Image of Calle 13 Visitante (Eduardo Cabra Martinez) and Residente (Rene Perez Joglar) of Calle 13 pose with their awards after dominating Thursday’s Latin Grammys.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
By David Malitz |
Duo Calle 13 dominated Thursday night’s 12th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, winning nine awards including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The duo of Residente (Rene Perez Joglar) and Visitante (Eduardo Jose Cabra Martinez, Joglar’s stepbrother) won in every category in which they were nominated. (They were nominated twice for album of the year thanks to their work on Shakira’s “Sale el Sol.”)
Calle 13 has now won a record 19 Latin Grammys, including Best New Artist in 2006 and Album of the Year in 2009. The band’s 2010 album “Entren Los Que Quieran” was praised for its politically-charged songs that deftly sounds from across the globe, from Bollywood to reggaeton.
More Calle 13 in The Washington Post: Album review of “Entren Los Que Quieran,”a May interview with Residente, and a review of the band’s show at Galaxy Sports Bar and Grill.
With that name is easy to imagine the time and surroundings… It’s described by Publishers Weekly as the Puerto Rican Gone With the Wind!
Enjoy the review by another author,Rafael Ocasio. ES
Conquistadora Book Image
History aficionados will find “Conquistadora” a fascinating text with detailed views of a Puerto Rican sugar cane plantation in the mid-19th century.
By Rafael Ocasio
Esmeralda Santiago was born in the working-class neighborhood of Villa Palmeras, in Santurce, in the outskirts of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1948. In 1961, when she was barely a teenager, she arrived in the United States in as part of a post-war immigration wave that would eventually relocate nearly one-third of the Puerto Rican population into Northeastern American cities. Her experiences in coping with cultural differences, those separating an urban American lifestyle from the traditions of impoverished Puerto Rican communities, are the main subject of her memoirs, including“When I Was Puerto Rican”.
Santiago’s works trace women’s struggles against insurmountable odds in patriarchal societies, both in Puerto Rico and in the United States. Her most recent novel,“Conquistadora”, described by Publishers’ Weekly as “the Puerto Rican “Gone with the Wind”,” offers an in-depth look at the emerging Puerto Rican identity in the setting of a 19th-century sugar cane plantation. Amid the colonial abuses of a slavery-based system the novel follows the lives of fictional historical characters. Among them is a feisty female protagonist, a conquistadora, who symbolically attempts to conquer the chauvinist Spanish colonial power imposed upon Puerto Rico. She represents in the broader image a more complex political picture of the desperate, imperialistic practices of a declining empire. The 19th century, as Santiago has described it, “was a period of technological advances, political turmoil around the world, and, as another character in “Conquistadora” notices, the beginnings of a distinct Puerto Rican identity.”
In a comprehensive historical approach to the development of the Puerto Rican nation, Santiago’s novel begins with an idyllic view of the Taínos, the indigenous population of Boriken, today called Puerto Rico, prior to the arrival of conquistador Juan Ponce de León. The impact of the conquest on this population was overwhelming, resulting in their extermination. In their place, African slaves were imported to the island, where they became not only the workers in massive construction projects and, most particularly, on the sugar cane plantations, but they were also the “populist” element of an emerging Puerto Rican identity. The Creole syncretism, i.e. combination of different beliefs, resulting from the merge of the various types of African religions with the equally diverse Catholic practices of the different Spanish groups is an important aspect of Santiago’s novel.
The novel explores the culture of sugar cane plantations, which in the 19th century were Puerto Rico’s main source of income and the reason behind Spain’s stern control over the island. In the beginning of the plot, Ana Larragoity Cubillas, a dreamy, feisty Spanish teenager, struggles with the social impositions of her upper-class upbringing. Going against the traditional path of marriage, Ana wants to experience the adventures of a remote forefather, who had been part of Ponce de León’s army in his conquest of the Boriken.
