Teenage Boy to Gov. García Padilla in Viral Video: ‘Are We the Future of Puerto Rico? Or Are We Not?’

Sep 15, 2014
3:42 PM

A viral video published by the Facebook page of Por el amor en el caserío shows 13-year-old David Santiago Román, a resident of the Luis Llorens Torres housing project in San Juan, Puerto Rico, giving the island’s current governor, Alejandro García Padilla, some advice about how to make life in U.S. territory better for kids. With stories that hedge funds are now interested in helping Puerto Rico’s deep economic crisis, David’s message is a bit more simple, and a lot more powerful. The video has gotten more than 22,000 shares, 8,000 likes and 1,000 comments since it was posted on September 9.

This is the video in Spanish. By the way, see David’s face light up when he talks about the arts and drama.

My name is David Santiago Román. I am 13 years old. I live in the Luis Llorens Torres projects. I have a brief opinion for my friend, the Governor of Puerto Rico. Why not invest more money in sports and the arts? Right now, I am bored. What causes boredom? Evil. Violence. Robbing. So many bad things. And this is not something that I want to happen in Puerto Rico. Imagine, from when you were very little, if you are taught how to value good things, we wouldn’t have time to value bad things. That’s how we could grew up as decent men and women. It would be great if you spent more on sports, the arts and theater! Imagine that. That’s my opinion and I hope you take it to heart. Are we the future of Puerto Rico? Or are we not?

On September 10, after the video starting going viral and David was being criticized for what he said (why?), the following note from David was posted:


Hi, this is David! I just wanted to clarify something: I am not criticizing the governor. I am just offering my humble opinion about where money should be spent in Puerto Rico. I am not saying that I am going to do bad things because I am bored. Those are what the kids from the Point do, but I am not like them. I just want them to not excuses to do bad things. My parents support me and they are not living off the government, like many of you have said. My mom studies and works. My real dad is in jail, and I don’t want to end up like him. That’s why I study. My daddy Antonio works hard and I help him at his job. I was just giving an example of how to make a better Puerto Rico. Many people here have a heart filled with hate. Thank you to those who understood me with the words you shared. I am from the projects but I am not stupid. I am always going to do things the right way and be professional about it. Do you want to see my grades?