View from Puerto Rico

Full story: The Orlando Sentinel

Thanks to the Sentinel for the objective op-ed on Puerto Rico's fundamental issue Oct.
Comments
1 - 20 of 138 Comments Last updated Feb 23, 2012
First Prev
of 7
Next Last
Marilyn

AOL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#1
Nov 16, 2006
 

Judged:

1

1

1

I'd rather see it be "another cuba" than see it become another ghetto.
MataconHacha

San Antonio, TX

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#2
Nov 16, 2006
 

Judged:

1

Marilyn,

If you have not been to the island lately, there are places that are somewhat like a "ghetto" and many poor that live in extreme poverty. Cuba is falling a part and you do not have any freedom to complain or else you are hauled off to explain why.
Marilyn

AOL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#3
Jan 6, 2007
 

Judged:

1

1

1

I know there are ghetto's...being from NY i was tired of escaping,then arriving to PR and seeing the same thing. I'd like to see that 90% literacy rate that Cuba has in PR. What's going on with the so called politics in PR should be as illegal and unjusitfiable as what the cuban government does.

Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
MataconHacha

Nashua, NH

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#4
Jan 8, 2007
 

Judged:

1

1

1

Marilyn,

If you truly have been to Puerto Rico, then you need to define your "ghetto." You see living in Puerto Rico's caserios (public housing) does not necessarily classify anyone to live in a ghetto like the ones in New York. I lived in New York and also know what ghettos are. If you define ghettos as: no hope to the people living in them, drug problems, fatherless children, no health care, no jobs, and no education, than you hit it on the head. However, even the poor in caserios and in the campo in Puerto Rico can go to college if they stay away from drugs and gangs. Puerto Rico has more students in college on a per-capital basis than a lot of States on the mainland. Many go because they can obtain Pell grants. Many get educated and move on. I came from a humble family and was able to graduate with a Masters degree. However, the next time you visit Puerto Rico go into the interior, which we call “la isla”, don’t necessarily accept that the metro area is representative of the complete island.
un gringo puertorriqueno

San Juan, Puerto Rico

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#5
Jan 8, 2007
 
I enjoy driving through the caserios. I've never seen so many direct TV satelite dishes and expensive, exotic weaponry. I get the impression that half that live in a caserio are not so needy. Just content with a free (or almost free) place to stay or a place to hide. Anyway, I believe we have the most comfortable poor in the Caribe.(not counting the drug addicts with AIDS) I'll add that I've been inside many outwardly modest accomodations here in P.R. and most of the time you wouldnt believe the inside of what appears to be a hell hole. Certainly we have lots of poor. Most are comfortably, happily poor. But what is poor. Many here are blessed with simple goals. A good game of dominos, a bottle of rum, family, good friends and humor. Lots of time to spend at the beach, lots of holidays and a government that caters to the needy because THEY VOTE. By the way, my dedutable laden health care plan costs $590.00 a month for 2 and the poor get care for free. Hmmm. The "poor" lose too much getting a job to make it worth their while. Get a job, pay for your own housing, electricity, food, health care, telephone, etc. The true needy in P.R. are a fraction of the reported poor. Most of the poor stay poor by incentive.
Puerto Rico is one of the best places to vacation you will find. To live here you need to face the ocean with your back to the reality of P.R.
MataconHacha

Nashua, NH

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#6
Jan 9, 2007
 
UN GRINGO PUERTORRIQUENO wrote:
I enjoy driving through the caserios. I've never seen so many direct TV satelite dishes and expensive, exotic weaponry. I get the impression that half that live in a caserio are not so needy. Just content with a free (or almost free) place to stay or a place to hide. Anyway, I believe we have the most comfortable poor in the Caribe.(not counting the drug addicts with AIDS) I'll add that I've been inside many outwardly modest accomodations here in P.R. and most of the time you wouldnt believe the inside of what appears to be a hell hole. Certainly we have lots of poor. Most are comfortably, happily poor. But what is poor. Many here are blessed with simple goals. A good game of dominos, a bottle of rum, family, good friends and humor. Lots of time to spend at the beach, lots of holidays and a government that caters to the needy because THEY VOTE. By the way, my dedutable laden health care plan costs $590.00 a month for 2 and the poor get care for free. Hmmm. The "poor" lose too much getting a job to make it worth their while. Get a job, pay for your own housing, electricity, food, health care, telephone, etc. The true needy in P.R. are a fraction of the reported poor. Most of the poor stay poor by incentive.
Puerto Rico is one of the best places to vacation you will find. To live here you need to face the ocean with your back to the reality of P.R.
Gringo,

