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The River Rail: Puerto Rico features artists, writers, scholars, poets, and activists whose work considers the history and future of Puerto Rico and the ongoing recovery efforts since Hurricane Maria in 2017.

A Message from the Publisher

Phong H. Bui on the impetus for the River Rail Puerto Rico.

Art, Activism, and the Environment in Puerto Rico

Editorial introduction by Iberia Pérez González and Natalia Viera Salgado.

Colonial Waterscapes: The Water Issue in Puerto Rico

Environmental sociologist José Anazagasty-Rodríguez on the changing social circumstances of water resources on the island.

Río y Respiro (River and Breath)

Through a performance action, ephemeral installation, and production of a homonymous documentary video, Dhara Rivera proposes a conversation about the current state of the bodies of water that flow across the island.

The Rain Gardens Project

The Institute for Socio-Ecological Research documents the collaborative work of rain gardens in Ponce.

We Can Clean Water with Our Earth

Agroceramicist Amara Abdal Figueroa writes on how locally sourced clay can be used to create natural water filtration systems.

¿Jácana, dónde estás?

Poetic Reflection by Amara Abdal Figueroa.

Recollections on the Cartography of the Caribbean Coast

By studying the indigenous and alien species found on coastal habitats, botanist and architect Steve Maldonado Silvestrini builds a picture of an ever-changing coastline.


Artist, writer, and naturalist Javier A. Román-Nieves on the struggle to preserve one of the last undeveloped stretches of coastline on the island.

Las Playas Son Nuestras (The Beaches Are Ours)

Experimental dance pioneer Viveca Vázquez’s 1989 video highlights the coastline as a site of contention.

Subtropical Dry*

Poems by Nicole Cecilia Delgado, translated by Urayoán Noel

Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces

A 2016 film by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz addresses the contamination of Vieques.

Caño Martín Peña: A Case Study in Community Action

To the Rescue of an Estuarine Ecosystem.

Fuerzas Sutiles (Subtle Forces)

nibia pastrana santiago’s large-scale choreographic event took place in 2017 inside a hangar at the Isla Grande Airport with the airstrip and San Bay serving as a dynamic backdrop.

Barrio Vietnam

Photographer Chris Gregory-Rivera surveys a waterfront neighborhood whose original residents are being pushed out by evictions.

Nothing Exists in a Void

Curator Michy Marxuach searches for another type of governance that isn’t anthropocentric.


Anayra Santory Jorge on water that can’t be seen, water that is always there, and the water that we come out of.

Las Salinas of Cabo Rojo

Aerial photos taken on July 19, 2019 by Anexis Morales.

Ecological Calendar

by Para la Naturaleza

Selected Bibliography

by Monique A. Lorenzo Pérez


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