Cultural Immersion Reflection Paper Growing up as a Caucasian American Jewish girl living in Brooklyn in the 1950s, Puerto Rico was this magical island in a far away land where rich people would vacation and honeymoon. Puerto Rico was a fantasy world island just the way the theme parks in Orlando are a fantasy getaway. Puerto Rico is there to serve tourists, not an island that is inhabited by over 3.7 million people (according to the July 2011 Census Bureau) who raise families and dream of a prosperous future. One doesn’t imagine the poverty and the challenges that most Puerto Rican “American citizen’s” experience day-to-day because that will take away from the fantasy. For me there has always been a connection to Puerto Rico. I had …show more content…
Puerto Rico was ruled by the Spanish until it became a territory of the United States in 1898 and it has been self-governing since the mid-20th century. The vibrant blend of its 3.4 million people (as reported in 2016) is a mix of Spanish, United States and Afro-Caribbean influences. The Taino population settled the island more than 1,000 years before the Spanish arrived, calling it Borinquen and referring to the natives as Boricua. That term is still used today. In 1493 Columbus took over the island for Spain and in 1521 Juan Ponce de Leon founded the first European settlement, Caparra, near the northern coast and renamed it Puerto Rico (or “rich port”). San Juan became a strong military base for Spain who imported slaves from Africa in the 16th century. U.S. Army troops occupied Puerto Rico in 1898 during the brief Spanish-American War and Spain ceded Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines and Cuba to the U.S. as a result. In 1917 Puerto Ricans were granted citizenship in the U.S. which made the males eligible for military draft (www.history.com). In 1952 Puerto Rico officially became a U.S. commonwealth and created its own constitution and other powers of self-governing (Collo, 1995). Even though Puerto Rico attracted tourism and big American manufacturing companies, more than 500,000 people left to
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Immigration has always been an issue in the United States, which is often portrayed as harmful and as major threat to American culture. As a result, various anti immigration policies have been aimed against immigrants in order to prevent and preserve the miscegenation of American culture, such as English only policies. Among the largest minority groups in the U.S, are Latinos who currently compose of 15% of the U.S population (Delgado and Stefancic 3). Unfortunately, Latinos have been accused of taking American benefits, jobs, and have wrongfully been depicted as a result of not assimilating to American culture. Latinos are often accused of resisting assimilation, but what has failed to be acknowledged is that there are obstacles set in
Choosing an unfamiliar place within the small town of Athens, OH was a difficult task for someone with a diverse list of interests to do. Personally, I had to think about where I wanted to spend my time ‘culture watching’. There are many places that I have spent much of my time, like coffee shops, multiple basketball and football games freshman year, and three well known dining halls across campus. I had to think to myself where have I not spent time in Athens, and then it came to me, church. For the cultural immersion project, I spent three Sundays observing the Athens First United Methodist Church, each service being one hour long focusing on different areas each time. The location of the church is extremely familiar to me being that I live
Immigration of Latinos has long caused cultural conflict, especially when it comes to the illegal immigration of Latinos. Unfortunately, the issue has long been debated and there seems to be no clear cut answer on how to resolve the problem. Many Americans often overlook the struggles that Latinos endure and place stereotypes upon this group of people that are untrue. Furthermore, most Americans are misinformed or uninformed about the other side of this hot issue. The purpose of this essay is to give the reader a better understanding of Latino immigration from a cultural perspective and what these immigrants, both legal and illegal experience when relocating to a new country as well as a brief discussion on the issue of immigration reform.
The commonwealth status of Puerto Rico between the 1950-1952 was with limited autonomy since the Island was still under the Sovereignty of the United States (Francesco, C. & Eugene, 1999). The United States annexed Puerto Rico following the end of the Spanish-American War. For almost a century Puerto Rico has been under the influence of the United States. The constitutional convention of 1952 gave Puerto Rico the right to form a republican government.
