I am writing a novel about Columbus and his first voyage. Although it's fiction, I want to stay as close to history as possible. A boy (17) sneaks on the Santa Maria to steal food and hides then becomes a stowaway as the ships sail. He Pedro gets caught in the ship's hold and becomes Columbus' cabin boy. When Columbus gets to Haiti Pedro meets Alexandra, a Taino princess. They fall in love. Pedro stays with the Taino and helps them fend off the onslaught of the Spanish conquerors. Alexandra has white blood due to a Norseman's ship blown off course in a hurricane that landed in Haiti around 1000 a.d.
To present the Taino as close to historic-truth as possible. There is no proof that a Viking ship landed at Haiti but it's quite possible. Since there is little or no documented information about the Taino, except what the conquerors have documented, I have leeway but I want to write the truth, too.
I’m a 66 year old Boricua who was born in “El Barrio” NYC. That’s 99th St. & 2nd Avenue for those who are not clear where “El Barrio” is.
At this late stage of my life, I’m really trying to connect with “like-minded” individuals who consider themselves “Expatriates.” I know the literal translation of expatriate is someone who was born in one country, but currently lives in another country. However, in researching the definition of “Expatriate,” I’ve found that it is really up to individual interpretation! So, that being said, I consider myself “Puertoriqueño” by virtue of the fact that my parents were both born in Puerto Rico, migrated to the US, and I was born in NYC. Not my fault, not my choice, but there’s are millions just like me, so it is what it is.
As a recent member of the Indigenous Caribbean Network, I’d like to connect and interact with other “Boricuas” in my geographic. I live in Southern NJ. I own a 1 1/2acre farm with a 100+ year old home. To provide some context; I grew up on the streets of El Barrio (1965-1975), was in the drug game (1975-1990), went to prison (1990-1994), saw the light, and worked in non-profit (1994-2006) trying to give back and reconcile my past with my present. I became semi-retired after working in Camden, NJ for 3 years.
So that’s the long and the short of my life. I want to connect with other Boricuas in my geographic.
HOW’S ABOUT A REACH OUT!!!
We can take it from there if you’re feeling adventurous!!!
It is very interesting to read your proposal to write this novel and I truly wish you the best of luck in your endeavor.
I must share with you my opinion that I feel the premise of your story may be a little difficult to support from a realistically historical point of view. Of course the Vikings did arrive in the Americas several centuries before Columbus and they did establish a settlement in North America that lasted long enough to leave behind quite a wealth of archeological material. But their settlement was very far north on the continent.
The website accessed via this LINK may be helpful to you in providing you more background information concerning the reality behind the ancient Viking settlement in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the possible subsequent transatlantic trade that almost certainly could have lasted several generations between the Norsemen of Scandinavia and the Dorset Indigenous people of northern Canada. As you can see in this documentation, eventually the Dorset culture was replaced by the Eskimos of eastern Canada. The region we are talking about here is Eskimo country, subartic. It is almost impossible that people from this region would have travelled south as far as the Caribbean. Even in the long span of time that separated the Viking settlement in Nova Scotia and the eventual arrival of Columbus in the West Indies, the Indigenous people of those regions tended to stay relatively within their own culture areas. Subartic region people would not have wandered south through the territories of so many varied and possibly hostile tribes to get to the tropical region of the Caribbean.
There is evidence of long-range trade between the ancient people of the Caribbean and some people of the South eastern United States but no believable archeological evidence indicates any contact at all between the Caribbean and Nova Scotia. I am not saying that the premise of your book is totally untenable. People get blown off course in storms and get carried away by currents in the ocean so that they end up in the wrong place while trying to go someplace else. That is how the Pilgrims trying to get to Virginia ended up in New England, but a Nova Scotia-Caribbean link is much more difficult to support and I think you will have to do some pretty fancy geographical calisthenics to make it work in your book.