Her dream comes true when Ana meets twin brothers, Ramón and Inocente, whose family had just inherited a rundown sugar cane plantation on the northern coast of the island. They are the brothers of Ana’s best friend Elena, with whom Ana develops an intimate sexual bond. Unknown to the brothers, they become part of an intricate plan that Elena and Ana hope will keep them together in Puerto Rico. Fate interrupts Ana’s and Elena’s dreams. Ana marries Ramón, who subjects her to a loveless marriage, in a setting that, in spite of her yearning for adventures, proves too overwhelming for her to handle. In the end, Ana comes to fulfill her dreams, however, not as she has carefully planned, but as fate intends.
History aficionados will find “Conquistadora” a fascinating text with detailed views of a Puerto Rican sugar cane plantation in the mid-19th century. The novel takes on a different direction when Ana becomes an unwilling plantation administrator, symbolically a heartless conquistadora, who has to deal with obstacles that women endured in the rather traditional Puerto Rican society, hanging on to the conservative gender-biased elements of Spanish society. One aspect that makes this portrayal different is the detailed view of the lives of rural slaves, particularly women, whose customs are the precursors of traditions in the Puerto Rican countryside of today.
On September 2, at the Atlanta Journal Constitution Decatur Book Festival, Santiago spoke about the historical research behind “Conquistadora.” Her interest in documenting the Puerto Rican 19th century went beyond the current trend of historical novels. Santiago wanted to explore the lives of the thousands of the “landless campesinos;” her peasant ancestry, who as illiterate members of a highly stratified society, had been left outside traditional historical sources. Santiago has pointed out she intended to document their lives fully because “I was particularly interested in what work people might have performed, what their lives might have been like.” She was very mindful, however, that her characterization of these popular figures had to avoid the failures of previous literary experiments, such as the over-idealized renditions of Puerto Rican romantic writers, who offered “a noble savage approach” to these working class figures. Instead, Santiago wanted real, unsanitized characters; “It is not romantic to die of tropical diseases, to work in horrific circumstances in order to survive.”
Such exploration of the role of ethnicity in the making of Puerto Rican identity is at the core of Santiago’s finely crafted slave characters. They were part of a highly structured social organization, a rigid caste system that forced human beings into bizarre conditions of servitude. They were sugar cane cutters, house servants, medicine women and religious practitioners of ancient African rites. Their knowledge of their newly adopted land was indispensable in the management of the sugar cane plantations. Behind their horrendous lives was, however, a fascinating, hidden existence, which centered around a Creole religious belief system, a Puerto Rican synthesis of Santería-like practices.
As Santiago stresses, these sorts of religious practices, although unlawful according to Spanish slave regulations, were nonetheless widely performed on Puerto Rican plantations. The slaves’ observance of rituals represents an important aspect of the plot, which is developed in the style of magical realism. Plantation owners’ fears of supernatural events would be fueled by slaves’ religious practices. This political aspect of magical realism is represented in work of other Latin American masters, such as the Cuban Alejo Carpentier’s treatment of voodoo in his 1949 novel, “The Kingdom of This World”.
The novel also offers a glimpse of slavery as a major component of the complex political arena that, in spite of being a decaying economic system, kept Puerto Rico subjected to Spanish control. The abolitionist movement produced activists who became among the first intellectuals to formulate the concept of the Puerto Rican nation. One of them, Ramón Emeterio Betances, is also Ms. Santiago’s inspiration. In an interview with her publisher, she notes that Betances’s influence is at play in the character of Miguel Argoso Larragoiti, Ana’s criollo son, who exhibits the daring pro-independence spirit of the up-and-coming first generation of Puerto Ricans that struggled with the issue of independence from Spain’s declining government.
Santiago concluded “Conquistadora” after recovering from a stroke that in 2008 forced her to re-learn English. Today Ms. Santiago plans to continue the historical saga of the development of the Puerto Rican nation. Although this relentless Puerto Rican Margaret Mitchell has not disclosed details, she has spoken indirectly about historical characters that she has identified as Puerto Ricans, “people … very, very mixed, not just from Spain. There were people from Ireland, from Germany, from Italy. We are just a real mixture, with the native population and with the Africans. And so that was really exciting to read just how mixed we are and how many different cultures came to our little island and made Puerto Rico what it is.” This combination of dissimilar, yet vibrant ethnicities, makes for fascinating modern reading reflective of today’s multicultural societies, so far removed from Margaret Mitchell’s portrayal of black and white Southern society. “Conquistadora” is the first such exciting historical saga, a project that would bring to modern reader a period rarely explored by Puerto Rican novelists writing in English.
Rafael Ocasio, Charles A. Dana Professor of Spanish, Agnes Scott College, is the author of two books on Reinaldo Arenas, and his forthcoming book, “Afro-CubanCostumbrismo from Plantation to the Slums,” will be available in the spring from The University Press of Florida.
- Hola amigos: I found this article about Intelius buying the Facebook app Family Builder. Intelius are the people that find people and things about people: background checks, reverse phone verification, property and area information, email look up, reverse cell phone directory, criminal and sex offenders, tenant screening… “The idea, as explained by Petersen (the leader of the team), is to create a place where brothers, sisters, cousins, moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents can securely share photos, news, family tree information and more.” How convenient I may add, the info is going to be easier to collect and already verified! ES
Intelius Family Tree Image
by John Cook
Intelius is best known for its background checks on family members, friends or employees. But now the Bellevue company is expanding in a new direction: Helping busy families connect and communicate.
Intelius quietly purchased popular Facebook app Family Builder on June 15th, rebranding the service as Live Family. The company has kept the acquisition pretty close to the vest up until now, with Intelius senior vice president Ed Petersen admitting that the new property is very much a work in progress.
“We did not buy Buckingham Palace,” said Petersen, who is now leading a team at Intelius who oversees the new unit. “What we bought was a great piece of property with a house that needed some work, in a really nice neighborhood.”
The property does have a decent number of tenants. When Intelius bought Family Builder in June, it boasted about 30 million registered users. That number has climbed to just over 41 million in the past four months, and Petersen sees big things ahead.
The idea, as explained by Petersen, is to create a place where brothers, sisters, cousins, moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents can securely share photos, news, family tree information and more.
Petersen noted that Facebook has created a “social graph,” and LinkedIn has built an impressive “professional graph.” In his view, there’s a significant opportunity to create what he dubs a “family graph.”
Live Family is Intelius’ bet on that concept. While it started as a genealogy site, Petersen has much bigger plans in store.
“There’s a great blend there between going from the genealogy side and going into the living component, because as I joke there’s not a lot that changes on the genealogy component once you’ve started it. Once you are underground, you are sort of underground,” he said. “The great thing about the relationships that are defined within Facebook now is that they are continually changing…. The ability to help people manage that from a consumer side is something that we are having pretty good success with.”
At this point, Live Family is built on the back of Facebook. But the company is in the process of rolling out mobile applications for both Android and iPhone.
For the most part, Petersen said that people are using the app to share photos, get birthday notifications and organize schedules. In that regard, the app is similar to the family organizer built by Seattle’s Cozi.
Of course, Facebook already allows people to set up specific groups around interests, including families. But Petersen said that many kids don’t want to be “friends” with their parents, creating a potential bottleneck.
Furthermore, he said that Live Family is not a “grouping engine” or a “filtering engine” sitting on top of Facebook. “It is more about how do you solve the communication issue in the new modern family?”
Live Family plans to make money through in-app advertising, with Petersen saying the big focus right now is building out the product.
Over time, Petersen said they could incorporate daily deals for families from specific advertisers or experiment with virtual goods such as digital greeting cards. There’s also an ad-free based component of Live Family, but Petersen said that makes up a very small portion of revenue.
“Our belief is that if we are really able to get an engaged user community around a family-oriented theme, that we will be able to become a leader in the family graph space,” said Petersen. “And the primary focus there is really dealing with the living component of the family, what’s changing on a daily basis.”
Family Builder was based in New York, and Intelius has maintained the company’s offices there. Nine employees work in the office, and Intelius now has 15 people working on the Live Family product.
“It is a startup right now, within a startup,” said Petersen, who declined to offer terms of the acquisition.
He added that the Live Family product ties in nicely with Intelius, which he said is very good at understanding “people-centric information.”
Hola amigos: My husband is a football fan and he is from NY so… Here you have one of our own, Victor Cruz, doing great in football as a Giants receiver. Cruz has performed his end zone dance four times this season. Not bad, kid. Keep it up! ES
Giants Receiver Victor Cruz Image
Patrick Mcdermott/Getty Image
By SAM BORDEN
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — When Victor Cruz scored his first regular-season N.F.L. touchdown Sept. 25, he immediately broke intoa salsa dance in the end zone. It was meant as a tribute to his grandmother, who used to make him glide around the house with her when he was a child, but it became a point of pride for many Hispanics.
That night, when Carolina Coach Ron Rivera saw the dance on television, he said he smiled as two thoughts popped into his mind.
“For one, I wish I had his rhythm,” Rivera said. “And two, it’s nice to see something like that since there aren’t a whole lot of us out there on the field.”
A former linebacker, Rivera was the first player of Puerto Rican heritage to play in the N.F.L. when Chicago drafted him in 1984, and he won a Super Bowl with the Bears in 1985. Now, Rivera said, he always notices players with Hispanic-sounding names, and was pleased to learn that Cruz also has Puerto Rican heritage. When the Giants face New England on Sunday, another player of Puerto Rican descent, Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, will be on the field.
“People are starting to pay attention,” Rivera said in a telephone interview last week. “Football is slowly becoming more and more a part of that consciousness.”
Rivera, Cruz and Hernandez were all quick to say that football still had a long way to go in matching baseball and basketball in popularity among Puerto Ricans. And David Bernier, president of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee and former secretary of sport and recreation on the island, said football there “remains a niche sport with pockets of fans.” But the emergence of young, energetic playmakers like Cruz — particularly because he plays in a market with a concentration of Puerto Ricans — can only help.
Cruz, who describes himself as half Puerto Rican and half black, grew up in Paterson, N.J., a city with a large Hispanic population, though Cruz was one of the few Spanish-speaking players on his Paterson Catholic High School team. (“I think the kicker was like the only other one,” he said.) Still, he never second-guessed his decision to focus on the sport.
“Football was what I was good at, and it was what I loved,” he said.
Cruz, who played at the University of Massachusetts, signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and caught three touchdown passes in a preseason game against the Jets. That was his only claim to fame because a hamstring injury cut short his season after three games.
Cruz began this season competing for playing time but seized opportunities presented by teammates’ injuries to become an important part of the Giants’ offense. Through seven games, Cruz has caught 28 passes for 497 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has also showed a knack for making crucial plays, as he did last Sunday against Miami when he caught a 25-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to provide the game’s decisive points.
Cruz then performed his salsa dance, a routine he never imagined would take off the way it has. The origins were mostly circumstantial — a coach suggested he do it shortly after President Obama declared Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month — but after spending much of his youth stepping around the kitchen with his grandmother, Lucy Molina, Cruz was glad to oblige. He did not necessarily expect it to stick.
Now, though, the dance has become part of his fast-growing image. The Giants have seen a marked increase in news media credential requests from Spanish-language outlets since Cruz’s emergence, and fans continually stop Cruz to ask him about the dance.
Raymond Santiago, a producer on the sports-talk radio station ESPN New York 1050, said he had seen frequent Twitter updates from fans saying they were planning to buy Cruz jerseys, including one who said he was going to put “Cruuuuuuz” on the back because that is what fans cheer when he catches a pass.
Although other Puerto Ricans have played in the N.F.L. (including O. J. Santiago andMarco Rivera), Raymond Santiago said he believed Cruz’s playing in the New York market had contributed to his popularity.
“It is definitely a factor,” Raymond Santiago, who is half Puerto Rican and half Dominican, said. “I think the dance plays a huge part in it, too. People saw that on the news and were like, ‘What was that?’ ”
He added, “Every time the guy scores a touchdown, my Twitter time line blows up.”
Hernandez, who has caught 74 passes for 861 yards and 10 touchdowns since joining the Patriots last season, celebrates more modestly when he reaches the end zone and said he did not know about Cruz’s dance moves.
“That sounds pretty good,” Hernandez said in a telephone interview. “I’m sure I could do some kind of salsa dance.”
Although the dance has attracted much of the attention, Cruz said he is mindful of the larger message. First, he said, he gets to dance only if he gets into the end zone, and his focus remains establishing himself as a consistent part of the Giants’ passing game.
