Activist Waldemiro Velez

Rumor has it that his name is pretty recognized around campus. But don’t let those rumors blind you about the kind of man he is. Sometimes we have to rise, when we are in our lowest. After being out of the UPR system for a while, Waldemiro embodies the definition of a fighter. He sacrificed many things in order that future generations would enjoy the great things that the UPR has to offer. There is more selflessness in this individual that many of us don’t appreciate because we are too busy hearing gossip. I give you the opportunity to get to know a bit of this extraordinary human being. Meet this week’s Profile, Waldemiro Velez Soto.

Name: Waldemiro Velez Soto

Age: 30

Classification: Senior

Hometown: San Juan

Major: Political Sciences/ Education

Relationship Status: Single

 

HCUPR: Tell us about yourself:

W: I’m a human being who is passionate about social transformation, the people of change. I harvest and pick up the fruit of our work. I’m an autodidact by obligation. I learn about everything. And lastly, I’m a multitasker.

HCUPR: How was it like your experience at Campamento Villas del Sol?

W: It was made by kids, teens, mothers and voluntaries from outside, most of them from the UPR system. We did educational workshops, artistic activities and recreational ones too. Since 2007, with the community, I have been helping out from being a communitarian organizer to being a negotiator/ mediator when they wanted them to leave. This community is very important to me.

HCUPR: What are your future plans?

W: Currently working on a project of alphabetization in Villa Palmera, we do tutoring without any cost in Villas del Sol. Today, I found out that they approved a proposal, it is about a center that kids, adults and third age fellows can go finish their studies.

HCUPR: What do you have to say about Playas Pa’l Pueblo?

W: I’ve been working there since 2003, and a fun fact about this is that the closing of the camp, was done there. We did activities, workshops and the families of the community cooked for everyone. Less than a month ago, they did murals. That camp knows what resistance is and today the ones who help us are the same ones from the tutoring.

HCUPR: Something not many people know about you.

W: Everything. It is not the same to know things about someone, rumor in general, than actually sitting with someone and getting to know them.

HCUPR: What is your biggest achievement?

W: Seeing my students graduate, and just looking at them enjoying everything I have worked for. The community was about to disappear, and it is still there, and those same people are the ones that are shaping up future generations.

HCUPR: Who is someone you look up to?

W: My parents. They are an example of overcoming obstacles. The love to educate, to serve for Puerto Rico, to always work and never stop fighting for what they believe in.

HCUPR: What are your views on current events?

W: I wonder myself what’s up with us puertorricans that we’re not fighting back. Today we are paying that price. The university apart from giving titles, it should also start giving the solutions and serve the country.

HCUPR: It’s kind of curious that you started in Political Sciences, and then you double majored in Education, how do these two match?

W: That I could study outside the classroom, because politics is everything. The real change we need is in education and social aspects of our communities. That is what truly would make an impact in the political stigma. From high to low, that’s who we are. It is time to empower those who sweat for what is better for us.

HCUPR: Any particular event that marked you? Why?

W: The community service in the Indian community, located in Mexico. My first suspension and Villas del Sol Camp.  These three marked me because I have the unconscious pressure to graduate, because I have an example to set to my nephews; but the title isn’t really everything. Professionalism is a value, because in the end, it helps you empower and be an example of overcoming your obstacles.

HCUPR: Describe yourself in 3 words.

W: Critical Human Being.