My Relationship to the VCHT and Why I’m Running MDI

I met Dr. Barbara Bernache-Baker in 2000 when I became her next door land neighbor. That summer, I spent several weeks at her home house sitting and she shared with me books she had written and some of the scientific papers and data about Vieques and its Bio-Luminescent Bay. As an oceanographer, Dr. Bernache-Baker was instrumental in bringing the scientific point of view to the bioluminescent phenomenon found in several bays and lagoons throughout the archipelago of Puerto Rico, the brightest of them, Mosquito, in Vieques. I moved to Vieques in the spring of 2004 and by the following year I had become a volunteer at the Trust. To this day, I believe in the Trust mission, consider the work that the Trust does in Vieques and Puerto Rico essential, and value that the Trust is a member of the White House Task Force on Vieques. Over the years, my assignments have included:

  1. Re-designing the entrance and original gift shop which was located where the museum is today.

  2. Creating the structure for an educational summer camp. With the help of Gilda Pimentel and in partnership with Mark Martin, MANTA (Movimiento en Apoyo a Nuestros Tesoros Ambientales) was born. After nearly a decade, MANTA has not only won plaudits for its unique educational core, but has served almost every child in our island municipality.

  3. Helping produce and direct what became known as the Vieques Pops. Vieques Pops became a cultural signature event for the VCHT in direct support of MANTA and other educational programs. The creative energy and enthusiasm amongst all of the musicians and everyone who worked tirelessly to make each of the Pops a success was unmatched.

  4. Partnering with Bob Gevinski (VCHT Board Member) and Robert Merino (VCHT Volunteer extraordinaire) to create an architectural tour of Isabel II. In 2016, all 3 of us conducted the pilot tours and based on the response, it is my hope that the architectural tours will continue to generate excitement and raise awareness about the architectural treasures of our capital city.


After working with Bob Gevinski on alternative ideas to fundraise, my next project with the Trust will be to run a marathon! I have run many races around the United States to raise funds and awareness in support of:

  • Breath cancer

  • AIDS

  • Not-for-profit theatres

  • Literacy programs

  • Libraries

  • Prostate cancer

So this October 16th, I am proudly running for the VCHT and I hope you become my partner in this very important effort. With your pledge, you will be striding by my side and helping raise funds to support the important work VCHT does in Vieques. I will be running the Mount Desert Island or MDI up in Maine. MDI is inside the Acadia National Park. The marathon begins in Bar Harbor and is known as one of the most beautiful road races in the world.

So don’t be left at the starting line, run with me all the way to the finish line and help support VCHT. Follow the Trust instructions as to how you can pledge your support.

Visit the MDI site at

I thank you in advance for pledging your support.

Out for a run,

Jose Carrasquillo


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