The Port to Nowhere: PR’s lost opportunity

Excerpted from The Puerto Rican English Blog:

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Port to Nowhere

(AKA “The Island of Disenchantment”)

Even though this is a relatively old article, it’s just so depressing to hear, and I had to share it and vent a little.

Ponce’s Port of the Américas’ transshipment potential rapidly fading away – at

The Port of the Americas (aka the Port of Ponce) is PR’s opportunity to become a vital link in world trade, the only deep-water port in the Caribbean that could handle the super-huge PANAMAX container ships that traverse the Panama Canal. We were billed to become the “Singapore of the Caribbean”. We were set to reclaim our position as the 1st Port of the New World, the geographic axis connecting North America, South America, and Europe, and with the traffic from the Panama Canal, Asia as well. This is PR’s chance to grow rich and powerful off of basically just being there, sitting in the ocean exactly where it’s always been, which is the best way to get rich.  READ MORE…


Building Communities on a Global Scale

Frontiers of Learning Video

This video presents examples of Baha’i community development projects in Colombia, Canada, India and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Active projects currently exist in thousands of communities around the world. The implications of these projects for the future of society cannot be overestimated.   Transformations are occurring on the level of culture and youth are actively engaged as leaders in these projects.





The world has reached a critical point in its development.  The decisions we make will lead us to a prosperous and peaceful world, in which each individual contributes to the advancement of civilization; or to a world in which the human spirit is held captive by antiquated cultural practices, a world in which heinous crimes are committed upon its people (mostly women and girls) on a daily basis.  One future is heaven and the other is hell.  The advancement of women and girls is the key to unlocking the processes leading to sustainable development, global prosperity and world peace. 

 As early as the 19th Century, Abdu’l-Baha recognized the importance of women in achieving peace:  

 “When all mankind shall receive the same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed.  Without equality this will be impossible because all differences and distinction are conducive to discord and strife.”

 So important is the advancement of women and girls that he recommended that daughters be given priority over sons, in regard to education.

“ ….training and culture of daughters is more necessary than that of sons, for girls will one day be mothers, and mothers are the first educators of the new generation. If it is not possible, therefore, for a family to educate all the children, preference is to be accorded to daughters since, through educated mothers, the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively and rapidly diffused throughout society.”  

Implicit in the above statement is that empowered, educated mothers can train their sons to become men of strong moral character, something that is sorely lacking in today’s world. 

Numerous other benefits will accrue to society with the advancement of women; including their special contributions to the various fields of science; based on their mental alertness, intuition, and spiritual qualities of love and service, in which women are strong. 

“The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over women by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting — force is losing its weight and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. Hence the new age will be an age, less masculine, and more permeated with the feminine ideals — or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced.”

For the reasons stated above, will aggressively promote the advancement of women in its future posts.  I sincerely hope that the readers of will take advantage of the valuable information that will be posted relative to this important topic.

Eric Harmsen, Pragwater Administrator

v42 n01 - International service opens new vistas


GirlRising: Malala and Shazia

The story of Malala’s friend: Brightening girls’ lives with education

Excellent Article and videos on the work of these brave girls.

(CNN) — Today we can tell the remarkable story of Shazia Ramzan, a 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl.

Last October Shazia was travelling home from school with her friend Malala Yousafzai when a Taliban gunman boarded their bus and shot both of them. Malala suffered head and facial injuries and had to be rushed to hospital in the UK. Shot in the neck and arm, Shazia spent a month in hospital while her deep wounds healed. Both were attacked by terrorists who wanted to stop girls going to school. Read more…



Students from across Puerto Rico attended the NOAA CREST Summer Camp this week on the UPRM Campus.  This afternoon, they attended a workshop by Dr. Eric Harmsen, which focused on the use of GOES-PRWEB for scheduling irrigation in Puerto Rico.  Irrigation scheduling is important for water conservation and for achieving optimal crop yields.  The presentation is provided below:


IMG_1125 IMG_1126 IMG_1119 IMG_1120 IMG_1121 IMG_1122 IMG_1123 IMG_1124

Small Scale Farming: Simple, Successful, Sustainable

Small Scale Farming: Simple, Successful, Sustainable

Sugeno-san is a philosopher. His love affair with the land is poetry. “These trees are planted by our ancestors. These ‘tambos’ — the orderly descending terraces of rice paddy fields — are blessings from our communal mountains and forests. We smallholder farmers are the guardians of this Earth. It is our ancestral connection with their spirits. We pay our respects by respecting the land.” I realise that this deep and profound link between our planet and our humanity is being shattered by our human greed and ever-rising consumption.  Read more…