Teresa, Thanks for the friend invite. The Hawaiian Puerto Rican story is important in understanding the history and plight of Boricuas. Sadly, it's also one that's little known and understood by Americans in general, Puerto Ricans and even many in Hawaii. Hopefully, the story will be properly told some day.
I first learned about the migration of PR laborers to Hawaii some 20 years ago from a book on the Puerto Rican migrations between 1830s and 1900s. There were other migrations in addition to the ones to Hawaii. I remember reading about laborers being shipped to Ecuador and other territories then under Spanish control.
But the Hawaiian Puerto Rican experience was the most interesting because there's a continuing record--in documents and in the lives of the descendents.
I've posted these two entries on Hawaiian Boricuas on my blog American Taino:
- Borikuas in Hawai'i
- Coqui: Endangered in Puerto Rico and Hawai'i
What's interesting is that I increasingly see evidence of the Hawaiian-PR connection. For example, my sister visited recently and, as is her way, made a PR dinner including pernil, rice w/gandules and plátanos. I had recently read about Hawaii's gandule rice and pastele stew--both adaptations of PR dishes. Furthermore, w/its big Japanese tourist trade one can now find Hawaii's gandule rice in Japan.
Anyway, I say all of this because there's meaning in your family's journey. You are examples of a rich but little known vein of the American experience.
The question is what--if anything--you'd like to do about. One steo--which you've taken--is to join this site. But there are others you may want to explore. You could also do a blog. It's amazing what happens when you do these things. For example, I posted about a new documentary about the forced removal of Puerto Ricans from Vieques to the Virgin Islands. I had no idea that that had happened and that there were Puerto Rican descendents there. The filmmaker saw my post and has used it to market her film. She and I are now in touch via Facebook.
Of course, I'd love to see a film about the Hawaiin PR migration and experience.
I'm curious how you and your mom ended up in Hilton, NY? That's a long way from Hawaii. I'm from one of the early Puerto Rican families that found their way to the Rochester area via the migrant express. Still have family there.
Hi,so happy to hear about your discoveries,like me,I keep asking questions and the info.keeps coming!( We eating casabe bread in my family and my aunt offering it to her" Indians"!)Happy new year and very good to hear from you., Frank Aku Turey Cubanakan
Hello,Teresa,how's it going?That is so interesting,huh?!your mom a baseball player,and a good one to boot!the things we find out about our people...my grandmothere's brother was the chauffeur for The Cuban dictator,"Machado"!a "minor" job,but also right there in "the mix",and of all people,it was my grandmother's brother-what does that make him,my granduncle"-?I don't know the terms for many things.Well,Teresa,cuidate y pa'lante! Frank Aku Turey