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The Alphabet of Enchantment Island 2.0

$1,810 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 39 people in 3 months
Book synopsis

THE ALPHABET OF ENCHANTMENT ISLAND is a bilingual children’s picture book about Puerto Rican culture, our beautiful African diasporic heritage, and imagining a world where the American territories are free and sovereign lands. This 32-page story was written by Yajaira De La Espada, with translations by Juan De La Espada. The story is written in Spanish and English. The color. The vibrant nature. The rich history. This book highlights the wealth of African history flowing through our veins as Puerto Rican people. 


Inspiration/Social Impact

This book is dedicated to my centenarian great-grandmother who is still living, and experienced the atrocities of chattel slavery. A few months ago, she finally started opening up to me about her experiences and thinking of her strength in character, I felt a sense of urgency to document her story in a way that could be read for generations to come.

I feel that this book is not only a tool for learning, but a form of resistance. Puerto Rico’s most communal and prevailing historical thread, is our constant fight for independence, #TheOldestColony. The goal of this story is not only to raise awareness, but to showcase joy even within the persistent struggle for freedom. Recently, I traveled to mi Isla del Encanto for the first time in life. Growing up, my family didn't travel much and my 1st gen upbringing was unfortunately deep-seated in my parents assimilation. Which subsequently became my assimilation. In some ways we held onto our culture, and in other ways it was turkey instead of pernil. I longed for an island I never saw. No one in my family had been back since moving to New York so many moons ago. This recent trip was a Mecca for me. I used to play recordings of Coquis at night just to feel closer to the island growing up, but now I had finally heard them live and in color. I knew this magic was something I had to establish within myself. I thought about all the others who only knew of the island from a stateside context, and those who still resided on the island. I thought about our children, future and present. With the understanding that our history is always under threat of being erased, I wrote this story back in 2015, my first story ever written. 

In this 32 page bilingual children’s picture book, THE ALPHABET OF ENCHANTMENT ISLAND takes the readers on a journey from the terms “AfroLatinx” to “Wepa”. The last three letters are a tribute to taking back our narrative.

“Before God, and the world, my blood claims for the independence of Puerto Rico. My life, I give for the freedom of my country. This is the cry for victory in our struggle for independence.” – Lolita Lebron

In the spirit of Lolita Lebron, I too claim for the independence of Puerto Rico. This is why I wrote THE ALPHABET OF ENCHANTMENT ISLAND, because art and activism are one in the same. My aim in this life is to provide nourishing content for children, and to raise their critical thinking and imagination levels. I do this by creating compelling stories that speak on current day topics. Last year, Puerto Rico went through another devastating Hurricane. Many media outlets would have you believe that the Vulture funds came after Hurricane. That is imprecise. The Vulture Funds (as vultures in real life do), have been waiting at the ready, for any opportunity that would hit our small but mighty island. Ready to swoop in, and lay hold of whatever inkling of life detected. I wrote this story as a sheer opposite to the narrative of a defeated Puerto Rico.


Yajaira's aim & trajectory 

The goal is to spread this book far and wide once published. The funds from the crowdfunding campaign will go towards payment to a new illustrator, and printing the first 100 copies of this book. There are already principals and educators who have pledged to stock their classrooms with this book. Once the book is published, I hope to do a book tour around Puerto Rico, New York, Florida, and Texas. By you supporting this campaign, you are helping me lay the foundational work towards independent publishing. The Alphabet of Enchantment Island is storytelling with an educational lens. As stated previously, history curriculums have been eliminated from Puerto Rican education systems. This book not only has an attached glossary and historical timeline in the back of it, but I also intend to create lesson plans based upon the figures and movements highlighted in the pages. 


How you can help

We understand that not everyone can financially support this project due to how life be sometimes. But we know that everybody knows one or two bochinche's (gossips). If you don't know anyone, that person is you. Please share this with as many people as you can. Share it on social media. Share it with your co-workers. If you know someone who is a journalist or someone affiliated with a digital platform, POR FAVOR share it with them. We have a press release kit available that I can send over. Just email me at yajairawrites@gmail.com


If you would like to check out the previous campaign, click here.
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The illustrator has been commissioned thanks to your support!

From this point:
- Receive first pencil sketches in May. Will send an update then.
- Illustrator will be working from May till September on the final colored images.
- I will share some of the images as we finalize them.
- Anticipated publication: Spring 2020
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The magnificent Islenia has been commissioned to visually further the Alphabet of Enchantment Island. Below is the second image, Y is for Yajaira. These are not final images, but a taste of what's to come.
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The magnificent Islenia has been commissioned to visually further the Alphabet of Enchantment Island. Below is the first image, B is for Boricua. These are not final images, but a taste of what's to come.
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I have commissioned a new illustrator for sample images. Will be dropping three new illustrations by the end of this week. Stay tuned.
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$1,810 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 39 people in 3 months
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