Chapter 5 – ROOTS

TABLA DE CONTENIDO

Maruja Toledo

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in 1.05 - Roots | 2 comments

Maruja Toledo

CROSS-OVER GENES – For years I have questioned the assumption of what is considered a Puerto Rican woman. The principal reason is that I lack some of the characteristics of the quintessential puertoriqueñidad. Some of these characteristics are the following: Swaying As a young woman, I was aghast as my Puerto Rican friends had a particular sway as they walked. They told me time and again that proper Puerto Rican girls had to sway. Naturally, I practiced and took lessons from the best; to no avail. Instead, I have what my husband of many...

read more

Camille Pedraja

Posted by on Dec 25, 2014 in 1.05 - Roots | 5 comments

Camille Pedraja

MY TWO FRONT TEETH – You know there’s something funny about Your teeth when your boyfriend jokes around Saying he can fit a quarter through them. That was five years ago. And I would like to Think that gap has receded. Now only a penny Can fit through which is a progress of 24 cents. After my two front baby teeth fell, the ones That grew made Bugs Bunny – or in modern Times, Spongebob Squarepants- proud. As a kid this things don’t matter, on the contrary, You look cute and you love the attention. My mom said that she would get me braces...

read more

Meganlee Rose Rivera Avilés

Posted by on Nov 22, 2014 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Meganlee Rose Rivera Avilés

Feelings of a Puerto Rican Girl I feel Puertorrican and that´s why I think that my Puertorrican roots are stronger. The things that make me feel Puertorrican are the delicious food and the pretty beaches. Oh, the food of Puerto Rico is the most delicious in all the world! My hot little plate full of white rice, beans, fried chicken or bistec encebollao (lots of onions) will always be irresistible. I can´t forget to mention the crunchy tostones. That thanks to the plátano plant I can peel a plátano, cut it into rounds, then crush it and...

read more

Gabriel Mejia

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in 1.05 - Roots | 4 comments

Gabriel Mejia

I AM WHAT I AM – Colombian I have never felt anything other than a strong sense of Puerto Rican-ism. Well, except when I speak English or when I practice my hobbies. Come to think of it, there are more times I feel as if I’m not Puerto Rican than when I do feel like a Puertorro. For instance when I go to the novena reunions with my father, I feel Colombian. When Maria Francisca makes arepas and Fabio starts arguing with Balbino over how students are so lax nowadays, I can’t help but acknowledge my Colombian roots. Even the way we talk...

read more

Fabiola Robles Juarbe

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in 1.05 - Roots | 1 comment

Fabiola Robles Juarbe

ONE MORE REASON FOR BEING PUERTO RICAN – Seated on a comfortable seat in the living room, drinking a cup of hot black coffee and doing word search puzzles is Francisca. In spite of her brownish gray hair and her white skin already wrinkled, she still looks attractive and elegant. I show up in the balcony and shout, “Abuela Panchi!” And smiling, she looks at me and responds, “Here I go mija!” She leaves the coffee cup and the book on the table that is next to the seat and stands up slowly, since the pain in her...

read more

Diamond Gee Cotto

Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Diamond Gee Cotto

  Establishing Myself in Puerto Rico Ever since I was eleven months old, I have been traveling back and forth to Puerto Rico. However, it was not until I was twelve that my mother decided we were going to stay and live in my Grandmother’s house. I will not lie and say that I was not shocked or disappointed. How was I supposed to react? I mean imagine me, a seventh grader, tall but really skinny and with hairy legs (because my mom did not allow me to shave until I was sixteen). I was upset because my whole life was in Virginia where my...

read more

Julius C. Reyes López

Posted by on Feb 16, 2013 in 1.05 - Roots | 1 comment

Julius C. Reyes López

Am I Puerto Rican or Not? I wake up. It is Saturday at 7:00 am in the morning and my mom is there in the kitchen making  breakfast.  It smells like sorullitos and some scrambled eggs. Bingo! It is. I eat as fast as I can to get ready to go to church to give catechism classes to the kids that are preparing to make their first communion. They arrive so happy and there I am in an improvised classroom at the church.  I tell them not to make noise because there are people entering the temple to pray. I see the devotion of the pepinianos and I feel...

read more

Natalia I. Vázquez Rivera

Posted by on Feb 16, 2013 in 1.05 - Roots | 1 comment

Natalia I. Vázquez Rivera

MY PUERTO RICAN MOVES – I haven’t even reached the door and I can already hear  hip-hop playing loudly. Oh God! I don’t know how to dance to this beat, I thought as I walked through the door. The others were already starting to dance, with alcohol running through their veins. As we approached the dance floor I could see everyone dancing with some choreographed movements. Back in Puerto Rico dancing is more freestyle, but here there wasn’t much originality. “Come on! Aren’t Puerto Ricans suppose to be good at dancing,” yelled Whitney to...

read more

Christian H Rios Salas

Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Christian H Rios Salas

GRANDMA’S SAVORY THANKSGIVING – If you are choosing a cook, my grandmother is the best option when it’s time to make a traditional dish. One of the typical dishes she makes is arroz al fogón. This dish is one of my favorites, especially when I have a big piece of hot turkey breast roasted en la vara next to it. The process of cooking starts with her old, huge iron pot covered with black soot on the outside. The pot has this unique smell of old burned firewood, but it’s just on the outside. The fogón must be completely set up...