Only if he does that will the dance have any meaning. Football is still a fledgling concept in Puerto Rico, where, as Bernier said, “the common person doesn’t follow it and wouldn’t know” Cruz or Hernandez if he was walking down the street. Cruz, mindful of the fickle nature of N.F.L. fame, would like to see that change. He visited the island in May, he said, and with extended family in several cities, he hopes to return soon.
“The dance is one thing, and it’s great,” Cruz said. “But football should be a global game. I’d like to see some more camps down there, some more kids playing. If I have an opportunity to help make that happen, I definitely want to take advantage of it.”
The Giants will be without three starters Sunday as running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), receiver Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) and center David Baas (knee) did not travel with the team after being ruled out of action for the game. Receiver Ramses Barden was activated from the physically unable to perform list and could make his season debut.
Jorge Castillo contributed reporting.
A version of this article appeared in print on November 6, 2011, on page SP2 of the New York edition with the headline: Giants Receiver Mixes Cultures and Scores Touchdowns.
Hola amigos: The eMagazine Voices from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies of the Hunter College gives us the Barrios, this time St. Croix Barrio. ES
Map of St. Croix Image
“The Barrios series promotes ties with communities by focusing on the physical neighborhoods that are home to most diasporic Puerto Ricans, as seen through the eyes of historians, artists, social scientists and other researchers. Barrios will investigate the history of the barrios, and concern itself with architecture, commerce, community-based organizations, art, social movements, and the impact of gentrification and dislocation in each community.”
Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
[Translated by Aitza Maldonado Martich]
When we think about the Puerto Rican diaspora, we traditionally locate it in continental US in cities like New York, Chicago, and most recently in Orlando. Nonetheless, we barely remember a Puerto Rican migratory movement that since the 1920s found in the United States Virgin Islands, particularly in Saint Croix, an economical, climatic, and cultural refuge. Who are these Puerto Ricans? What motivated them to migrate? How did they work and what cultural traditions do they preserve? These are some questions we try to answer in this edition of Cento Voices: Barrios.
From here to there:
The 1920s dramatically stressed the economy of the nearby Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra. The military presence of the United States Navy on both islands propelled the rapid decay of the sugar cane industry motivating the movement of the workforce in two directions: the big island and Saint Croix. The movement to the nearby island was possible because in 1917, the United States had acquired the islands of Saint Croix, Saint Thomas, and Saint John for $25 million as part of a strategic measure to protect the Panama Canal and the Caribbean.
The island of Saint Croix offered several advantages such as: the transportation between islands was trouble-free, the climatic conditions were very similar, there was a need for someone to work the land, and the United States government was searching to promote an American ideology in a recently acquired territory. However, the Puerto Ricans faced obstacles that troubled this migration, marking a unique hue on this Diaspora. Among the distinctive elements between these islands, the linguistic factor and the cultural customs were the first manifested.
Saint Croix, cultural meeting point:
At present times, the United States Virgin Islands have been administered by Spain, Great Britain, Holland, France, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Denmark, and the United States. Each administration has imprinted characteristics that even today can be observed in the architecture, gastronomy, and cultural practices of the inhabitants.
Saint Croix is divided into two main towns: Christiansted and Frederiksted. Initially, the Puerto Ricans arrived at Frederikstedwhere they were processed and examined by a doctor which certified that new immigrants were in good health. There, they were received by family members or acquaintances already established on the island. They immediately began to work the land and harvest sugar cane until collecting enough capital to bring the rest of their family. The Bethlehem Central was a home to these first immigrants.
Other Puerto Ricans arrived at Saint Croix as merchants and established small businessessuch as markets, clothing stores and selling of essential articles. The production of coal was an industry that emerged among Puerto Ricans. Some say that a Puerto Rican man called Don Capuleto organized all the charcoal producers until he formed a type of cooperative for the selling and distribution of what they called “electricity” during those times.
