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Old 03-09-2008, 02:11 PM
68 posts, read 223,728 times
Reputation: 27


I was going to let that post go, but since you posted it twice I feel I should respond.

I am an American of Latino Descent with a non-Latino last name living on the west coast of Puerto Rico. I speak Spanish fluently.

I guess the only way to really say it is that there are many things that one could only describe by saying "Only in Puerto Rico", even if they do happen other places.

Racism: as a Puerto Rican to claim to have never felt racism in Puerto Rico is a vacuous statement. I have personally never felt overt racism(besides comments about my last name) but I have heard complaints of it from some of my non-Latino friends. Even those that speak fluent Spanish. I have found people here to be generally friendly although they can be reserved. I have lived here for 2 years and I feel very much like an outsider.

On the other hand people here are very quick to anger. Although living here has made me this way as well so I can't blame anybody for that. As well there is an attitude that I can only describe as "ghetto" that has become popular here. Everyone is so worried about not getting disrespected and being the alpha that they forget what is important. Everyone is in a hurry when they are behind you, but no one is in a hurry when they are in front of you. I have been passed in a school zone while going the speed limit just so the person could turn into there condo building 5 seconds later. I wish that was an exaggeration.

Having lived in DC I feel I can say with confidence that there is no comparing the traffic in San Juan with that of DC. The traffic during rush hour in San Juan is simply that much worse. DC has it's moments, but San Juan consistently is a much more frustrating drive.

Living on the West coast is much more cost efficient than living in the metro area.

Living here can be very frustrating. There is a level of poverty here that has become institutional. Working hard was a part of Puerto Rican culture in the past, but sadly even the older folks who are from here will tell you that is a thing of the past. Part of the blame has to go to the massive influx of welfare dollars from the US.

Ironically the things I dislike most about living in Puerto Rican are decidedly American. Puerto Rico has embraced many undesirable aspects of American culture.

Rampant Consumerism, Environmental disregard, and yes, outright laziness. They have taken hold of Puerto Rico and are not going anywhere without massive changes. I have had Puerto Rican's tell me that one of the goals in life of many people here is to be able to live life without having to work hard.

Political Campaigning here, one of my pet peeves, consists of getting as many cars with loud systems as possible and caravaning through the busiest street in town making as much noise as possible. It is not just the fact that this happens, but the fact that this has become an accepted part of "the culture".

I frequently have this discussion with one of my parent's best friends from back home and her brother who lives in San Juan. She remembers Puerto Rico as you do. He sees a Puerto Rico that I see.

For better or worse, I think worse, Puerto Rico of today is not the Puerto Rico of 30 years ago.

Old 03-26-2008, 05:53 PM
2 posts, read 6,946 times
Reputation: 10
Default Share your feelings :)

Hey LivingDaDream,

share your feelings

We are currently researching moving back after 26 years in the cold NorthEast. See ya there some time!
Old 03-28-2008, 01:46 AM
1,387 posts, read 3,930,343 times
Reputation: 926
One thing I especially admire about Puerto Rico is how important voting is to the people. Mostly everyone who can vote is registered, even the youth.
Old 03-30-2008, 09:48 PM
1,944 posts, read 4,570,458 times
Reputation: 5345
That's because voting in PR is like fantasy baseball leagues up here...something people do as part of the day-to-day culture, I'd be so bold as to call it folklore; it is not indicative of the people's awareness (or understanding) of socio-economic or geopolitical issues.

Now, bear in mind, as much as I think the voting system in the CONUS is an outright joke (electoral college and the racket two party system), voting in PR is hilarious. If I had a quarter for every time they have voted in senatorial or representative candidates to any of the two state houses based on the fact that the person is a local TV personality, I'd have a downpayment on a house. There is no substance to why people get elected down there, it's crazy. It's literally a sport.

People look "involved" to you primarily because it provides a HUGE social scene outside, the equivalent of block parties up here, where people go to drink and eat and holler, and yes, dance salsa and merengue in the streets. It is not uncommon to have party rallies that consist fundamentally of a concert setup, with a stage and hired local bands...you can't really tell you're there to talk about politics unless you pay attention to the sea of flags for the particular party; in essence you can't really tell it apart from any other garden variety concert. If this doesn't solidify the notion that voting turnout doesn't equate to involvement, then I don't know what will.

