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Emotional responses of Puerto Ricans: American and Puerto Rico relationship

From the point of view of a Puerto Ricans who have a different perspective of how Puerto Rico mindset should be set. How they should be responding to the issues that they are facing as a country. I interview A.L who is a Puerto Rican living here in the United States. He had done research and wrote about what happened in Puerto Rico. He is also a political scientist by training and an activist. My interviewee’s understanding of what is happening right now was very different from what we have discussed in class. We covered a lot of concepts about hurricane maria, but we focus mostly on how government ( American) can help with the recoverer. When as my interview whole idea was that Puerto Ricans should find a way to help themselves in the first place—this quote is an explanation from the interview:

The kind of emotional responses people have to crisis like this, is more about blaming themselves for the trauma and the suffering they are experiencing. I think that the fact that Puerto Rico was going to a crisis already and is going to a crisis as right now. That was compounded by the hurricane and people experience that not as a country, however the way you experience that is as a person like the loss of job, the loss of  family member, losing a house. I think human nature is not to first think about we are suffering this as a country or society, rather to see and experienced how is it happening to you as an individual and to your family.

I think that we are all conditions in a way which is both bad and good to really think about the problem that we have in a very specific individual ways. That’s good because it is a very effective way of trying to see what can I change, what do I have control over right now. What I can be doing differently to change my situation, so that is positive response you just don’t blame things from outside or people. Try to see how you are responsible because essentially we are one way or the other responsible for many of the things that happen to us.

He thinks that people should make an impact thinking about what can they improve in their life. He believes that people need to be more responsible about their personal decision. this  also is almost the best was for Puerto Rico to recover from their Issues. One you learn how to get yourself out of a challenging situation, you will not need someone to help.

I believe that other people in the Island do need support that the people in Puerto Rico ideally do not want to see themselves as being helped, that is not what defines us. The economic crisis can not be at the end what defines us. The hurricane can not be what defines us. I am afraid that the hurricane is going to end up defining who we are. You know hurricane have happened before and along with the economic crisis. The history of Puerto Rico has been economic crisis and hurricanes going over and over again.”

” Now it is been amplified because of how many people live in the Island, the complexity of modern life, and our independent. All of those things we have to address them and colonialism and the relationship of the United States gets in the way of that. It does not allow people of Puerto Rico to practice the necessary skills and experience to train themselves on how you run a country. We always need to be looking over our shoulders to see what the Americans want us to do. I personally think that the United States should get out of the way in many of the things that they do, obviously we need them and want them to be part of what happened in the Island.

These quotes stands out for me, the most. The interview was very conversional and his perspective on the issues that are happening in Puerto Rico was different and great. My interviewee has a very positive thought about Puerto Ricans and how they can recover from this disaster. He also talks about how the hurricanes and the economic crisis can not be something that define Puerto Ricans. He was scared that hurricanes were going to remind people of who Puerto Ricans are. He did not like the fact that people have been talking about the hurricane and the economic crisis over and over again. Instead of looking for what can be changed to make Puerto Rico recover from this disaster. For these chances to happen people need to stop expecting from others, for them to do better for themselves. He believes that the United States should stop interfering in Puerto Rico affairs in certain ways. They need to allow Puerto Ricans to develop their own skills and experience. Americans should be helping without interfering as much as they should. Puerto Rico as a country should be able to build their nation together. 


  1. I found these quotes to be powerful, and agree with your concluding statements. I would have liked to see more context surrounding the quotes though, as I wasn’t sure if there were from the same person or from different people. More synthesis and blending your own writing with them would have been helpful.

  2. I found all his quotes insightful. It gave me a new outlook on the issues around the recovery and what is for the future of Puerto Rico. I especially loved how he mentioned Puerto Ricans are hard working and don’t typically accept help. It shows what type of community Puerto Rico is and how strong it can be.

  3. Great interview you did. I agree with some of the things your interviewee had to say. Especially the point where people can make an impact even just one person. This brings me back to the issue of climate change. There are ways we as individuals can reduce our emission and help reduce pollution. Of course the government has to do their part which is the bigger portion but everyone has power as individuals to make change.

  4. These are great quotes, but you need to work them into a narrative. The quotes alone are not enough. You need to give this more framing and use the quotes to make an argument or tell a story about the interview.

  5. I think it’s great that your piece focuses on one’s relationship between Puerto Rico and the US. Its a strong dynamic that comes with lots of complications for a person. Your interviewee seems so strong minded and he’s very interesting to read about. I wonder if he had more personal or emotional feelings about his balance between the states and the island.

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