This workforce migration lasted until the end of the 1950s. By then, the Puerto Rican population was so numerous that the Department of Education began recruiting teachers for the establishment of the Bilingual Education Program. This program mainly looked after the educational and linguistic difficulties produced by the cultural shock experimented by new migrants. This second migratory wave was constituted by teachers knowledgeable in all subjects, arriving at Saint Croix with an academic and professional preparation that gave prestige and recognition to the community. This political phenomenon arrived at its highest level toward the end of the 1970s when Juan Francisco Luis, a viequense raised in the Virgin Islands, was elected governor in 1978; he was reelected on several occasions and his administration lasted nine years.
Puerto Crusians, Crusian Rican y Papa Them:
Currently, the population of Saint Croix is recorded to be 53,324 inhabitants. According to the Census on 2000, this is almost half of the population of the Virgin Islands, which is estimated to be 108,612 inhabitants. From the total of inhabitants, 15,196 were identified as Hispanic, and from this amount, 8,558 specified to be Puerto Rican. These numbers have to be handled carefully because the concepts of ethnicity and race are object of negotiation in everyday life and they are manifested in multiple ways.
Aside from the Puerto Ricans, other groups converged in this diaspora proceeding from the islands of Saint Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Bermuda, Saint Lucia, and Dominica. Although American English is the official language, we can also listen to several inhabitants’ dialectic variants of Spanish and two other Creole languages, one with an English base and the other one with a French base.
Santa Cruz @ Centro Voices: Barrios:
This edition of Barrios offers to our readers historical articles regarding to Saint CroixPuerto Rican diaspora that includes “Relaciones históricas entre Vieques y Santa Cruz” by Roberto Rabin, as well as ethnographic accounts of the diasporic community in “Alianzas, tensiones y contradicciones en la vida social de migrantes puertorriqueñas en Santa Cruz, Islas Vírgenes Americanas: tres experiencias de vida” by Mirerza Gonzalez.
In addition you will have the opportunity to read life stories in the articles “Narrative of People from the Puerto Rican Community in St. Croix” written by Brenda Dominguez Rosado. Another interesting contribution form an ethnographic point of view is the work of graduate student Kathering Miranda. Finally you will find an interview with distinguished photographer Diego Conde who has spent the last 40 years documenting with images the history of this migration.
by Nadjah Ríos-Villarini
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños
Cuando pensamos en la diáspora puertorriqueña tradicionalmente la ubicamos en ciudades como Nueva York, Chicago y más recientemente en Orlando, sin embargo pocas veces pensamos que hubo un movimiento migratorio de puertorriqueños a partir de la década de 1920 que encontró en la Islas Vírgenes Americanas, particularmente en Santa Cruz, un refugio económico y climático y cultural. ¿Quiénes son estos puertorriqueños? ¿Cuáles fueron las motivaciones que impulsaron esta migración? ¿A qué se dedican y qué prácticas culturales conservan? Estas son algunas de las preguntas que tratamos de contestar en esta publicación de Barrios en Centro Voices.
De aquí pa’alla:
La década de 1920 marcó dramáticamente la economía de las islas municipio de Vieques y Culebra. La presencia militar de la Marina de Guerra de los Estados Unidos en ambas islas impulsó el rápido decaimiento de la industria de la caña de azúcar motivando el desplazamiento de mano de obra en dos direcciones: la isla grande y Santa Cruz. La movilización a la vecina isla fue posible ya que en 1917 los Estados Unidos habían adquirido por la cantidad de $25 millones las islas de Santa Cruz (Saint Croix), San Tomás (Saint Thomas) y San Juan (Saint John) como parte de una medida estratégica para la protección del Canal de Panamá y la zona del Caribe.
La isla de Santa Cruz ofrecía varias ventajas entre ellas: la transportación entre islas era fácil, las condiciones climatológicas eran muy parecidas, había necesidad de mano de obra para trabajar la tierra y el gobierno de los Estados Unidos estaba buscando de promover una ideología americana en el nuevo territorio recientemente adquirido. No obstante los puertorriqueños enfrentaron barreras que dificultaron esta migración imprimiendo un matiz único a este grupo diaspórico. Salta como primer elemento el factor lingüístico y las prácticas culturales que distinguen a estas islas.
