aerial view of the Amazon river

Puerto Rico

Spring 2008 | Volume VII, Number 3

Table of Contents

Editor’s Letter →

by June Carolyn Erlick

The Politics of Identity

Vieques: an Update

Vieques: an Update

The turquoise blue water gently laps at the fine-white sand beach dotted by coconut palms. Verdant rock outcroppings frame the scene, so picture-perfect that it merits the cliché of…

Double Discrimination

Double Discrimination

Upon asking a young woman living with HIV to describe HIV stigma and discrimination, she responded, “It is a person that is not worth anything, that is not worth anything, is a useless…

Recolonization or Decolonization?

Recolonization or Decolonization?

he status debate is our “national sport,” we Puerto Ricans like to say. After more than a century of U.S. colonialism, the issue of the status of the island is still unresolved. The first impasse is a…

The Island of the Muse

Open Mic

Open Mic

In recent years there has been a notable and unprecedented literary rapprochement between the Island and the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York, particularly among the generation of…

Listening Speaks (I)

Listening Speaks (I)

Some ten years ago I was living in the Washington Heights area of New York City, in what local Dominican New Yorkers refer to affectionately as Quisqueya Heights, when I received a call from…

The Economy and Modernity

The Struggle of Piñones

The Struggle of Piñones

Maricruz Rivera-Clemente has shown pride in her African heritage ever since she was a child by dancing the Puerto Rican national folkloric dances, bomba and plena. Today, students…

Inequality in Puerto Rico

Inequality in Puerto Rico

When Hurricane George ravaged Puerto Rico in 1998, it also blew apart Puerto Ricans’ shared perceptions of relative well-being based on a narrative of quasi-linear economic, political…

From San Juan to Boston

Equal Marriage Between My Two Homes

Equal Marriage Between My Two Homes

We all should have the right to decide if we want to marry or not. We all should be able to fall in love, and decide if we want to share “the rest of our lives” with one person with whom we share…

The Seeds of Villa Victoria

The Seeds of Villa Victoria

When I arrived at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1981 to work on my doctorate, I got involved in Boston’s Villa Victoria out of family necessity. Even though I had been a…

Harvard and Puerto Rico

A Look at Cayo Santiago

A Look at Cayo Santiago

It doesn’t look like a zoo. Indeed, on Cayo Santiago, a 38-acre tropical island off Puerto Rico’s coast, the only mammals in cages are human beings. Edmundo Kraiselburd, the affable director…

Monkeys and Men

Monkeys and Men

What does who opens the door on a date on a frigid Cambridge evening have to do with a lush island off the shores of Puerto Rico? For that matter, what does this island, teaming with…

A Green Classroom

A Green Classroom

“Aula Verde” is the name of an ecological park and science center for school children in Puerto Rico. It was an appropriate visit for the third Puerto Rico Winter Institute, dedicated to water and…

Stretching in January

Stretching in January

The Puerto Rico Winter Institute is a major January “happening” at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. For the past four years, students from Harvard and the…

Making a Difference

Book Talk

God Needs No Passport

God Needs No Passport

For a practicing Buddhist, my first Mass attendance at St. Ambrose two years ago was a memorable event. I had spent the earlier part of the day visiting…

Santiago’s Children

Santiago’s Children

There are five reasons I jumped at the chance to write a preface to Steve Reifenberg’s memoir about living and working in the early 1980s in a home for Chilean children who would otherwise…