Puerto Rico (Continuación)

A month of steady rain has brightened the cobblestones of Old San Juan. Now they are as blue as the crabs hawked alongside the coastal roads of this Caribbean territory of the United States. Public employees must have been relieved that nature cooperated, after weeks spent sprucing up the city for Barack Obama’s arrival here on Tuesday morning.

His visit aggravated the city’s already grim traffic jams, called tapones, prompting some cynical reactions. A taxi driver named Reina Blanco waved her arm at the highway and told me: “Once again I’m going to be hearing tourists say they’ll never come back here because of the traffic”.…  Seguir leyendo »

I remember my father telling me the story of when he first landed in New York, having emigrated from Trinidad, West Indies. He was proud of his spanking new suitcase until he reached customs and couldn’t find the key to the lock, and they had to break it open to search his belongings. My father’s heart sank. After all, he saw the opportunity in this new world and wanted to make a good impression with the best he had to offer.

I was born in New Jersey, and couldn’t grasp the emotions of going to a new land full of hope and fear at the same time.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Mayra Montero, the author of "Captain of the Sleepers" and the forthcoming "Dancing to 'Almendra.' " This article was translated by Edith Grossman from the Spanish (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 20/05/06):

THE budget crisis that has shaken Puerto Rico this month has brought moments that were critical, less critical and positively deranged. On May 1, the government shut most public agencies, furloughing 95,000 employees. The police, firefighters and medical personnel kept working, but schools were closed; Gov. Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá laid off the staff at the executive mansion, including the chef, which led to the announcement of the transcendentally important fact that the governor was sustaining himself with pizzas.…  Seguir leyendo »