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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Collins

My Capstone Proposal

My original plan for my capstone project was to go on a trip with Dr. Clara E. Rodriguez to Boquerón, Puerto Rico, to scope out sites and establish the Boquerón Environmental Consortium or BEC. BEC does not just focus on the environmental dimension, but on the history, the economic and the social and political dimensions as well of southwestern Puerto Rico. BEC will study and map the local economy, learning its strengths and weaknesses and share these results with others so as to assist others in devising plans to ignite dynamic, sustainable and equitable growth. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am planning to do a social documentary through zoom interviews, online research as well as other academic resources to support my capstone project all the while obeying social distancing guidelines.

After speaking with my advisor, Dr. Rodriguez, I have decided to create this social

documentary that will be split into three-to-five approximately ten-to-fifteen minute episodes that include key interviews, videography, and information that will display the resiliency of Puerto Rico, which has been given little or no outside help regarding natural disasters. Puerto Rico’s circumstances have been given limited media coverage and my social documentary will help change this lack of media attention. My capstone project will highlight Puerto Rico as a case study on the American Dream. The island’s complex history, culture, and language make it a special part of the United States. By examining recent natural disasters such as earthquakes and Hurricane Maria as well as the coronavirus pandemic, my social documentary will be filled to the brim with stories, facts, and figures that need to be told to the world.

Even though I am not Puerto Rican, I relate to this community’s trials and tribulations: my family comes from Spain’s Canary Islands, which also have faced similar challenges in regards to disasters such as polluted waters from oil drillings and being ignored in the mainstream media from the mainland (Spain). With this background, I feel I can respectfully make this social documentary with the guidance of Dr. Rodriguez. Using this guidance and experience, I believe this social documentary will help establish the Boquerón Environmental Consortium by getting BEC the media coverage it deserves.

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