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Puerto Rico’s Gubernatorial Candidates Talk About Holy Week

By on March 24, 2016

SAN JUAN — For many people, the commemoration of Holy Week is usually a time to pause and reflect on their daily lives. While some take the time to go to their church of preference and participate in rituals and activities, others take the opportunity to go on vacation and spend time with their family and loved ones. Puerto Rico’s political leaders are no exception. Caribbean Business spoke with the island’s gubernatorial candidates to find out how they plan to spend these next few days.

Photo by Luis J. Valentín

Photo by Luis J. Valentín

David Bernier (Popular Democratic Party):

“I use this time to share with my family, spend more time with my brothers, my father, my wife and kids. I usually don’t go outside the island; I rather stay near my people.”

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi  (New Progressive Party):

“I was in Washington, D.C., at the beginning of the week, and then I’m planning to take a few days of rest with my wife outside of Puerto Rico.”

Dr. Ricardo Rosselló (New Progressive Party):

“I will be with my family, spending time with those in need, with elderly people who have no family, with homeless people and poor children. I will also participate in various church activities and meditate.”

Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago (Puerto Rican Independence Party):

“I go to my parents’ house in Adjuntas; my son is already there and during the weekend, my sister, her husband and I will join them. We always go there and have a family Easter lunch; my son very much likes spending these vacation days with his grandparents.”

Rafael Bernabe (Working People’s Party):

“These days, I focus on spending time with my family and take a rest from this agitated life we go through. I also get up to date on work and correct exams.”

Manuel Cidre (Independent):

“First of all, Holy Week is not a cause for celebration in our family. It is a time for self-reflection, to be at peace and get some rest, and being a candidate has not changed that, obviously.”


The candidates took the opportunity to also talk about the meaning of this occasion.


“There always needs to be a space in which one can find oneself, rest one’s mind and body and in particular search for God and reflect on the good things that one has in life. [Holy Week] provides the space for that; it allows one to recharge batteries and then face life’s challenges with new strength.”


“I usually pray and put myself in the hands of the Lord every day of my life, and during the Holy Week, it will be even more important. I will take the opportunity this week to reflect, ask God for wisdom and go to church.”


“We should use Holy Week to reflect on the importance of giving thanks, on sharing what we have and be tolerant. This week should always be a time of reflection, asking for the wisdom needed to build a better Puerto Rico.”


“I think that, independently of faith or religion, these are days in which one must reflect on everything, considering the tough times that lie ahead for Puerto Rico. People take strength from faith or spirituality, and we must bring that individual exercise to the collective.”


“To those people who are religious, go to your church activities, and to those who are not, spend time with your families, taking into account that we don’t always have such an opportunity in the society that we live in.”


“Our call is one of deep reflection, to  see perhaps that we are really fortunate. In a world filled with wars and uncertainty, with terrorist attacks that have brought matters out of control, like in the case of Brussels, like in Paris or in Spain, Puerto Rico still lives under peaceful conditions that many countries possibly envy. In a world in which solidarity is absent, Puerto Rico remains a solidary country; Puerto Rico is a noble and just country. I believe Holy Week should be a time to not only focus on what is lacking, but also on what is abundant, and thank God for such a blessing. With that direction in mind, I invite the country to be at peace, in communion, thankful of all the blessings and praying for the world to find its true north, to minimize the differences and maximize what unites us, and that the things we enjoy become the rule and not the exception.”

Independent candidate Alexandra Lúgrao hadn’t returned Caribbean Business’ calls as of this writing.

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