Female first, Latina second. Interests in latin american culture, identity, ethnicity. Born in Ponce, PR. Generations of my family, both on mother and father's lineages, came from Ponce. My mother's family owned a cafetal in the hills in Rio Chiquito province/barrio. My father's family were from Portuguez.
UIC-Latin American Studies, BA
My father firmly believed he was from the indigenious Taino Indians and his features depicted his Indian heritage without question. For me, I believe I am taina but with African blood. My mother firmly believed she was of the Spainish lineage. Quite a mix of cultural heritage. My quest has always led to search how we as Puerto Ricans, identify ourselves as individuals when the PR populations identifies themselves in so many different nomenclatures: Boricua, Puerto Rican, Taino/a, Afro-Puerto Rican, Latino/a, Hispanic. For me there is a definite distincion between between "latino/a" and being Hispanic. It molds itself in the origins of each of these--related to Latin America as a group, or ancestorally orignated from Spain and the conquitadores.
My father came to the U.S. mainland as a contract worker. We hear of the Braceros from Mexico, but the exodus out of Puerto Rico by the islanders due to Operation Bootstrap is a movement to be reckoned with. Many islanders were lost, displaced, confused and isolated in the mainland-- from the "belly of the beast" into "the concrete jungle".
Notwithstanding, the conquest of Borinquen by Spaniards demanded the erasure of our cultural traditions, writings, religious beliefs, etc. In order to have inner pride, grounded resistance and social and political unity, I believe we must first learn from whence we came and who we were in an in-depth and historical perspective. History is not linear, it is circular.
African Americans and Breast and Cervical Cancer (a qualitative study, Latinas and Breast and Cervical Cancer
Comment Wall (8 comments)
You need to be a member of Indigenous Caribbean Network to add comments!
Hi Gitana India! the message I left is part of an old saying I have heard, time and time again from people from Ponce. I found it quite interesting, because every one from Ponce knows how it ends, when you say...
Ponce is Ponce, They answer, "and the rest is Parking".
I live close to where your parents are from.
It is near Tibes and Jacanas- the two most important yaciementos of Ponce. Check out or documentation on this area at
and let me know what you think-
Ah yes, I remember getting emails about individuals who had come here purely for "solicitation" -- I visited their pages and deleted them immediately. Otherwise, there is nothing like the fresh smell of desperation :-)
Please feel free to contact me if you should have any questions about using this site. I hope that you will find your interactions here to be enjoyable and rewarding. As a friendly reminder, please acquaint yourself with our preliminary Code of Conduct.