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.
La investigación se comienza trazando nuestro diagrama personal de tipo árbol ascendente, donde completamos los datos al alcance de nuestra memoria y la de nuestros familiares más cercanos. Cuando la memoria no nos proporciona mas datos, recurrimos a los documentos del estado, la iglesia, las bibliotecas y la Internet. Existen formularios que se utilizan para llevar cuenta de toda la información que se va acumulando de parientes, censos, migración, inmigración, certificados, correspondencia. Se pueden conseguir gratuitamente en la Internet, tanto en ancestry.com, en rootsweb.com como en genealogy.com.
- Memorias Familiares
Se comienza a entrevistar a los familiares más cercanos, en persona y por teléfono.
- Documentos del Estado
Las vidas de nuestros antepasados se parecían a las nuestras y los documentos que crearon representan los mismos eventos importantes que experimentamos todos: nacimientos, muertes, bodas, bautizos… Los documentos del estado son invaluables para conseguir más datos vitales en los certificados de nacimiento, de matrimonios y de muerte. También son importantes los documentos de censos, cementerios, seguro social, militares y de migración e inmigración (como las Declaraciones de Nacionalidad). Los “records” del gobierno de España son unos de los más antiguos del mundo, gracias a que eran mandatos en todo el mundo católico. Desgraciadamente, no todos éstos documentos han sobrevivido, pero hasta la información de los documentos destruidos puede repetirse en otros “records” como los registros civiles, notariales, militares, de los censos y de la pureza de sangre. Hay que solicitar los documentos en español (existen programas de computadora como Multi Language Easy Translator CW de Transparent Language Co. de NH. , que traduce lo que escribas, los “e-mails” ó los “web sites”).
- Registro Demografico
El Registro Demográfico de PR, del Departamento de Salud, es donde se consiguen los certificados de nacimiento, matrimonios, divorcios y muertes, los llamados documentos vitales. Las oficinas de la Calle Quisqueya, en Hato Rey, tienen expedientes desde el 22 de julio del 1931 en adelante. Antes de esa fecha y hasta el 1885 se consiguen en las oficinas de los municipios y antes del 1885, en las iglesias. Todas las solicitudes deben estar acompañadas de una identificación con retrato. Al solicitar una copia de nacimiento hay que especificar que sea una copia literal, fiel y exacta para que llegue con todos los datos completos.
Los documentos de los censos son invaluables, nos dan información de nuestros antepasados que no se consiguen fácilmente y son pocos los documentos que la ofrecen. En Puerto Rico se hicieron varios censos en el tiempo de España, comenzando oficialmente en el 1765 y hasta el 1896, dos años antes de la Guerra Hispanoamericana. Se pueden conseguir los datos, además de en los archivos españoles, en el Archivo General, en San Juan, Puerto Rico y en los archivos de los pueblos. El color o raza se diferenciaba desde blancos, negros, indios, hasta: Mulatos: Hijos de europeos blancos y negros africanos Zambos: Hijos de indios y negros africanos Mestizos: Hijos de indios y europeos blancos Bajo Estados Unidos, los censos se comenzaron en el 1900, cada 10 años hasta el día de hoy. Se pueden conseguir en todos los archivos nacionales pero los del 1940 en adelante no están disponibles pues son confidenciales, por ley, por 72 años. Los del 1930 apenas se abrieron en el año 2002 (los de l 1940 se abriran para el 2012). El color o raza se diferenciaba como blancos, mulatos o negros. Los censos españoles se hicieron en el- 1765, 1794, 1800, 1812, 1823, 1833, 1838, 1846, 1896. Antes del primer censo oficial del 1765, donde aparecen residiendo en la isla 44,883 personas (de los cuales 5,037 ó el 11.2 por ciento, eran esclavos), se hicieron algunos censos no oficiales como el del 1529 (donde aparecen 375 personas en familias blancas, 298 solteros blancos, 497 indios libres, 1,040 indios esclavos y 2,077 esclavos negros, de los cuales 421 eran mujeres), para un total de 673 blancos, 1537 indios y 2077 negros y un gran total de 4,287 personas en la isla. Para el 1800, la población de Puerto Rico era de 155,426 personas. En el 1812 la población esclava era de 17,536 almas (según le decían), más o menos la misma que en el 1794. De acuerdo al censo del 1823, la población era de 225,000 personas, de ese total 25,000 eran esclavos. En el 1873 se abolió la esclavitud en Puerto Rico. Para el 1867 la población había alcanzado un total de 656,328, de los cuales 346,437 eran blancos y 309,891 eran “de color” (negros, mulatos y mestizos). Había una minoría intelectual de un 16.3 % y un 83.7 % que no sabía leer ni escribir. Para el 1898, a la llegada de los americanos, la población era de 943,720 personas. Hoy, según los datos