That is why I ask the poster what does she mean by Ghetto? I know there are poor. I have been to caserios that the “poor” had comfortable living quarters. Like you stated, many will not look for work because there is no incentives for them too. Many enjoy life at their level and many would rather live off the tax payer then to work. I have traveled to many places and I really saw poverty. I was visited Mexico several years ago and tried to buy a product at a Mercado at a lower price and the lady at the stand knew we were from Puerto Rico. She would not budge on the price and one of my friends stated he would buy somewhere else. She stated that we were rich and she would only sell at the price advertised. I asked her why she thought we were rich and she said that we were American citizens! I thought at that moment that she was right! At least the poor in PR can get help to buy food, free medical help, free education and help with housing. We do not really know what it is to go to bed with hunger or worry about where we get our next meal. We have been pampered and given everything on a silver platter and we still complain.
Jennifer Watts

Waynesville, NC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#7
Jan 9, 2007
 
I've never been there, but I've heard a lot about it. Jennifer Lopez did a concert there
Americano4Ever

Nashua, NH

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#8
Jan 9, 2007
 
Marilyn wrote:
I'd rather see it be "another cuba" than see it become another ghetto.
Marilyn,

You have never been to Cuba? I doubt you would want PR to be like it. I have spoken to many Cubans that have left. Some of my family are Cubanos and believe me you would not want PR to be like Cuba is now. Cuba is in terrible shape and people are having a hard time surviving while Fidel lived a life of luxury. If you feel so strong about PR not having “ghettos” then move there and fight against it, see how far you are going to get trying to convince the people and government. Good luck!
un gringo puertorriqueno

San Juan, Puerto Rico

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#9
Jan 9, 2007
 
As far as Cuba goes Fidel kept his promise and made almost everyone equal. Now you only have 2 classes. The governing class and everyone else.(The exception being those who receive help from family that live elsewhere) By the way, Fidel Castro's family was wealthy. He was a little rich kid. But he also was a facist. As a facist he knew he would never win support so he chose the closest affiliation he could find and be all powerful.
He also studied law in Habana. I hear he wasnt the best student.

Now to P.R.

Puerto Rico is full of conflicts. It a truly remarkable place to visit. People love to party and will always find a good excuse. The people are friendly and fun to be around. Not to mention ingenious at getting out of work or making excuses. They all seem to be experts on working the system as well. Puerto Rico has its dangerous areas and it looks even more dangerous than it is because of the bars on all the windows and doors. This is partly because of Muñoz Marin's great experiment. He built all the public housing as close to the wealthy areas as possible believing that the nearness would teach the poor how to succeed and give incentive by showing what they could achieve. Of course we all know he only brought the nights work closer.(If you know what I mean...fox-henhouse) When all the wealthy put up bars and fences for protection, they became elitests. Now, to not have bars and fences is an invitation. Many keep the outside looking run down to not draw attention. But man o man, take a look inside. I love living in Puerto Rico. Working here is another story. Come take a look. You will have a good time. But take a GOOD look.
MataconHacha

Nashua, NH

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#10
Jan 9, 2007
 
Gringo,

Yep, a lot of bars on windows and it is getting like that in several towns around the island, however, there are still places that do not use them. The bars on windows is a Spanish tradition. If you go Mexico and several towns in the Southwest, you will find them in peoples' home. I see them here in Texas, been to New Mexico and Arizona. However, the bars are to keep criminals out and sadly, they are on a lot of Puerto Rican homes.

On the case of people having an excuse on partying, well I certainly saw it when I lived on the island. It is something that many seek due to the many local holidays that the Marin government implemented to give time off to underpaid workers. I believe it is an escape valve for the modern day pressure that many live in PR.
un gringo puertorriqueno

San Juan, Puerto Rico

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#11
Jan 9, 2007
 
I've never been to Spain. Hope to go this year or next. However in colonial parts of Old San Juan and Santa Domingo you will see the design on the wooden doors incorporating the shape of bars in the wood. All the balcony's have elaborate iron work. The old entrances open like a barn. You can open the top, bottom or both, and often with a little window to look out. Iron work seems to have been popular but for decoration and not protection. I could be wrong of course but these are my observations. As far as crime goes in Puerto Rico, my impression is almost all of it is linked to drugs. Be it waring over territory or searching for funds to buy drugs to feed ones addiction. The other "crimes" are more malipulating circumstances to ones advantage or trying to pull a fast one. i.e charging an arm and leg for simple repairs or charging for doing ones job.(government workers) It parts of the economy its an art form. I'll take more notice of the bars en consideration of your observations.
Jennifer Watts

Waynesville, NC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#12
Jan 9, 2007
 
