Puerto Rican Art

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

 These two pictures remind me of my family in Puerto Rico.  They include the most beautiful tree in Puerto Rico, the Flamboyant tree.  My grandfather, Franciso, owned a Sugar Cane farm in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico.  He would walk with his horse-drawn wagon full of canes to sell to a factory 2 miles away.  In the early 1990s, the factory closed and my grandfather had to stop growing sugar canes.  As a child, my Aunt Maria would carry a bucket on her head to the local well so she can fetch water for her family of 6. If the well was dry, she would have to walk to a nearby stream for water.  The water was used to wash clothes, cook food and for bathing.  During my first visit to Puerto Rico with my father, Aunt Maria showed me how she used to take a bucket to the neighbors and asked for leftover food so she could feed my grandfather’s cows. 
My father and I were visiting my aunt when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico.  We were stuck for a week on my grandfather’s sugar cane farm and were fortunate to make it back to New York safely. I am grateful my grandfather kept his farm so that his children could build their homes on it.  We were spared the flooding and the devastation of the hurricane.  While my father and I left with traumatic and sad memories of destroyed roads and beaches, fallen trees and homes we have not given up on the Puerto Rico.  Hurricane Maria broke our island and our hearts but not our hope.  Puerto Rico Will Rise – Puerto Rico Se Levanta! 

Place(s): Puerto Rico, New York
Year: 1970

– Annette M

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant