The Puerto Rican Diaspora: A Search for Cultural Identity and Acceptance

"It was a hot summer day in the city and many streets where blocked off due to the large crowds. Puerto Ricans from all over New York and New Jersey were making their way to Fifth Avenue with their flags in hand, wearing t-shirts with colorful patriotic sayings, faces painted red white and blue, and exuding what I thought at the moment was a little too much enthusiasm as they screamed 'Yo Soy Boricua!' But as I approached Fifth Avenue something interesting occurred; the people and the avenue disappeared. All I saw were thousands of Puerto Rican flags being waved back and forth like a sea of red, white and blue covering the black asphalt from side to side and heading hundreds of blocks towards downtown Manhattan. It was a sight that gave me goose bumps. An intense feeling of excitement and pride took over me as I buoyantly jumped up and down, feverishly waved my flag and screamed from the top of my lungs 'Yo Soy Boricuaaaa!' For those few hours the social inequalities and the stereotypes were forgotten, and I enjoyed with thousands of other children of the diaspora the excitement at being able to share my Puerto Rican pride and culture with the city and the world." Joel Bermúdez Mercado