del Censo 2000, nuestra población es estimada en 3,957,988 (July 2002 est.) personas (sin contar los ilegales) de los cuales de 0-14 años son el 23.5% con 476,726 varones y 453,782 hembras; de 15-64 años son el 65.8% con 1,249,850 varones y 1,353,438 hembras; de 65 años o más son el 10.7% con 180,053 varones y 244,139 hembras. Del total de la población el 80.5% es blanco de origen español, el 8% es negro de origen africano, el 10.9% es mezclado, el 0.2% es asiático y el 0.4% es indio de América. http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook Los censos americanos en Puerto Rico comenzaron en el – 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000,2010. El primer censo en Puerto Rico bajo los americanos se comenzó en el 1899, pero fue destruido por un fuego. Los censos del 1910 y el 1920 están disponibles en los Archivos Nacionales, en los Centros de Historia Familiar y en muchas bibliotecas y páginas de la Internet. El censo del 1930 está disponible desde el año 2002. El del 1940 estara disponible para el 2012 y asi sucesivamente. Para el 1910, la población de Puerto Rico era de 1,118,000 personas, en el 1920era de 1,299,809, y para el 1930 era de 1,543,919.
En los documentos de los cementerios muchas veces se consiguen datos que nos dan pistas sobre relaciones familiares, servicio militar, fechas… www.obitnews.com/puerto_rico_obituaries_links.htm
- Indice del Seguro Social
En el índice del seguro social aparecen los nombres, núm. de S.S., dónde se obtuvo la primera tarjeta y dónde se recibió el último cheque.
- Registros Militares
Los registros del servicio militar ofrecen información muy útil tanto en sus documentos de servicio como en los de pensiones. Pueden dirigirse a www.accessgenealogy.com/military.html En el caso de nosotros los puertorriqueños, miles de nuestros antepasados han servido en las fuerzas armadas, desde la I Guerra Mundial hasta hoy. El Regimiento 65 de Infantería, única unidad segregada de hispanos en la historia militar de Estados Unidos, fue un regimiento voluntario creado en el 1899, un año después de la Guerra Hispanoamericana. Los puertorriqueños, como soldados americanos, fueron sumergidos en una cultura y un idioma extranjeros, apenas hablaban inglés pero aún con todos sus impedimentos, enfrentaron el desafío y sirvieron con distinción. Los puertorriqueños del 65 de Infantería participaron en la I y la II Guerra Mundial, donde sirvió tío Edelmiro ó Adjemiro y en la Guerra de Corea, donde sirvió tío Gilbert. El regimiento se componía primeramente de puertorriqueños y de oficiales, mayormente continentales. Demostraron su valor y sus destrezas en Corea y se ganaron el respeto y la admiración de los soldados y las autoridades militares, incluyendo al General Douglas Mc Arthur. Los puertorriqueños contribuyeron y ganaron merecida admiración: recibieron una “Presidential Unit Citation”, una “Meritorious Unit Commendation”, varias “Republic of Korea Unit Citations”. Miembros de la unidad, han recibido 7 “Distinguished Service Crosses”, 163 “Silver Stars”, 562 “Bronze Stars” y 1014 “Purple Hearts”. Los del 65 probaron ser fieros y valientes guerreros. Los apodaron “The Borinqueneers”, los Borinqueños. El Regimiento 65 de Infantería cesó de existir como una unidad segregada de puertorriqueños en su totalidad, pero continúa como una unidad integrada. La terrible guerra de Vietnam la sentimos más que nada por la pérdida de nuestros hermanos y amigos.
La iglesia siempre ha sido fuente de información por la gran cantidad de datos acumulados durante siglos. En Puerto Rico la Iglesia Católica y otras iglesias cuenta con documentos como los de matrimonios y bautizos que son muy necesarios para encontrar nuestros antepasados y la informacion acerca de ellos, de sus padres y de sus abuelos. Para poder buscar en los libros parroquiales se necesita solicitar un permiso al obispado,( la diócesis), para la parroquia que le interese investigar. La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días, los Mormones, tiene su sede en el estado de Utah, pero existen varios centros de investigación familiar y su dirección electrónica. Tienen una cantidad de información invaluable para cualquier persona, de cualquier lugar, que investigue su historia familiar. Los Centros de Historia Familiar son sucursales de la Biblioteca Histórica Familiar de los Mormones en Salt Lake City, Utah. Los centros proveen acceso a muchos de los recursos disponibles en microfichas, para ayudar a identificar los antepasados. La dirección electrónica es: http://www.familysearch.org
Las bibliotecas siempre han sido uno de los mejores recursos para las investigaciones. Las bibliotecas de las Universidades de Puerto Rico,New York y Conneticut y otras, cuentan con colecciones y centros de estudios puertorriqueños donde se consigue infinidad de información nuestra, muy interesante.
