Puerto Rico

Peter Dutton/Creative Commons

   

This hour we’re checking back in on a few stories we’ve been following.

First, we’ll look at Puerto Rican out-migration caused by the financial crisis. According to Pew, there are now more Puerto Ricans in Florida than Puerto Rico. We’ll talk to the director of Pew’s Hispanic Research Center to hear what this means for the island, and for cities like Hartford.

Jorge Gonzalez / Creative Commons

 

As Europeans work towards a resolution of the Greek debt crisis, another economic crisis in Puerto Rico is contributing to a huge out-migration of residents from the island. 

A report obtained by NPR paints a bleak portrait of Puerto Rico's economic future, saying its deficit is much larger than previously thought.

"Puerto Rico faces hard times," says the report which was commissioned by the Government Development Bank and written by three former and current International Monetary Fund economists. It is to be released on Monday.

Although it's a tropical island, perhaps surprisingly, Puerto Rico produces very little of its own food. After decades of industrialization, the U.S. territory imports more than 80 percent of what's consumed on the island. There are signs, though, the trend is changing.

vxla / Creative Commons

The United States has a long and complex relationship with Puerto Rico that changes dramatically depending on who is telling the tale. 

Javier Villa has worked at his family's used car dealership in San Juan, Puerto Rico, ever since he finished high school.

Villa, 35, always assumed the insurance plan he had through work would take care of him and his family. But a couple years ago, he ran into a problem.

He was taking a shower one morning when he noticed a lump on the side of his throat. "Very big, like maybe a tennis ball," he says.

A showcase of the latest work by Hispanic, Portuguese, and Latino filmmakers opens Tuesday in New Haven: the New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema. There will be screenings and events featuring many of the visiting filmmakers. Everything is free and open to the public.

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade will be marching down New York City's Fifth Avenue under new leadership this year.

boricuahumanrights.org and Official Photo, Office of Luis Gutierrez

When Congressman Luis Gutierrez was a teenager in Puerto Rico, he became involved in the independence movement for his home country. It's a battle he's taken all the way to his job in Washington, where he represents Illinois' 4th District in Chicago.

The history of the U.S military includes contributions from segregated units. One unit many Americans know little about are the Borinqueneers. They were an all-Hispanic unit in the U.S Army that served in World Wars I and II. But it was the Korean War when the unit rose to prominence. As Lucy Nalpathanchil of WNPR reports, there’s a growing movement to honor these veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Photo by Catie Talarski

There'a a push among federal legislators to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the last segregated Hispanic unit in the U.S. military. 

Photo by Catie Talarski

There'a a push among federal legislators to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the last segregated Hispanic unit in the U.S. military. 

Ethorson (Flickr Creative Commons)

In the November elections, most results were pretty clear cut. But one that seems to have raised more questions than answers was a plebiscite on Puerto Rico’s political status.

Chion Wolf

Connecticut, especially Hartford, has a special relationship with the island of Puerto Rico. These ties brought Sila Calderón to the state this week. She was the keynote speaker last night at a meeting of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s Latino Endowment Fund.