This video is being shared before Epiphany Sunday to give a better sense of what the Building Puentes appeal is and who our siblings on the Caribbean islands are. The hope is that Kristina [Diaz’ work] will be shared in our congregations through social media, children’s sermons, Temple Talks, Adult Forums, etc.
Editor’s Note: Following is an introduction sent by Ms. Diaz on Dec. 31, 2017. Through her creativity and determination in difficult circumstances, her first video “Visual Stories featuring Bishop Felipe Lozada,” has been received and is now available for viewing. In the words of the Rev. Carmelo Santos, “Mil gracias por tu trabajo” [Thank you very much for your work].
My name is Kristina L. Diaz. Because my mom is a pastor, I am connected to many churches in the Caribbean Synod.* I am also a writer a photographer, and I studied radio and television production at Sagrado Corazon University in Santurce, Puerto Rico.
I was here when both Irma and Maria passed through the Caribbean. I am still here 102 days after Maria and still without electricity. After Maria, since the hotels have closed down and my job was part of a hotel, I like many others was left in the limbo of the layoff.
So I have volunteered in restoration and relief efforts with the church. Along the way I have taken pictures with my camera. [The Rev. Leila Ortiz] approached me and asked me if I could make a video to be shared with the [Metro D.C.] Synod.
I have done my best to collect these stories. I have visited with members of a few different churches in Puerto Rico including the bishop, and I flew to St. Thomas and spoke with [church members there].
There have been challenges both technical and resource-wise along the way. Internet is very slow and unreliable.
[But] thank you for the opportunity and for the support in these uncertain times.
* Diaz’ mother is the Rev. Graciela Rivera Sánchez of Ascención Lutheran Church in Puerto Rico