Las bibliotecas de las páginas sobre la genealogía, en la Internet, proveen información educativa para los que comienzan la investigación de sus raíces y otros recursos para completar la historia: ancestry.com/learn/library
La Internet ó la red de información electrónica es un recurso extraordinario para investigar cualquier tema. En cuanto a la genealogía, contamos con infinidad de direcciones electrónicas para visitar bibliotecas, páginas familiares, de genealogía en general y puertorriqueñas en particular, de diferentes países, de inmigración y migración, militares, iglesias, gobierno, historia…¡ un mundo fascinante!
- Genograma* y sus símbolos:
Los genogramas son gráficas genealógicas donde el cuadrado denomina a los hombres y el círculo a las mujeres. Se incluyen las fechas, las edades, las enfermedades y las causas de muerte. Un buen genograma debe incluir de 3 a 4 generaciones de información sobre la salud de sus integrantes. Se pueden incluir otros datos heredados como el color de los ojos, cualidades artísticas, temperamentos, habilidades musicales… Una vez completas el genograma, te das cuenta, a simple vista, del papel tan importante que tiene la herencia en nuestras vidas.
* No encontré traducción al Español para “genogram”, así que lo traduje como “genograma”.
Genograma de Símbolos Médicos, Relaciones Emocionales Y Familiares
La genealogía es el estudio y enumeración de los antepasados, la ciencia que busca el origen de las familias. La palabra genealogía surge del griego genos (raza) y logos (ciencia).
La genealogía nos dice quiénes somos como individuos, de dónde venimos, pero es la cultura la que define quienes somos como pueblo, qué nos identifica.
El apellido no es otra cosa que un nombre. Hay apellidos escritos de forma diferente (por transformaciones recibidas en el momento de registrarse al nacer, por ejemplo, ó porque en tiempos de guerra un país es invadido por otro que no conoce el idioma y los escribe mal), que son un mismo apellido.
Hay dos tipos de apellidos: los patronímicos y los toponímicos.
Los apellidos patronímicos se derivan de un nombre propio como Santiago, por el apóstol Santiago; Rodríguez, hijo de Rodrigo; González, hijo de Gonzalo; Fernández, hijo de Fernando (el sufijo ez significa hijo de).
Los toponímicos se derivan de lugares, como Santiago, por la ciudad Santiago de Compostela en España (derivándose éste del apóstol Santiago); Torres, de la Torre; Valle, del Valle; Ríos, del Río; Dávila, por la ciudad de Ávila en España.
También pueden originarse de alguna ocupación o de algún apodo descriptivo.
El sistema de 3 nombres: primer y segundo nombre y apellido es de uso relativamente nuevo. Los romanos tuvieron un sistema de tres nombres muy elaborado (nombre + nombre del clan + nombre de la familia) que desapareció con el imperio y para el siglo 4 DC habían muy pocos segundos nombres o apellidos. Un sólo nombre funcionó más o menos bien por los próximos 600 años, los apellidos se comenzaron a utilizar en los años 1000 y de forma común en los 1200’s.
Los chinos fueron los primeros que adoptaron los apellidos para honrar a sus antepasados, con el nombre de la familia primero en vez de último. Eran apellidos que describían al hombre por medio de quienes eran sus parientes.
En el caso nuestro, España, el apellido es al final y termina en ez, que significa hijo de; los escandinavos añaden la palabra “son” (hijo) al final; los normandos-franceses utilizan el prefijo “Fitz”; los escoceses, “Mac”; los irlandeses, “O”; los holandeses “Van”; los franceses, “De”; los alemanes,“Von”; los italianos,“Di’ y los árabes, “ ibn- ”
El árbol genealógico es un diagrama en la forma de un árbol, que nos muestra la procedencia de una persona ó los miembros de una familia.
Hay dos tipos de árbol genealógico: el árbol ascendente y el árbol descendente.
El árbol ascendente parte de una persona (primera generación), sus dos padres (segunda generación), cuatro abuelos (tercera generación), ocho bisabuelos (cuarta generación), dieciséis tatarabuelos (quinta generación, etc.).
