New Social Media Network 'Parranda' Aims to Unite Puerto Ricans in Diaspora

"It's the same as a parranda in Puerto Rico, only now it's virtual doors, because Puerto Ricans are living everywhere," said Polanco.

With an opening door as a logo, Parranda's first order of business is to document where the scattered Puerto Rican community is by using an interactive virtual map at their website Like real-life parrandas that take place during the holidays, the project will officially launch on Christmas eve.

Later initiatives will include an online mentoring program and a crowd-funding capability, much like Kickstarter, to fund projects that will improve life for those on the island. Inspired by the White House Hispanic Initiative, which Rodriguez advised, Parranda also plans on real-life events where Puerto Ricans around the world can get together in person and discuss a path forward for the island. The first of those will be the 2013 Spring Summit in which the organization will send top Puerto Rican US leaders in academia, business, and the arts to the island, with airfare and hotel included, in order to participate in the summit. Island leaders will also be sent to local summits in the U.S. by the Parranda group, according to Rodriguez.

With their kick-off mapping project and the 2013 summit, the creators of Parranda hope to demonstrate the very first core belief of their new endeavor: "That nations are defined not only by their borders, but by their people regardless of where they live."

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