Caribbean Connections: Puerto Rico
Caribbean Connections: Puerto Rico introduces students to the history, economy, environment, and culture of Puerto Rico through essays, poetry, and fiction.
We are pleased to share the third edition of our book Caribbean Connections: Puerto Rico edited by Marilisa Jiménez García. The first edition was released in 1990 and the second in 2006.
This third edition includes many new pieces and updates to the original text to reflect the political, social, and environmental events of the past decade. Selected pieces are available individually online (they are linked in the table of contents below) and the entire book can be downloaded as a PDF for free.
Please make a donation so that we can promote and continually update Caribbean Connections: Puerto Rico. In addition to support for the book, we encourage direct support for people in Puerto Rico. Here are recommendations: “Puerto Rico Still Needs Our Help. Here’s What You Can Do.”
We recommend the readings at #PRsyllabus and programs on Democracy Now for current news. At Social Justice Books there is a list of recommended books about Puerto Rico and a list of films and organizations.
The New York Times released an invaluable photo essay, “The Disappearing Schools of Puerto Rico.” Photographed by Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, the piece serves as a powerful exposé of the dire conditions of education in Puerto Rico. The summary notes, “Over the past three years, hundreds of schools have closed across Puerto Rico. Their ruins are among the most visible evidence of the island’s vicious circle of poor governance, neglect by Washington and environmental catastrophe.”
We offer three research poems on the theme of reproductive justice by Yamelin Jaquez. She wrote the poems while a student at Lehigh University.
- Foreword: On the Importance of Puerto Rican Studies in Middle and High School, Post-Hurricane Maria by Ricardo Gabriel
- Introduction by Marilisa Jiménez García
Part 1: History and Geography
- Puerto Rico at a Glance
- A Brief History of Puerto Rico
- Important Dates in Puerto Rican History
- Teaching about the Taínos, Columbus, and Indigenous Peoples’ Day in a Middle School English Language Learners Classroom by Alicia Lopez
- The Death of Salcedo/La muerte de Salcedo
Part 2: Identity
- Child of the Americas
- Borincan Lament/Lamento Borincano
- Black and Latino
- Arturo Alfonso: Our Forgotten Scholar
- Eric Velasquez: An Afro-Puerto Rican Illustrator of Our Times by William Garcia-Medina
- Our Mother’s Struggle Has Shown Us the Way
- A Warrior Am I
- In the Shade of the Níspero Tree
- The Puerto Rican Coquí
- In My Old San Juan/En la calle San Sebastián
Part 3: Government, Economy, and Civic Life
- Political Status: Three Perspectives
- Colonialism Denies Our Rights
- Commonwealth, A Middle Ground
- Statehood Would Mean a Better Future
- An Island Weary of Experiments by Naomi Klein, an excerpt from The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists.
- The Economy of Puerto Rico
- A Lead Box That Couldn’t Be Opened
- “The Rise and Fall of Section 936: Historical Context and Possible Consequences for Migration” by Sherrie L. Baver. Linked here with permission of Centro Journal
Part 4: Land and Environment
- Puerto Rican Children’s Literature and Environmental Literacy: Working with Children and Moving Towards a Sustainable Future by Sujei Lugo Vázquez
- Teaching About Hurricane Maria Recovery: From Hamilton to Grassroots Activist Organizations by Marilisa Jiménez García
- Por Ahi Viene El Huracan, excerpts from children’s book by Laura Rexach Olivencia and illustrated by Mya Pagan
- The Bees Are Back!
- Doña Licha’s Island
- Purita Gil Pérez Fights for Clean Air
- Ocean Venture
- Vieques Chronology
- Community Fights for Its Land
- Vieques: Victories and Challenges
Part 5: Culture and Traditions
- “Pura Belpré Lights the Storyteller’s Candle: Reframing the Legacy of a Legend and What it Means for the Fields of Children’s Literature and Latino Studies” by Marilisa Jiménez García.
- The Puerto Rican Vejigante
- Customs and Traditions of the Tabaqueros
- Coca-Cola and Coco Frío
- Dulce De Naranja
- Bumbún and The Beginnings of La Plena
- Plena is Work, Plena is Song/Plena, Canto, y Trabajo
- Salsa: The Past, Present, and Future
- Open Letter to Allentown by Wilberto Sicard
- Bronx Lexicon by Paige Pagan