Castillo San Felipe del Morro


I can't remember the first time I visited this place, I was too young. I’ve seen pictures of me there as a newborn but unfortunately I don't have them. Time and time again this national monument has taken my breath away. For me, it represents sacrifice. Castillo san felipe del Morro was built by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. If you are from the small Island of Puerto Rico, you have most likely visited El Morro. Without the sacrifice of the Tainos, this monument would have never been built. And during the battle that followed, in order to defend the island, the Spanish had to sacrifice their lives. They built this fort in order to defend themselves from the English who wanted control of the caribbean at the time. The fort being built decided so much for the generations to come; How goods would be traded, which goods would be traded, the language that the natives on the island would speak for years to come, they even decided how people would view themselves. Puerto ricans are three things, West african slave, spanish/european conqueror, and native taino. Today, so many people feel ashamed of their roots, and the way our race came about. A lot of pain and sacrifice was needed for us to be where we are today. But I value the history and the sacrifice and I think it's important to honor the struggle of my ancestors. 

Place(s): San Juan, Puerto Rico
Year: 2006

– Gabriela Perez

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child