Americano4Ever wrote:
<quoted text>
Marilyn,
You have never been to Cuba? I doubt you would want PR to be like it. I have spoken to many Cubans that have left. Some of my family are Cubanos and believe me you would not want PR to be like Cuba is now. Cuba is in terrible shape and people are having a hard time surviving while Fidel lived a life of luxury. If you feel so strong about PR not having “ghettos” then move there and fight against it, see how far you are going to get trying to convince the people and government. Good luck!
No I've never been there
un gringo puertorriqueno

San Juan, Puerto Rico

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#13
Jan 9, 2007
 
A friend of the family went to Cuba about 8 years ago and took lots of video. It was quite impressive. Huge mansions that from a distance were fabulous. From close you could see how every room had a door to the outside. Meaning you had a family, sometimes upwards of 10 people living in each room of the house. Not only that but many houses are stripped of plumbing and electrical wire. (sold for $$$ to live) Horses pulling wagons loaded with people as transportation. I realize not all Cuba is as I've described, but much of it is. If you are a surgeon and apply to leave Cuba, you are sent to cut sugar cane. (It ruins your hands) When you no longer can practice as a surgeon because of your ruined hands, then you have a good chance of being allowed to leave. Its human nature to try to find a better place to live. The Haitians flee into the Dominican Republic, the Dominicans flee into Puerto Rico, the Puertorriquenos emigrate to the USA. The Cubans chance death to be anywhere but Cuba. I doubt I'll ever go to Cuba, but I know many people that travel to Cuba regularly and I have a good grasp of what its like. I know a man that spent over 10 years in prison en Cuba. I know a family that took more than 10 years to leave, one at a time. First the father, later the mother and finally the daughter. Never be confused about what Castro has done to his country and people. Watch Hugo Chavez, now nationalizing the telephone and energy companys. Removing anyone that can slow him down in his drive to dominate the region. Trying to influence elections in other countrys in South America. The new leader of the Socialist country's of South and Central America. He is bad new and I hope the USA stops ignoring what is going on in our Hemisphere.
MataconHacha

Nashua, NH

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#14
Jan 10, 2007
 
Gringo,

You are right when it comes to the iron work in Old San Juan it is due to the Spanish tradition. The bars that you see now on homes in PR are for practicality; safety. It cost too much to have them bent into elaborate shapes. I also agree with you that the crime committed in the island is due to drugs. It was certainly like that when I lived there.

On Cuba, well I do have friends that came from Cuba in the 1990s and I have a cousin who married an exiled in the 1960s and live in Florida. Their horror stories were sickening to hear. Their grandfather was incarcerated for speaking against the Castro regime and it took them 10 years to get him to Miami after paying thousands of dollars to the government. The situation in Cuba is deplorable and I do hope that it will improve with the death of Fidel, however I doubt it will when Raul takes over. In the Venezuelan debacle, I think our government is watching Hugo and not doing anything unless he actually threatens our national security. U.S. businesses are operating in that country and we are buying oil, so I guess it is a matter of economics until Hugo does something stupid. His recent statements of nationalizing several companies has hurt the stocks of them. I truly believe that if Venezuela is plunged into communist ala Chavez style, the military will rebel or a least a civil will break out.
Luquillo PR

Canovanas, Puerto Rico

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#15
Jan 13, 2007
 
I have lived in Puerto Rico for over ten years and have been here on and of for over twenty-five. Most comments are correct about the drugs,crimes,political corruption and how easy it is to receive benifits from the states and PR. My wife and I both work and support four children and have to pay our own medical care because we make a living. I work two jobs and we pay cash for anything we purchase. We live a modest life and all saved is for our children. I hope some day the United States tells PR to care for themselves. In saying that we will still have to pay them for ten years to establish the country. If you really ask a Puerto Rican what he thinks about the US they will tell you we are a bunch of rich gringos and they will blood suck us as long as they can. Its all in the culture. My children can't wait to move and leave this island.
GROW AS ONE