El árbol descendente, parte de un antepasado, representado en el tronco, donde todos sus descendientes se van trazando hacia arriba, hasta llegar a las ramas más altas ó nuevas generaciones.
La página electrónica de Ancestry .com, http://www.ancestry.com, tiene un programa de árbol genealógico, Ancestry Family Tree, que se puede utilizar gratuitamente y es muy fácil de usar. Se lleva a la computadora y comenzando con la información nuestra más reciente, se va llenando. Este programa cuenta con asistencia técnica, por medio de tutoría, que nos ayuda a utilizarlo a toda su capacidad.
Escudo de Armas
El blasón es el arte de explicar el escudo de armas y cada figura, señal o pieza que lo componen. El linaje blasono ó heráldico es la ascendencia o descendencia de una familia, donde un ante-pasado le transmitió el apellido y el escudo de armas a sus descendientes.
El escudo de armas se ha asociado con un título de nobleza, pero no es así siempre. Algunos reyes concedían escudo por méritos en el campo de batalla, o por haber defendido una frontera. No era necesario ser noble.
En algunos lugares, los campesinos terminaban convirtiendo los símbolos de marcar el ganado, por ejemplo, en escudos heráldicos perfectamente reconocidos.
La heráldica o blasonería es uno de los primeros lenguajes gráficos desarrollados y representa la historia de tribus y clanes de individuos y familias sin la palabra escrita, sólo con símbolos.
En los años del 600-1000, los escudos eran simples, con sólo una capa de color y simples diseños ó patrones. En ésos tiempos sólo uno de cada 100,000 sabía leer ó escribir su nombre, así que el escudo era el nombre gráfico.
En los años del 1000-1300 se le añaden animales e instrumentos, seguidos más tarde por la luna, el sol, las estrellas, los cometas. Uno de cada 45,000 podía leer ó escribir su nombre.
Del 1400-1600, se añaden criaturas de la mitología, lemas de las familias y los escudos de las esposas. Uno de cada 25,000 podía leer ó escribir su nombre.
En los años del 1600-1800 los escudos son más complejos con las cuadraturas que reflejan los aliados de las familias y las alianzas matrimoniales, los bordes y los pequeños escudos en el centro. Ya para éste tiempo uno de cada 5,000 ó 10,000 sabían leer y escribir su nombre.
Hola amigos: Today we will continue our saga of The History of Puerto Rico by R.A. Van Middeldyk. This time we will read about the Indians rebellion. The Indians needed to be sure the enemies were mortal before starting a war so they decided on an experiment just to be sure: Salcedo, a young Spanish was dumped into a river and held down, when the man did not moved they knew the supposed demi-gods were mortals.
Cacical Map Puerto Rico Image
The sullen but passive resistance of the Indians was little noticed by
the Spaniards, who despised them too much to show any apprehension;
but the number of fugitives to the mountains and across the sea
increased day by day, and it soon became known that nocturnal
“areytos” were held, in which the means of shaking off the odious yoke
were discussed. Soto Mayor was warned by his paramour, and it is
probable that some of the other settlers received advice through the
same channels; still, they neglected even the ordinary precautions.
At last, a soldier named Juan Gonzalez, who had learned the native
language in la Espanola, took upon himself to discover what truth
there was in these persistent reports, and, naked and painted so as to
appear like one of the Indians, he assisted at one of the nocturnal
meetings, where he learned that a serious insurrection was indeed
brewing; he informed Soto Mayor of what he had heard and seen, and the
latter now became convinced of the seriousness of the danger.
Before Gonzalez learned what was going on, Guaybana had summoned the
neighboring caciques to a midnight “areyto” and laid his plan before
them, which consisted in each of them, on a preconcerted day, falling
upon the Spaniards living in or near their respective villages; the
attack, on the same day, on Soto Mayor’s settlement, he reserved for
himself and Guarionez, the cacique of Utuao.
But some of the caciques doubted the feasibility of the plan. Had not
the fugitives from Quisqueia told of the terrible effects of the
shining blades they wore by their sides when wielded in battle by the
brawny arms of the dreaded strangers? Did not their own arrows glance
harmlessly from the glittering scales with which they covered their
bodies? Was Guaybana quite sure that the white-faced invader could be
killed at all? The majority thought that before undertaking their
extermination they ought to be sure that they had to do with a mortal
Oviedo and Herrera both relate how they proceeded to discover this.
Urayoan, the cacique of Yagueeca, was charged with the experiment.
