed/474210/


Ground Truth Project: Bronx Millennials..October 2015..Isaac Baum, 18, is a senior at All Hallows High school in the Bronx. Given his experience as a school television anchor he hopes to pursue a career in public speaking.
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"It's my senior year. I am in the honors class and college is definitely the next step. As far as what college, I have no idea. I struggled with a lot of things this year and as far as my GPA, I dropped the ball. It's like an 81 there's really no hope of me getting into a crazy good school but I just want to get something that will get me on the right path. I want to be a public speaker. I was given this opportunity in this school to speak at a Gala. To see 300 people, all of them sitting in front of me, eyes glued on me was the scariest experience of my life. I told myself, "Isaac it's time to start speaking." 

-Isaac Baum. Bronx, NY.


Ground Truth Project: Bronx Millennials..October 2015..Destiny Frasqueri, an up and coming musician known as Princess Nokia, poses for a portrait at the indigenous day celebration on Randall's Island in New York City.
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Chief 69 a.k.a Nelson Seda, 24, is a jack of all trades in Hip Hop. Known for his combination of B-boy dancing, graffiti art, and MC music.
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"What I have experienced ever since middle school is that most black and latinos I know are straight up unemployed so they have to find other ways to make a living. Personally I've just been hustling. I refuse totally and completely in my fiber as a human to sell drugs and rob people. But I do know a lot of people who have and i can't be mad at them because I know why they do that. There is always a way out....the american way is not to tell you there's a way out. You make your own way out. You make your own business or your own invention. Look at most people who are successful that are Americans. That's just part of the American way." 


- Chief 69. Bronx, NY.

Ground Truth Project: Bronx Millennials..October 2015..Zuly Molina, 28, on Southern Boulevard neat Hunts Point in the Bronx. After years surviving domestic violence Zuly decided to work as a resident assistant at a Woman's domestic violence shelter.
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"We have pride in who we are and where we are from.. I have been a Resident Aid at a Domestic Violence shelter for 4 years I just got promoted as a senior RA. I am doing this because of my own personal issues. I am a domestic violence survivor and my experiences breaking out of that world would be able to help other people in these situations."


- Zuly Molina. Bronx, NY.

Ground Truth Project: Bronx Millennials..October 2015..Adam Levine Peres, 28, is an educator, actor, and journalist. He teaches special education at the John F Kennedy School in the Bronx and produces a social-documentary series called "Project Bronx" on
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Buen Consejo.Rio Piedras, PR..December 2015..William Valentin, 20, has overcome obstacles being from an underprivileged community and is currently studying physical education at the Metropolitan University of Cupey and Balle at the National theater of Pue
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"What motivates me is that I know I don't have the resources others have, but I know I can give the same potential or more. It's not a pride that you shove on others but it's a personal pride that if you can do it here, you can do it in other places. In these poor neighborhoods in Puerto Rico there is a lot of talent and intelligence. People have to push themselves forward." 


- William Valentin. Barrio Buen Consejo, Puerto Rico.

H3 Conference at Caribe Hilton..November 2015..Scheila Machuca, studied fashion design but doesn't have time to pursue her passion as a fashion designer. She works retails at Gap,  social media a start up agency dedicated to design..."I don't get sleep. F
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Barbershop.Rio Pierdras, PR..December 2015..Alberto Ramon, 20, came to Puerto Rico from Dominican Republic 4 months ago to join his father and work as a Barber. He plans to move to the United States as soon as he gets the oppurtunity.  .."From here you ha
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Cool Hope Artisan Ice Cream .Santurce, PR..December 2015..Maria Jose Delgado, 29, created the "Cool Hope" artisan ice cream brand to earn a living and brand for hope on the island. .."Two years ago I had a baby and I was taking care of him alone. I always
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"I always loved ice cream trucks because they bring a nostalgic feeling of visiting as a kid with grandparents or when you went out on a date. I wanted to bring that feeling back. The original idea was to have something to stop people from leaving the island, since there is such a large exodus. We want Puerto rican hands making the ice cream and delivering in the island." 


- Maria Jose Delgado. Santurce, Puerto Rico.

Cosechas Food Truck.Caguas, PR..December 2015..Luis M. Diaz, 25, owns a successful food truck called, "Cosechas" themed after traditional criollo food with a modern twist. ..I have 7 years working at different restaurants and  hotels since I was 18. After
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“I have 7 years working at different restaurants and hotels since I was 18 in Florida. I was already looking to have something that's my own. I studied Culinary Arts in Miami but I found life in the United States to harsh so I ended up coming back. I wasn't doing well. In the long run, I decided to stay here because Puerto Rico has a lot of potential and you can find good local products. The food here is really good. Also I am trying to find a way to help the island and create more jobs.” 


- Luis M, Diaz. Caquas, Puerto Rico.

Touralo..H3 Conference Caribe Hilton..Pedro Cruz, 21, visited the H3 conference to market a new app he is working on called Touralo..."Touralo lets you visualize a space without visiting it. Using virtual reality and 360 degree photography and video.You p
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"Touralo lets you visualize a space without visiting it. Using virtual reality and 360 degree photography and video. You put on some googles and your going to be able to see a house, a facility, a beach and feel like you are there. I am working with real estate agents and architects to be able to transport their clients to a space without physically visiting." - Pedro Cruz. San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Piloto 151 Offices.Old San Juan, PR..December 2015..Alex Santos, 22 works as a software developer for Cameta in the Piloto 151 offices..."I am a software developer and I focus mainly in UI, Interface, CSS, and program the front end. I used to love robotic
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I worked with a 30-year-old Hasselblad film camera, with only 12 shots per roll, and hand developed the film in the basement of the Bronx Documentary Center.


This traditional process allowed me to work slowly and think carefully about how to best tell compelling stories in a formal portrait series. My inspiration came from photographers such August Sanders and Walker Evans whose work has shown me that portraiture can serve a strong documentarian purpose.

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