Santa Cruz punto de encuentro cultural:
Las Islas Vírgenes Americanas al presente han sido administradas por España, Gran Bretaña, Holanda, Francia, Los Caballeros de Malta, Dinamarca y los Estados Unidos. Cada administración ha impreso rasgos que todavía hoy se pueden observar en la arquitectura, la gastronomía, y las prácticas culturales de los habitantes.
Santa Cruz está dividido en dos pueblos principales: Christiansted y Frederiksted. Inicialmente los puertorriqueños llegaban a Frederiksted donde eran procesados y examinados por un médico que certificaba que los nuevos migrantes gozaban de buena salud. Allí eran recibidos por familiares o conocidos ya establecidos en la isla. Inmediatamente comenzaban a trabajar en la siembra y recolección de caña hasta lograr adquirir capital suficiente para traeral resto de su familia. La Central Bethlehem fue hogar de estos de estos primeros migrantes.
Otros puertorriqueños llegaron a Santa Cruz como comerciantes y establecieron pequeños establecimientos como colmados y tiendas de ropa y enseres de primera necesidad. Una industria que surgió entre los puertorriqueños fue la producción de carbón. Cuentan algunos que un puertorriqueño llamado Don Capuleto organizó a todos los carboneros hasta formar una especie de cooperativa para la distribución y venta de lo que ellos llamaban “la electricidad” de aquellos tiempos.
Esta migración de mano de obra duró hasta finales de la década de 1950. Para aquel entonces la poblaciónpuertorriqueña era tan numerosa que el Departamento de Educación comienza a reclutar maestros para el establecimiento del Programa de Educación Bilingüe. Este programa principalmente atendería las dificultades educativas y lingüísticas producto del choque cultural experimentado por los nuevos migrantes. Esta segunda ola migratoria constituida mayormente por maestros de todas las materias fue llegando a Santa Cruz con una preparación académica y profesional que le dió prestigio y reconocimiento a la comunidad. Este fenómeno político llegó a su máxima expresión a finales de la década de los setenta cuando Juan Francisco Luis, viequense radicado en las Islas Vírgenes, fue electo gobernador en 1978; fue reelecto en varias ocasiones y su administración duró nueve años.
Puerto Crusians, Crusian Rican y Papa Them ( Dem):
Hoy en día, la población de Santa Cruz consta de 53,234 habitantes casi la mitad del total de la población de la las Islas Vírgenes estimada en 108,612 habitantes según el censo del 2000. Del total de habitantes, se identifican como hispanos 15,196 , y de estos 8,558 especificó que era puertorriqueño. Estos números hay que tomarlos con cautela ya que los conceptos de etnicidad y raza son objeto de negociaciones que en la cotidianidad se manifiestan de múltiples formas.
Además de puertorriqueños convergen otros grupos diaspóricos procedente de las islas de San Kits, Nevis, Antigua, Bermuda, Santa Lucia y Dominica. Aunque el Inglés americano es la lengua oficial podemos escuchar entre los habitantes variantes dialectales del español, y dos lenguas criollas una de base inglesa y otra de base francesa.
Santa Cruz en Centro Voices: Barrios:
En esta edición de Barrios nuestros lectores podrán encontrar artículos históricos como lo son las contribuciones de Roberto Rabin en el artículo “Relaciones históricas entre Vieques y Santa Cruz” y Mirerza González quien desde un enfoque más etnográfico explora las experiencias de vida de 3 puertorriqueõs en “Alianzas, tensiones y contradicciones en la vida social de migrantes puertorriqueñas en Santa Cruz, Islas Vírgenes Americanas: tres experiencias de vida”.
Además podrán leer las historia de vida de algunos miembros destacados de la comunidad en los artículos “Narrative of People from the Puerto Rican Community in St. Croix” de la autoría de Brenda Dominguez Rosado. Katherine Miranda nos regala una mirada distinta del Caribe al compartir algunas notas de su bitácora miestras realizaba trabajo de campo en la isla. Finalmente puede disfrutar del relato en forma de entrevista donde Nadjah Ríos explora el trabajo de Diego Conde quien se ha dedicado a fotografiar por los pasados 40 años los miembros de la comunidad puertorriqueña y sus costumbres.
De Puerto Rican a Papa Dem: