SABOR exposes students to Puerto Rican culture

SABOR [Students Adelantando el Boricua con Orgullo y Respeto – Students enhancing Puerto Rican awareness with respect and pride], formerly known as the Puerto Rican Students Association, will host a forum entitled “Despierta Boricua” [Wake up Puerto Rican] regarding Puerto Rican culture in Pearson 102, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.
“Our goal as an organization is to educate the community of Puerto Rican culture and create a closer relationship with students, faculty, administration, departments and other organizations within the University,” said Ivan Morales, president of SABOR. “We want to unite the UM community to the best of our power.”
Currently, SABOR has approximately 65 members and has recently participated in ‘Canefest, Hispanic Heritage Month and Salsa night at the Rat.
“I joined because of the pride that I have for Puerto Rico – I felt that it was a good opportunity to try and expose the culture to the UM community,” said Shelia Blakely, vice president of SABOR.
“Being involved with SABOR has allowed me to meet other Puerto Ricans from places all over the world that attend UM,” junior Michael Pittre said.
“I want to unite the Puerto Rican population at UM and in the community,” Morales said. “There is a lot of discrepancy between first generation Puerto Ricans and second and third generations.”
The Forum is the first major event that SABOR will host on campus.
“The Forum deals with issues about what it means to be Puerto Rican and what defines a person as Puerto Rican,” Morales said.
“The discussion is going to be an open forum to discuss what constitutes being Puerto Rican. It’s going to be a fun, educational, and informative event,” Blakely said.
Frank Morris, assistant professor of foreign languages at UM and Raul Duany, director of admissions, recruitment and outreach at Carlos Al Bizu University in Miami, will be the guest speakers at the forum.
“We wanted to invite both speakers who were born in Puerto Rico and speakers who were not,” Morales said. “We want to help bridge the gap between the islanders and those that live in the U.S. because there is a bit of animosity there.”
“The forum is not intended to serve solely as a presentation; it is intended to expose the culture to anyone interested,” Blakely said.
“I am very interested in attending the forum because I’m fascinated that there can be so much hostility between people who share the same culture, values and ideas,” freshman John Roberts said. “I am really curious as to the reasons behind the separation between native Puerto Ricans and Puerto Ricans raised in the states.”
According to SABOR officers, Puerto Rican food and music will be provided at the event and prizes will be raffled.
SABOR will hold a general meeting today at 7:30 p.m. in the UC.

Leigha Taber can be contacted at