For Carmen in San Sebastián
The play opens in the aftermath of a hurricane in Puerto Rico with Teo, a burro, and Luna, a dog. Luna and her owner, Dari are moving to New York City and Luna wants to help make a difference on the island before they have to leave. She is inspired by Luis Soriano and his Biblioburros who brought books to kids in Colombia who didn’t have access to libraries. Luna convinces Teo to travel to a neighboring town with his large collection of hurricane supplies where volunteers are assembling to see how they can help.
A young volunteer named Daniel sees potential in the animal helpers and asks Teo and Luna to deliver a very special book to his cousin Carmen in San Sebastián. No one from the volunteer group has been able to reach San Sebastián because of the hurricane damage to the roads. Luna is thrilled to have a mission, and Teo begrudgingly agrees to come along. On their journey, they encounter Pepito, a coquí frog who warns them of the conditions they will face and the magic that has been stirred up in the forest after the hurricane.
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Teo and Luna get caught in a rainstorm and end up losing sight of the road they’re following. Through the magic of the forest, they find themselves with Grandma Julia Chico, a woman from a pioneering time in Puerto Rico’s past. Having just gone through a hurricane herself, Grandma Julia bolsters the travelers, ensuring them that they can make a difference, even if it’s just for one person. As Teo and Luna leave, they find themselves back in present time and even more lost than they were before. For the first time on their journey, Luna starts to lose hope that they’ll ever complete their mission. Just as she is about to give up, millions of tiny bio-luminescent creatures illuminate the night, revealing the mountain village of San Sebastián.
Teo and Luna come upon Carmen who is busy at work trying to create solar chargers to help the people in her village, but something’s not quite working. Carmen’s grandfather tries to encourage her, telling her that her grandmother wouldn’t want her to give up if she were there, but she is defeated. Carmen notices Teo and Luna’s arrival and they give her the book with the note, “For Carmen in San Sebastián.” The book Daniel sent his cousin is an old children’s book their grandmother used to read to them. The moral from the story sparks an idea for Carmen’s solar chargers and she is reinvigorated to complete her project. Teo and Luna have accomplished their mission and made a real difference, even if it was just for one person. They begin their journey back to their town of Aguadilla having a stronger sense of community, family, and citizenship.