Reflection Paper On Cultural Immersion

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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 ( 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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