The other thing that's noteworthy about voting trends in the island is the single-issue paradigm down there. People either vote blue (statehood) or red (commonwealth/status quo)...and to a lesser extent green (independence) when that party actually gets enough primary votes to even get a gubernatorial candidate on the november ballot. So, any one candidate can be an outright crook, and this cycles among parties, and it doesn't make any difference to the populace, they'll still drink and dance on the streets and go vote that morning and proceed to drink and dance some more on the post-election celebration camps at the parties' HQs. The only problem with all this is that there hasn't been a SINGLE referendum on territorial status since the 1998 and that one resulted in a flop, congress wouldn't take it seriously and neither did many on the island. Yet that's people's primary impetus for voting. Everybody is concerned about the economy and the escalating crime and educational pitfalls of the island, yet when it comes to voting for change it just doesn't happen because people vote with their feet about a status question that's not even on the ballot and will be unlikely to change.

Granted, much of the reason nothing can get done down there regarding education, wages, crime and cost-of-living DOES stem from the status ambiguity inherited by such colonial status, but as much as it pains me and my family (which are of pro-statehood affiliation, though now as retired folks with both children effectively living their statehood by physically relocating to the CONUS permanently this question is hardly relevant anymore) such status will not get resolved any time soon and hence puts the island in the precarious situation of not really being able to take a substantial hack at any of these problems. Voter turnout would indeed be a rather poor yardstick with which to measure the "involvment" of the people in the interest of their future.

Last edited by hindsight2020; 03-30-2008 at 10:03 PM..
Old 03-31-2008, 09:18 PM
1,729 posts, read 4,926,248 times
Reputation: 850
ShanaCT: Thank you so much for the lovely photos!
Old 04-18-2008, 07:25 PM
3 posts, read 48,822 times
Reputation: 12
Originally Posted by caribbeanppl View Post
Hello there!

I might be able to help you. I've lived my whole life in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Arecibo is not "up in the mountains" and Utuado does have mountains but is more located to the center of the island. I'm surprised to learn there are people still thinking in the PR of the 50's and here's why: People in PR do speak English for the most part, you will find people who doesn't but is has nothing to do with what part of the island the live at. I've never lived in the states, learned English at school. My sister, same story and she's been teaching English at Austin, Texas High School for 10 years now.

In Arecibo you won't find any discrimination. You can feel free to come and visit or stay. It's normal and legit to have fears when we visit a foreign country. I've visited the states and can relate to that. This island have more complicated issues than the English-language and bilingual people. If you like it here and decide to stay, eventually you'll learn some spanish.

You may find some people that doesn't speak the language, English is not our first language and is not a direct part of our culture and naturally some people hesitate to speak it but this island has evolved a lot and two out of four people without a doubt speaks the language not perfectly though.

We are a "freely associated commonwealth", we are part of the United States and born US citizens, we have a bond with the United States, there's no such thing as hate for English speakers, that I can assure you