Mahwah, NJ

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#16
Jan 16, 2007
 
I must say it doesn't matter who is on the island drug trade down right dirty. We are killing are own people I thought we are suppose stick together and grow as one. In my many years of traveling to PR and living in the United States I have noticed with the young generation the culture and love each other has vanished. What ever happen to our people growing as one and being leaders in the Hispanic community? We have all other Latin Americans countries going to PR and the USA and doing better then we do Wassup with that? For example I went to a well known college and graduated with honors but looking back there where so many other Latinos than Puerto Ricans why? Let me tell you why as a race we have become lazy and take for granted the freedom we have to come and go in this country as we please.( As one elder Puerto Rican told me in PR this last summer all the young Gen wants to do is eat, sleep, make easy money and watch Direct TV) Since we don’t have to struggle to get in we take for granted the opportunities we have in the USA. In Puerto Rico should be much better off than it is what ever happen to seeing people cultivate the land , PR needs to bring in more industry to the island. The one thing I must say that outraged me the most was when I bought a souvenir in PR with the old school PR type background and it SAID MADE IN CHINA. WTF is this I said to myself we don’t even make our own souvenir no more. I tell you this if I where to ever run PR the people would either love me or hate me because there is a lot bull ish that goes on that needs to be cleaned up. It just makes me mad when you have all these young kids having all these boricua tattoos and other stuff showing PR pride but are the ones on the corner selling drugs. PR pride is to bring our island up not disgrace it. I know have just hit over all so many topics but as a BORICUA myself we should stand up and make a mark in the USA and PR as well educated hard working people not as drug hustling money laundering lazy people. Please feel free to comment. BORICUA’S STAND UP!!!!!!
Jessica

Harrisburg, PA

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#17
Jan 17, 2007
 
I recently returned from the island after being there from the beginning of the new year to the 8th of this month. And I wanted to comment that it is a shame that such a beautiful island but the people there suck. There is NO respect at all and its was a shame and embarrasing taking my husband there for the first time and have him see that in such a short time that we visited PR there were 28 reported deaths. We also experienced a very bad and dramatic time when appoached by a man in a very not nice way, and all we where doing was letting him go pass us in traffic.But basically what can you do,Shut up and mind your own business. It is a shame that there is more puertoricans dying in there home then in Iraq where there is a war!!!
RICAN BABES

AOL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#18
Jan 24, 2007
 
HI GROW AS ONE I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU I WAS IN PUERTO RICO JANUARY 1 TO THE 8 FIXING SOME PAPERS FOR SOME LAND MY PARENTS PASSED ON 2 ME .... OMG I WAS ALSO SHOCKED 2 SEE THE SOVIENERS I BOUGHT AND SAID MADE IN CHINA I THOUGHT I WAS THEEE ONLY 1 .WHAT ABOUT THE DRUG ABUSE AND THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WTF I HAVE SENT A NOTIFICATION 2 THE GOVERNOR AND THEY DID SEND ME A REPLY THAT THEY ARE AWARE AND WORKING ON THE ISSUES BUT HEY IF WE ONLY COMPLAINE ABOUT IT IT MAKES US WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM.... P.S I AM GOING 2 BUILD ME A NICE HOME ON THE ISLAND AND HELP MI GENTE....
MataconHacha

Nashua, NH

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#19
Jan 24, 2007
 
Jessica wrote:
I recently returned from the island after being there from the beginning of the new year to the 8th of this month. And I wanted to comment that it is a shame that such a beautiful island but the people there suck. There is NO respect at all and its was a shame and embarrasing taking my husband there for the first time and have him see that in such a short time that we visited PR there were 28 reported deaths. We also experienced a very bad and dramatic time when appoached by a man in a very not nice way, and all we where doing was letting him go pass us in traffic.But basically what can you do,Shut up and mind your own business. It is a shame that there is more puertoricans dying in there home then in Iraq where there is a war!!!


Yes, it is a shame. The situation is getting worse and many problems are due to the stress of modern living; keeping up with the neighbors, material consumerism and faithless living. Almost everyone is plunged in debt. The landmass is over populated in many places and the stress on the roads are just too much for any human to withstand sometimes. I got used to driving on the island with so much traffic, especially when I had to drive to the Metro area for business. On an island that is only 107 by 37 in its widest parts it takes hours driving 55-60 miles per hour to get around some places due to traffic. Then you have the stress of working at jobs that in many cases do not pay that much for the skills and education you have. Land and home prices have gone skyhigh. I remember a piece of land I was considering buying close to Boqueron for 15 K in 1983 and now that same land worth over 1 million! I should had bought it! LOL. Anyway, things are getting bad on the island and I suspect it will not get any better soon. Many are leaving like myself and those that stay are having to live a life of stress and anxiety.
evelyn

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#20
Jan 24, 2007
 
wow powerfull stuff i read hear as far as pr and caserios see i,m hiv+ and have hep a,b,c i,m looking to go back to my roots in puerto rico question i have is would i be happy in pr livind with hiv is not easy somebody tell me if i would have a better life in pr

Tell me when this thread is updated: (Registration is not required)

Add to my Tracker Send me an email

First Prev
of 7
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

•••
•••
•••

Rico Jobs

•••
Enter and win $5000
•••

Rico People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

•••

Rico News, Events & Info

Click for news, events and info in Rico
•••

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]
•••