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Isha Mary

Renta López

Author, Bomba Practitioner, Meteorologist

A Puerto Rico native, Isha is passionate about nature, cultures, and science. As a girl, she was fascinated by hurricanes, which propelled her to study meteorology in Washington, DC. Isha then founded a bomba non-profit, a STEM outreach initiative and has published her first children’s book.


Meet Isha

Isha M. Renta López was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico surrounded by her family, which includes her two parents, four siblings, over thirty cousins and many close friends. Growing up in Puerto Rico, surrounded by the mountains, palm trees, the beaches and hurricanes, connected her deeply to nature, which led Isha to become a meteorologist. She moved to Washington, DC in 2004 to complete a degree in meteorology and she has worked in the field since. The connection to her culture, and being away from home, then led Isha to become a practitioner of Puerto Rican bomba. Isha has studied bomba since 2007 and is the founder and director of Semilla Cultural, a non-profit organization focused on bomba, which has been operating since 2014. Isha is proud to have studied, and continues to study, with the best teachers of bomba and uses her knowledge to teach and present all aspects of bomba through Semilla Cultural in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. In addition to being a scientist with a passion for bomba, Isha is the mother of two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys time with her family, going to concerts, and planning her next adventures. 


Isha wrote her first children’s book in Spanish and English, and hopes this will be the first of many educational books about Puerto Rican bomba and science.

Sofía y su Tambor de Bomba (Español)


Sofia and her Bomba Drum (English)

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Sofia sets out to learn to play the Puerto Rican bomba drum despite some opposition, but she learns more than that in this educational adventure about the culture of Puerto Rico. Be like Sofía, and venture into this, the first book in our educational series on Puerto Rican bomba.

Sofía se dispone a aprender a tocar el tambor de bomba puertorriqueña aún con la oposición de algunos, pero aprende mucho más que eso en esta aventura educativa sobre la cultura de Puerto Rico. Haz como Sofía, y aventúrate en este, el primer libro de nuestra serie educativa de bomba puertorriqueña.


A practitioner of Puerto Rican Bomba since 2007, Isha is the founder and director of Semilla Cultural, a non-profit organization focused on Bomba, which has been operating since 2014.


As the founder and director of Semilla Cultural, Isha leads this nonprofit dedicated to promoting and preserving Puerto Rican heritage through the bomba music and dance. Isha began her bomba journey in 2007, and has not stopped since. She has led projects such as ‘The Banyan Tree of the Americas: Music Evolution in the African Diaspora’, which included lectures, workshops and performances connecting bomba with other African rooted music and dance genres.

Isha believes in continuing to dissect and collect missing history of colonized Puerto Rico through continuous studies and collaboration in Afro-Caribbean and the Atlantic Slave Trade spheres. In 2023 Isha completed a year-long Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship under master Tata Cepeda. Isha and Semilla Cultural have performed and taught Puerto Rican bomba at prestigious venues such as the John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Memorial, the Strathmore, Richmond Folklife Festival, among others.


In her cultural arts endeavors, Isha has had the opportunity to be part of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) Advocacy and Leadership Institutes, and has been a grant reviewer for both NALAC and the National Endowment for the Arts. Isha furthers her community approach through collaboration with other local organizations and is fully committed to preserve and disseminate her culture to empower the communities through her endless pursuit of knowledge and skill. Isha's publication of her first children's book, Sofia and her Bomba Drum, or Sofia y su Tambor de Bomba, is yet another outreach effort to educate and empower the community in this cultural practice.


Isha is a meteorologist who has worked as a researcher and forecaster before moving to management. Isha has created Weather Reach, an initiative to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders through outreach activities.


The impacts of Hurricane Hugo on Puerto Rico sparked Isha’s weather curiosity, but Hurricane Georges ignited her dream to be a meteorologist and help people. However, there were no programs in Puerto Rico for her to study meteorology. Having completed an undergraduate degree in mathematics, she began her master’s degree in atmospheric sciences, which brought her to Washington DC. Upon completion of numerous internships, Isha embarked on her meteorologist career with the Department of the Navy and then at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service.

Through her leadership skills, she transferred to the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research to lead the Science Council, and then serve as the Advisor to the Chief Scientist. Isha is active at the American Meteorological Society and has been the lead for the Colour of Weather reception for multiple years. Isha is a passionate advocate for diversity in STEM, bilingual science communication, and enjoys frequent outreach and mentoring opportunities.

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Isha created Weather Reach in an effort to inspire youth in the very way she was inspired through a private capacity. Through Weather Reach, Isha provides outreach and mentoring from youth to graduate students to share information and inspire the next generation of STEM leaders.



Career in meteorology leads Latina back to her roots

October 10, 2023


Margarita “Tata” Sanchez Cepeda & Isha M Renta Lopez

January 27, 2023

Semilla Cultural, Un Espacio Para Compartir Y Conocer La Bomba Puertorriqueña

Mayo 21, 2023


Who is a Scientist? by Laura Gehl: Book Appearance

June, 7 2021

Cuando las cosas se hacen de corazón, las bendiciones llegan solas.

When things are done from the heart, blessings will come your way.

Isha M. Renta López

9no Cafecito con STEAM y una Pizca de Vistazo
"La clave del éxito es la perseverancia"
Washington está bajo de aviso por la intensificación que puede tener la tormenta ‘Jonas’
Winter Forecasting: Variation
Frente Frío en nuestra área
The Importance of Hispanic Representation in Meteorology
Entrevista sobre la calidad del aire que esta en código rojo
Telemundo 44 - Mes de la Herencia Hispana - Isha M. Renta Lopez

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