I live in Arecibo and since I was young mom and dad always exposed me to english programing, movies, books,etc. As a result, I know a lot of English. It is sometimes a little sad that many parents don't like to teach children english because "everybody speaks spanish in Puerto Rico" and forget our culture. Learning english isn't a cultural suicide. By learning both english and spanish we will only benefit.Besides, when they go to the U.S mainland, they will be confused.
Old 07-11-2009, 10:51 PM
Location: Puerto Rico for 6 yrs now
44 posts, read 116,950 times
Reputation: 17
hi all,
I was reading this thread and i can NOT hold back and therefore i will post.
I was born and raised in Mass. and lived in Florida and now been in PR for 6 VERY long yrs !
I must correct some things said here..
discrimination is VERY evident, especially if you have an accent.
My husband was in a scene where he had to defend himself against a small gang of idiots that decided they had nothing better to do then to pick fights with my hubby and me just because "we weren;t from here" we had called the police numerous times about this and nothing was ever done. Yes we did have to go to court a couple of times but all the judge would tell the idiots from the gang was "stop bothering these people " (meaning us) like right that was gonna take care of the situation... it got so bad once that i almost lost my baby i was 7 months pregnant and got pushed from behind by one of these idiots and fell to the ground ... these idiots knew i was pregnant but didn;t care/ The police that came to the scene gave us a court date 2 months and a half after (i guess he didn;t want us to go to court while i was pregnant) and when the day came to go to court the idiots changed the entire story and i was almost thrown to jail cause he stated that the reason he pushed me was because i had taken out a knife to hurt him with i was like no way !!!! but it happened! anyways luckily i was not thrown into jail but one thing i can say this problem continued for almost an entire yr, to always get the same results nothing... one day my hubby got so mad at them that he took a knife out to stub them but ofcourse they all ran from him and to this day they haven't bothered us anymore.
Srry to make such a long story BUT what i wanted to say was that PR is NOT worth it.... laws mean nothing, criminal get away with everything, (actually cops are afraid of the criminals)one time the governor wanted to get the reserve to try and put order here but the police depart. went against it.
Drugs is an all day everyday thing it is like going to the candy store and buying some candy! the drug sellers sell in the face of anyone even the yougens also in the schools. Teachers dona't reprimend the sellers which are students of the school because they are afraid of these students.
Honestly i would recommend anyone that wants to visit a nice place with beaches and all to go elsewhere, NOT WORTH IT beleive me ..
Hopefully this aug i will be out of this wild jungle..
mind you all that i don;t live in a big city (thanx GOD in part) i live in the mountains and it is a jumgle gone crazy !
Old 07-11-2009, 11:02 PM
Location: Puerto Rico for 6 yrs now
44 posts, read 116,950 times
Reputation: 17
People in PR are just plain lazzzzzy they prefer to get government assistance than work...
but funny how you see these people that don;t work and live on foodstamps drive a better car than a working person.... ( i wonder sometimes......)
Here you don't have to be 18 or 21 to buy cigarettes or beer, enter a night club or anything like that.
I tell hubby this is a place like for "ricky Martin " "Living la vida loca" !!!!
my daughter had a friend she was 13 yrs old and she did STRIP shows in a pub, the owner of the pub knew this was a minor but he didn;t mind he just cared about the $$ coming in !
Schools here sux as well, teachers do not motivate students, there is no student of the week or anything for thatmatter, it is just the same ole boring day everyday, no sports no nothing. When a teacher doesn;t come in due to being sick or what ever the student gets to walk around for the time of the class as they don;t have substitutes, and ofcourse thats when they tend to get in trouble.
My oldest daughter had a friend which was shot at a pub a couple of months ago (he was 19) and when he was in 7th grade he brought to school a home made bomb and guess what ???? the teachers nor faculty memebrs did nothing even though he had threatened to blow it up in the field at lunch time... WOW great protection for kids in schools!!!!
Talking about schools a student can and do walk out of the school property when eva they feel like it and go back in when eva they please and thats IF they please ......

Last edited by Sunscape; 07-13-2014 at 06:39 AM.. Reason: misspelled a word
Old 07-11-2009, 11:09 PM
Location: Puerto Rico for 6 yrs now
44 posts, read 116,950 times
Reputation: 17
corruption ??? wow i have never seen more corruption in any other place than here ...
everyday people lie their ways into car insurance for $$, food stamps offices are the worst, people lie through their teeths to get food stamps and other government assistance. Alot of theses people have gotten caught but all they do if make a payment plan for what ever benfeits they received which they weren;t entitled to.
Drunk driving # 1 here just about everyday some one dies on our roads due to DUI !
Animal cruelty ?? # 1 here I was told a person put gasoline on a dogs behind just for the fun of it, ot poor dogs get thrown from bridges or they get squashed by cars !!
alot of people here say i am crazy cause i WILL stop the car when i see a chicken crossing the road with her chicks ... i could NEVER run over a chick or any animal for that matter.
well to end this story every one has heard at one point of another about the masacre in texas ??? well that happened so many yrs ago but here in PR there is a masacre EVERYDAY !!!
read our newspaper who ever dobts me you can get it online www.endi.com i think they have a button for english version ( i think)
Old 07-11-2009, 11:16 PM
Location: Puerto Rico for 6 yrs now
44 posts, read 116,950 times
Reputation: 17
I know i will receive a klot of hate because of what i have posted BUT all puerto ricans know everything i have wriiten is the entire truth ,,, and theres more but i prefer NOT to continue as it gives me the chills to realize what kinda place i am living in ... but hopefully will be out in aug this yr !
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