It has already been 150 years since the Lares Uprising
On September 23rd, 1868, one of the most important events in our history took place in Puerto Rico: El Grito de Lares (The Lares Uprising). Organized by Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances, Segundo Ruiz Belvis, Carlos Elias Lacroix, among other patriots, originally scheduled for September 29th in the town of Camuy, the plan was to liberate Cuba and Puerto Rico, the last two colonies of Spain In the Caribbean. Only days before the revolution, a Spanish army officer had heard (by mistake) conversations between two Puerto Rican revolutionaries and immediately alerted the Spanish colonial authorities about the plans for the uprising. There was no alternative but to change the date of the revolution. For the first time, a thousand Puerto Ricans gathered for a liberating purpose under the command of Generals Manuel Rojas and Juan de Mata Terreforte. On September 23, 1868, the Republic of Puerto Rico was declared, "la libreta" (the laborers' notebook) was abolished and all slaves were declared free. Although some consider this event as a military failure, without a doubt El Grito de Lares marked forever the birth of our Puerto Rican motherland.
A letter titled "Union"
We believe that there is the possibility that a Puerto Rican patriot, before giving his last battle in the town of San Sebastian, have written a letter thinking about all the Puerto Ricans of the future. The letter would have been kept for more than a century until its later discovery.
September 23, 1868
Compatriot, if you are reading this it means that the Spanish authorities have managed to sabotage our efforts to take the town of Lares. Some of my comrades and I are moving to San Sebastián del Pepino to give the fight. [...] We lost a battle, but we have won our Motherland. [...] I beg you all, you never stop believing in Puerto Rico or your people. Rescue the legacy of true patriots and tell the true story to all Puerto Ricans. It is your only hope to achieve freedom.
Puerto Rico is a country full of indelible national history and culture. Our people have been recognized throughout the world for their art, music, theater, sports, technology, among other things. However, in the XXI Century we face problems similar to those of our ancestors. The island continues to be the last colony in the world. With the passage of time and the emergence of new generations there are stories that stop being told, others try to be erased forever. These are the moments that some forces would like us to forget. It is in everyone to keep the memory alive. The time has come to meet with history, connect with our people and build a new country. Education is the key.
Reunion™ is an independent design project that seeks to highlight historical moments, people, places and symbols that are part of our national identity. All the pins are printed, assembled and packed in Puerto Rico.