When living in Puerto Rico we were the same as everyone else. We never felt any oppression. We understood that there were people of different shades of skin color but it wasn’t an identifier for us. I believe the only thing that made us different was that our mother was Dominican and
Puerto Rico has a long tumultuous past, which has yet to be settled; in the 1900’s the U.S acquired Puerto Rico and declared it a territory of the U.S with very limited self-rule. They even declared English as the official language. This has a large impact on Puerto Rican’s including the Thorpe family as the state has tried to declare bankruptcy for years and the U.S
My first reaction when receiving this assignment was surprise. Usually, a "cultural plunge" would involve a person entering a cultural type environment that is not within the person's comfort zone, as described by Pham (2013). However, since this type of plunge is also outside of our comfort zone, I suppose that it could also qualify as a cultural plunge. I am looking forward to trying this exercise, since I believe it will teach me a lot about not only myself, but also about others.
One hundred years ago, in 1898, the United States was fighting the Spanish-American War. The victory over Spain made the United States a colonial power. The Spanish colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, as well as the formerly independent nation of Hawaii, became American possessions.
In fact, the racial composition of Puerto Rico is 80% white and 20% black. In earlier times, slaves, imported from Africa and other ethnic groups, were brought to work on plantations, and introduced this racial diversity. Slavery, started in Puerto Rico by the Spanish, forced the island into becoming a large agricultural area. Some of the agriculture that still exists includes sugar production and dairy production. Today however, most Puerto Ricans hold jobs that are industrial and exist in the metropolitan areas. Important industries of the island include pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, petrochemical, and processed foods. Tourism has also been an important source of income for the island2.
My cultural immersion focus is on the religious war in Nigeria. One of the interesting things I found in my research was that, in Nigeria the Christian faith and the Muslim faith represents the greatest percentage of religions. I also learned that the Christians and Muslims pray every day several times a day. With that being said, I wondered if they believed in a higher entity prayed every day, who they are praying to? And what is their belief system based on? (question 1) Since their Christian faith seems to be divided into Catholic, Protestant or some other, I decided to attend a typical Catholic Church service and a Friday mid-day Muslim prayer service. Maybe I should not have used the
For the cultural immersion experience, I attended a Hawaiian and Pacific Islander luau. During the event I observed large extended families gathering. There were numerous hula groups dancing and musicians playing. There were a lot of children and it seemed that they were being cared for by their family, extended family, and other families. I did notice that some of the children seemed to be missing shoes or slippers. For instance, one child had one slipper on and one off and many children had no shoes or slippers on. However, in Hawaii people sometimes do not wear shoes or slippers outside, so it did not strike me as a concern. Everyone seemed to be relaxed and focused on sharing and creating together. For instance, five different large extended families had come together and prepared the food. Also, right before the meal
This brings us to the third main element that makes up the Puerto Rican people. This third main element, were the African slaves that were brought in. In fact, the three main elements were all together on the island of Puerto Rico in a relatively short time span. The proof of this is
In order to lay the court foundation for the newly state of Puerto Rico, it is important to understand a brief, recent history and basic principles which make up the state. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth island located in the Caribbean about 1,000 miles southeast of Florida, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. In 1952, the people of Puerto Rico established a constitution, recognizing a republican form of government. (Berenshteyn, 2014) The island is under the jurisdiction of U.S. customs and allows free movement of people and commodities within the territory and the United States, which is significant because its climate, history, and the atmosphere makes the island a very popular tourist destination. However, the economic crisis has prompted a migration of Puerto Rican citizens to seek other horizons in the United States, leaving its population at just over 3.5 million people; one-third of the population is located in the capital, which is San Juan. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015) The other two thirds are disbursed throughout the other divisions.
The cultural assignment allowed me to gain a new perspective on the differences of others. I have grown up in a household of dissimilar belief systems. My mom is a dedicated Christian while my dad is unassociated with any religious beliefs. Though, he grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness. There differing belief systems have been the cause of various conflicts within their relationship. I often wondered if people with contradicting beliefs could effectively and peacefully discuss their belief systems. This cultural experience showed me that a peaceful discussion is possible between individuals of dissimilar beliefs.