Archive for November, 2009


foreigners (journal #12)

Strange and unusual animals fascinate us. That’s why we love to see TV programs from animal planet and discovery channel. But encountering those animals in real life is another story specially if they tent to attack.  In Puerto Rico there is no huge variety of that strange fauna. We have the coqui, and the puertorrican boa and also two or three more native animals. But, we are not accustomed to dangerous species even when our island have a lot of great habitats for those type of animals.

The thing is that the black market enter a lot of dangerous and strange species to Puerto Rico to sell them, and this is a great problem because those who buy them not always know how to take care of them. For example, the most popular are reptiles like snakes of all types and alligators.  Snakes need a special environment: temperature and humidity has to be regulated, they have difficulty when digesting food, when babies they tend to get sick with facility, etc.  These animals need a lot of care when they are in captivity. Also the majority of them specially pythons and boas grow to and extent of 4 meters.

When owners see that they can’t take care of them anymore, most of them just drop them in a river or something puting its life and the lives of the people and animals around in danger. Recently in a public residential in Mayaguez a group of men catch a alligator from a little river and put it in a cage. I also know people that founded boas and other snakes near their houses. Here I have some pictures of the alligator and the snakes:


Dance: the universal language (journal #11)

It feels great to see the passion in the face of a dancer and it is a lot better when you can dance and express that passion through your movements, your gestures, using every part of your body to communicate something. When I dance I feel like everything in this world dissapears and I am alone with the music. I think that something similar occures to everyone when they’re doing what they love most. Continue reading ‘Dance: the universal language (journal #11)’


Monkeys for Parenting Training- (mock reasearch paper)

Nechelmarie Fernandez Guzman

ENGL 3231

Prof. Ellen Pratt

November 5, 2009

Monkeys for Parenting Training

In recent discussions of responsible parenthood a controversial issue has been whether or not is implemented the practice of raising a monkey before having a baby to prove that the parents are prepared[1]. On one hand, some argue that this practice violates the monkey’s rights by the limit of captivity. On the other hand, some argue that it could be helpful in both ways: to help the future parents with a great experience and also to decrease the harm caused by these monkeys to the crops. My own view is that this practice should be implemented because it could assure the increase of better parenthood values and it could help others to decide if they really want a child.

            As Christa Jones notes in her book Is my baby a monkey?, the importance of a preparation before the conception of a baby is critical for the parents to raise that baby in the better way. She offers her own experience in this book as she declares that having a baby without parent training was the most difficult experience of her life: “I was just 22 and my husband was 24 but we had no idea that having Eleonor will change our lives forever.  I passed through hard things as depression and frustration, as I though how different this moment could be if I were better prepared” (14). Like Jones, are thousands and even millions of parents that have passed through this difficult moments. All this could be solved by the implementation of the practice stated above. Even when Jones affirm that she read a lot of parenting books, she admits that it wasn’t enough what these books said, experience is extremely different (25).

            It is clear that the plague of monkeys in Puerto Rico is a serious issue that affects specially the agriculture. Miguel Ithier gave us in his article, “Monos en el oeste, la nueva plaga” the statistics about the population of monkeys and the harms made to the crops. The results of his investigation point that between 2006 and 2009 the “patas monkeys” population increased a 45% (17), these results are a cause of worry for the agricultural business and even for health because, as Ithier demonstrates, they are carriers of a diversity of diseases that can be transmitted to humans (18). If it’s created an organization that put these monkeys in captivity they could be medically checked and put to reproduction. Those baby monkeys that are born could be given to future parents to raise them and we could kill two birds with one shot: as we work with the monkey plague problem we help for the preparation of many couples with the experience of raising and loving this new life. 


Fig. 1: Linslay, Patas Monkeys captured in Lajas PR,

            Also, after having the experience and having a real baby, these monkeys could be excellent pets for these growing families after they are mature. And maybe there could be some of this couples that after having the experience could decide not having a real baby and stay with the monkey, which is fine because with this economic crisis an unnecessary increment in demography isn’t what we need.


Unknown, A baby Patas Monkey,

            In response to the claims made by the animal rights defendants, the fact that this is cruel for the monkeys because they are “taken from their natural life” (12) as Jenna Hopkins affirm in his essay “Patas Monkeys, the real story”, has no real value because these monkeys will have, by regulation, all the good care that they need and more. The objective here is that both, the monkey and the family are beneficiaries of this project. The monkeys will get a comfortable life, good food, health, and love; future parents will get the incredible experience and benefits that could result from this innovative practice. 

            In conclusion, we have to open our minds to novel initiatives in the parenting aspect to be able to grow a better society. The majority of the problems that we have as a society begin with the parenting that individuals receive in their childhood. Better prepared parents can suppose a better society. This project of monkeys for parenting training is an exceptional idea that could affect us positively in many aspects; we just have to try it.



Works Cited

 A baby patas monkey. Google images. (2008).

Grant, Hugh. “Monkeys for prenatal training.” Parenting innovation 13.8 (2009): 10-15.

Hopkins, Jenna. “Patas monkeys: the real story.” Animal Rights 10.2 (2009): 11-14.

Ithier, Miguel. “Monos en el oeste, la nueva plaga.” Ecosistema 12 July 2009: 17-19.

Jones, Christa. Is my baby a monkey?. Boston: Casablanca, 2006.

Linslay. Monkeys captured in Lajas PR. Google Images. (2008).







[1] See Hugh Grant, “Monkeys for prenatal training,” Parenting Innovation 10 (2009).


Pressure- journal #10

How difficult is trying to please everyone. I’ve spent my life trying to please everyone around me and although I know it is impossible for some reason I try anyways. Sometimes I get so many goals, but can not find the time go for them because there’s always something or someone that asks for my time and I leave all I want aside to please that thing or that person. Someone once told me that I can not please everyone, I have to do what I want and not what others want to do. But, what a coincidence, that that person was mad at me once because we no longer spent as much time as before. And the problem is that people do this unconsciously. I try to give space to people, not to demand their time, waiting the time that he or she can and want above all, to spend some time with me, because I do not want anyone to be with me out of obligation. I don’t know if you understand me, actually I am expressing myself,  because I decided some time ago that things would change and would think more about what I want and then I get back to my passion: dancing, but the pressure began to arise from everywhere and I felt I was tied to thousands of ropes and they tugged in all directions. Anyway I decided to go against the stream and some of the ropes gave way, but there are still a few hundred of them and sometimes I run out of energy. It is difficult to have a passion and feel that everything prevents you to do it. It is difficult to deny the pressure because if you end up losing a lot of things by time. What should I do? Finally, I decided with God’s help, to follow my initiative: to listen to myself before listening others, to please myself before pleasing others, to love me more and not less than others, of living, as possible, but in my way.