“Looking back at Puerto Rican history helps us see that we have always been powerful. Right now with the many challenges we are facing in Puerto Rico, people here feel powerless in their ability to participate in decision-making and governance. I believe it is because we don’t know our history, and we have forgotten how powerful we are. With these heritage tours that we are doing on AtmaGo, we are highlighting the history of the communities that surround the castles, so people know their own history and the power that they have.”
Erika Marrero, Puerto Rico Program Associate, Atma Connect
Appreciating cultural diversity goes hand-in-hand with a just and equitable society. Resilient communities are built when people feel connected to their culture and feel empowered and inspired to better their lives and the lives around them. Additionally, uniting and uplifting people through their history and culture increases the number of local leaders striving to improve their communities.
During the first months of 2021, Atma Connect in Puerto Rico partnered with the National Parks Service’s Educational Program. First, participants took a virtual tour of the San Juan National Historic Site. With over 500 years of history, The San Juan National Historic Site is a symbol of the many stories of aspiration and empowerment in Puerto Rico.
During a Citizen Journalism Training (CJw) led by Atma’s Puerto Rico Program Associate Erika, participants discussed the history of the island and how it is important to connect with the island’s history to build a foundation for a more resilient future.
The training focused on the importance of education around the topics of the past and present so as to help communities develop a sense of ownership and empowerment. In a post event survey, 77% of participants gave the tour and following discussion a 5 out of 5. And participants expressed their interest in learning more about Puerto Rico’s history and culture.
“There are important pieces of Puerto Rican history that are not common knowledge among Puerto Ricans, and these educational presentations we created remind us, Puerto Ricans, of our agency in our history and culture. This, in turn, nurtures our sense of belonging and allows us to grasp control of our destiny.” – Erika, Puerto Rico Program Associate, Atma Connect
AtmaGo is a platform that helps people connect with and unlock the power and brilliance that is already within them, that is embedded in their histories, and is the key to improving their lives, their communities, and the planet.