read more

Julmarie S. Ramos Ramirez

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

My Roots I remember screaming my lungs out and jumping down the railing as those last ten seconds clicked by on the score board. My heart was pounding fast, my blood was racing and then I heard the buzzer as the game ended and they announced that Los Capitanes de Arecibo had won the championship. As I ran into the maze of people jumping and screaming, I realized that I had never been so proud in my life to call myself a Puerto Rican. In that single moment of complete hysteria and happiness, I realized that I may not eat rice and beans and...

read more

Luis R. Pérez Lasalle

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 1 comment

New Year’s Eve New Year’s Eve is a very special day in Puerto Rico. For as long as I can remember, my family has tried to celebrate it together as often as possible. The day usually starts off busy as my mom, dad and I clean every inch of the house. As night arrives, I finish dressing in what I call my “formal wear,” a long sleeved black dress shirt, dark Docker pants and my only pair of dress shoes. I dislike over dressing but my grandmother, Lillian, would always say: “Hay que despedir el año bonito.” So I don’t mind dressing up like this...

read more

Mayrim Millán Barea

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Three Kings’ Day My father’s family, especially Abuela Ita and Abuelo Ito, my dad’s parents, and dad himself had always celebrated “El día de Reyes” in a very special and familiar way.  I and my little brothers Luis and “Pito” spent the entire year following those three stars. My  dad told us when we were little they were the Three Kings’ stars. But finally the Three Kings’ Day eve arrives and we were so excited about spending one more year celebrating this tradition in family. To my father this is a very unique and special occasion. He is a...

read more

JMC

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Defects or Virtues  The First Day I stopped unpacking for a minute to take a look at what would be my home for the next two and a half months. With only two suitcases and a backpack full of books, I was taken out of my precious island for the first time and placed allá afuera in New Jersey to work as an Intern for a large communications company. “These are the best dorms on campus,” said our resident assistant shortly after we arrived. “Students usually fight to live in this building.” As soon as she gave me the card...

read more

Jose G. Martinez Flores

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

The Puerto Rican Day Parade Our group, four-strong, rides the dirty, grimy 1 Train downtown to the Sun Festival. Moving through throngs of people, we ascend to the streets above the subway where the smells of various roasted meats and traditional southern cooking permeates our nostrils. While we walk in the direction of that smell, hungry for nourishment after what had been a long night, the only girl amongst us reminds us she’s a vegetarian. We turn to walk uptown to find someplace where she can avoid violating her commitment as an...

read more

Emmanuel Diaz

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Puertorican Roots…El averiguao There is a certain time in all kids’ life where curiosity wakes up. That interest is different in every kid over the entire globe. In Puerto Rico, that excessive curiosity, we call  it presentamientos, or if I refer to somebody in specific presentao. But who are we to  judge? We all have been kids, and our curiosity was always there. Thanks to it, we learned many new things in life, even though sometimes it hurt…A lot. Changing the topic a little bit, you know, a curious fact about Puerto Rico’s emergency...

read more

Zuliam M. Carmona Torres

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Just Another Puerto Rican Girl? Some people may feel outside Puerto Rican culture, others may feel one hundred percent Puerto Rican. I would say I feel fifty-fifty. What I mean with this is that I feel fifty percent Puerto Rican and fifty percent, well not Puerto Rican. Why would someone who has lived all of her life in Puerto Rico with Puerto Rican people and in touch with the culture feel only fifty percent Puerto Rican? Well I don’t understand it either, but what can I say, I love my people, I love my island, I love everything about it,...

read more

Marcus D. Acosta Rivera

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Another Christmas Party It’s 5:00 pm and Martha looks at the clock hanging on the kitchen wall right by the microwave. She runs to the shower as she realizes that she’s late for the Christmas party over in Titi Isabelitas house. As she gets in the car and tells my sister Veronica and me “Get in the car or we’re gonna miss it!” she remembers she’s forgotten the Coquito so she yells yet again “Daniel, buscate el coquito que se me quedo encima de aquella cosa allí.” Dodging the cars in the street she speeds to get to her aunt’s Christmas party...

read more

Erick J. Acosta Sosa

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

The Puertorrican Funeral There are some people crying in the back of the room, a few more talking at the door way.  At the front gate some middle-aged males discuss day-to-day topics. Kids run around the house. An old lady passes around coffee with cheese. It’s night time, a full moon in the sky and fresh weather keeps everyone cool. Amongst the people, there are those who have never even met the deceased but they know some nephew, cousin or distant relative. The point is, they are just serving as company and support for the family. There...

read more

Emmanuel Acevedo

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 in 1.05 - Roots | 0 comments

Pasteles for Christmas Time My mother always has been a traditional woman. She likes to keep the Christmas lights until “Dia de Reyes “passes and to make pasteles for the December to January holidays. The term pasteles is used to describe a green banana, meat and potatoes dish. It all begins with the green banana. This is taken and cut down and peeled. To cut down the banana, my dad uses a big knife called a machete. After he cuts down the bananas, my mom peels them and uses a guayo. The guayo is a tool used to scratch the peeled banana to...

read more