Bronx Artist Marries Her Ancestral Homeland

The blushing bride, Mariposa Fernández, will take a working honeymoon to Puerto Rico this winter to deliver aid. (Photo by Sarah Matusek via The Hunts Point Express)

At The Point Community Development Corporation on Nov. 1 Maria Teresa “Mariposa” Fernández, a poet, activist and educator, married the love of her life – Puerto Rico.

Sarah Matusek writes for The Hunts Point Express:

Born in the Bronx, Mariposa still feels strong ties to her ancestors’ island through loved ones there, and curated a free cultural ceremony to profess her love for Puerto Rico in sickness and in health. This is the bride’s second marriage; she wed herself in 2001 as an act of self-love. With savory food for sale and a donations drop, her second wedding doubled as a fundraiser.

Guests purchased “gifts” from a wedding registry which includes seeds, portable fans, insect repellent and other items Mariposa will bring to Puerto Rico in December with the help of a group of female friends she refers to as “Mujeres con maletas” (women with suitcases).

As for the 60 or so mostly Puerto Ricans in attendance:

All were encouraged to take the matrimonial vows in English or Spanish. “I accept you, Puerto Rico, and your diaspora…” echoed in an emotional call and response following Mariposa’s lead.

Go to The Hunts Point Express to hear from some of the guests at the ceremony who shared their stories of family members on the island and how the event “offered a brief reprieve.”

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