Chance soon favored him. A young man named Salcedo passed through his
village to join some friends. He was hospitably received, well fed,
and a number of men were told to accompany him and carry his
luggage. He arrived at the Guaoraba, a river on the west side of the
island, which flows into the bay of San German. They offered to carry
him across. The youth accepted, was taken up between two of the
strongest Indians, who, arriving in the middle of the river, dumped
him under water–then they fell on him and held him down till he
struggled no more. Dragging him ashore, they now begged his pardon,
saying that they had stumbled, and called upon him to rise and
continue the voyage; but the young man did not move, he was dead, and
they had the proof that the supposed demi-gods were mortals after all.
The news spread like wildfire, and from that day the Indians were in
open rebellion and began to take the offensive, shooting their arrows
and otherwise molesting every Spaniard they happened to meet alone or
off his guard.
The following episode related by Oviedo illustrates the mental
disposition of the natives of Boriquen at this period.
Aymamon, the cacique whose village was on the river Culebrinas, near
the settlement of Soto Mayor, had surprised a lad of sixteen years
wandering alone in the forest. The cacique carried him off, tied him
to a post in his hut and proposed to his men a game of ball, the
winner to have the privilege of convincing himself and the others of
the mortality of their enemies by killing the lad in any way he
pleased. Fortunately for the intended victim, one of the Indians knew
the youth’s father, one Pedro Juarez, in the neighboring settlement,
and ran to tell him of the danger that menaced his son. Captain Diego
Salazar, who in Soto Mayor’s absence was in command of the settlement,
on hearing of the case, took his sword and buckler and guided by the
friendly Indian, reached the village while the game for the boy’s life
was going on. He first cut the lad’s bonds, and with the words “Do as
you see me do!” rushed upon the crowd of about 300 Indians and laid
about him right and left with such effect that they had no chance even
of defending themselves. Many were killed and wounded. Among the
latter was Aymamon himself, and Salazar returned in triumph with the
But now comes the curious part of the story, which shows the character
of the Boriquen Indian in a more favorable light.
Aymamon, feeling himself mortally wounded, sent a messenger to
Salazar, begging him to come to his caney or hut to make friends with
him before he died. None but a man of Salazar’s intrepid character
would have thought of accepting such an invitation; but _he_ did, and,
saying to young Juarez, who begged his deliverer not to go: “They
shall not think that I’m afraid of them,” he went, shook hands with
the dying chief, changed names with him, and returned unharmed amid
the applauding shouts of “Salazar! Salazar!” from the multitude, among
whom his Toledo blade had made such havoc. It was evident from this
that they held courage, such as the captain had displayed, in high
esteem. To the other Spaniards they used to say: “We are not afraid of
_you_, for you are not Salazar.”
* * * * *
It was in the beginning of June, 1511. The day fixed by Guaybana for
the general rising had arrived. Soto Mayor was still in his grange in
the territory under the cacique’s authority, but having received the
confirmation of the approaching danger from Gonzalez, he now resolved
at once to place himself at the head of his men in the Aguada
settlement. The distance was great, and he had to traverse a country
thickly peopled by Indians whom he now knew to be in open rebellion;
but he was a Spanish hidalgo and did not hesitate a moment. The
morning after receiving the report of Gonzalez he left his grange with
that individual and four other companions.
Guaybana, hearing of Soto Mayor’s departure, started in pursuit.
Gonzalez, who had lagged behind, was first overtaken, disarmed,
wounded with his own sword, and left for dead. Near the river Yauco
the Indians came upon Soto Mayor and his companions, and though there
were no witnesses to chronicle what happened, we may safely assert
that they sold their lives dear, till the last of them fell under the
clubs of the infuriated savages.
That same night Guarionex with 3,000 Indians stealthily surrounded the
settlement and set fire to it, slaughtering all who, in trying to
escape, fell into their hands.
In the interior nearly a hundred Spaniards were killed during the
night. Gonzalez, though left for dead, had been able to make his way
through the forest to the royal grange, situated where now Toa-Caja
is. He was in a pitiful plight, and fell in a swoon when he crossed
the threshold of the house. Being restored to consciousness, he
related to the Spaniards present what was going on near the
Culebrinas, and they sent a messenger to Caparra at once.
Immediately on receipt of the news from the grange, Ponce sent Captain
Miguel del Toro with 40 men to the assistance of Soto Mayor, but he
found the settlement in ashes and only the bodies of those who had
[Footnote 16: La Espanola.]
[Footnote 17: The chroniclers say fifteen or twenty, which seems an
[Footnote 18: Salazar was able in the dark and the confusion of the
attack on the settlement to rally a handful of followers, with whom he
cut his way through the Indians and through the jungle to Caparra.]