Puerto Rican Necklace

In Attire
The Necklace.
The Necklace.

Over 60 years ago, my grandfather and his large family left their farm in Puerto Rico, and decided to come to New York City. Most of his family disbanded, but Tio Miguel remained with my grandfather and his siblings. He got a job at a doll factory and helped to support his large family that consisted of parents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews.
New York was not the quiet and serene Puerto Rico. It was loud and it was filled with many different types of people. Still it was easy to find a community of Puerto Rican people to connect with. Tio Miguel and his family made many friends and their customs, traditions, food and music were shared with all their neighbors. If you came to Tio Miguel’s home, Salsa music would be playing loudly and the smell of spices, beans rice and meat were mouth watering. Tio Miguel would either be at the stove or at the sink, wearing his $5 Puerto Rican necklace. He would always touch it and say “I keep it close to my heart until I return.” The necklace was a symbol of Puerto Rican pride and love. It symbolized a dream of returning to his family’s birthplace. It was a symbol of home. A home he never forgot. 

Place(s): New York, Puerto Rico
Year: 1960

– Jacob Ramos

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant