La Isla del Encanto
This tiny little island has many names, and a big spirit. The beautiful island that holds my heritage is Puerto Rico. I was born and raised in New York, but I am known to everyone as a Puerto Rican, (or Nuyorican to some.) I love and am very proud to have been raised as an American citizen, but to me there has never been any denial of the place from where my culture hails.
Within its 3435 square miles (8897 km2), the island not only has it’s own National Rainforest (El Yunque), but also the largest radio telescope in the world: SETI Observatory in Arecibo.
There are so many different sides to this treasure in the Caribbean. Puerto Ricans are a beautiful mixture of Taino Indian, European, Spanish, and African. We come in all shapes, sizes and shades.
What I remember most about my trips to visit family, is how laid back and accepting people are. There is a huge trust that God will always take care of any problem we have.
Some of my favorite memories revolve around food (my favorite subject). Even if you listen to a lot of our Christmas music, it revolves around food:
I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my mami, helping her make pasteles. She would make the “maza” and filling, and I would put a spoonful in the wrapper and wrapt them, anticipating the moment when we could finally devour them! She would labor over these every Christmas, and sadly I have not taken the time out to make them myself, but I hope to this year. A lot of people compare pastels to tamales, but they are a little different.
On of the prettiest songs I’ve heard is En Mi Viejo San Juan. I used to see my mom get a tear in her eyes thinking about her homeland, and being so far away. Now I do the same, as I always say that one day I will return to visit my parents land, and mine.
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