March 27, 2008

Use of English in Puerto Rico, or, How to Deal with the Inevitable "Gringo" Label

So I was asked recently if Americans speak English or Spanish while living in Puerto Rico. The answer is a bit complicated so I want to start with some history first.

When America first invaded Puerto Rico, there was an intense effort to "Americanize" Puerto Rico. A large part of this was due to racism on part of the American government (Congress members didn't believe Puerto Ricans were capable of self-rule not only because of the African and indigenous roots but also the Spanish as well). So instead of the democracy that was promised by General Miles in 1898, the Puerto Ricans got American governors chosen in Washington. None of these governors spoke Spanish and most were just serving so they could climb the political ladder; basically, they were padding their resumes. So the American governors were generally out of touch with their subjects, and, if I may be so frank, didn't really care. There are a few exceptions to this, of course, most notably Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (yes, son of president Roosevelt), who, among many things, learned some Spanish, tried to help Puerto Rico out with the devastating hurricane San Felipe, and offered a quarter of his own personal funds to support the Puerto Rican banks when economic crisis hit.

Meanwhile, there was an attempt to Americanize the culture. Teachers and students were all expected to speak only English in school, even though none of the students and very few of the teachers even knew the basics. The U.S. sent English teachers but most didn't speak any Spanish and some didn't even know any English at all. Needless to say, this was a very ineffective way of handling this, causing anger and confusion for both parties. A more lenient setup (and more rights) would follow much later.

Fastforwarding to today, nearly all Puerto Ricans speak and understand some level of English, and they are quite used to American tourists (depends on where you are though--places in the center of the island are a bit less receptive since less tourists come by). English is taught for all 12 years of school, after all, and people try to use it when they can. So generally, when Puerto Ricans see people who look American, they automatically resort to English.

For me personally, this is something I've gotten used to, because I'm a redhead and redheads are quite rare in Puerto Rico. I've seen a few and the only one I've really met was in the middle of nowhere at a parranda, when a lady walked up to me and told me I had to see her niece because we looked identical, and then she brings out a girl who was even fairer than I with a long ponytail of very red hair. So there are some; regardless I am stared at constantly while walking around (you get used to it, I suppose).

While I'm still trying to deal with being bombarded with English every time I try to buy something, I am figuring out a few techniques to avoid it. One is that I simply won't let people speak in English with me. For me I guess it's different than it would be for someone still a beginner or without a Puerto Rican accent, because it's kind of obvious that you aren't a native speaker so they will keep pressing for English. Regardless, continue talking in Spanish until they get the message that you refuse to speak in English. Something else important to remember is to never speak in English in a store if you can help it, because they will hear you and start speaking in English before you even open your mouth. Not that you should change your friends just because they speak English! But if you have the choice, go for Spanish.

However, the best way to ensure you will get the Spanish treatment is if you find a Puerto Rican friend and speak in Spanish with them as much as possible. It sounds kind of "duh", but there is no other way to figure out the expressions and get used to the sounds of their Spanish than with practice and explanations of why what is what. Finding someone sounds a lot harder than it is. Many Puerto Ricans are more than willing to share their culture with anyone who will listen. The more flags you see on their property, the more they'll want to talk about themselves (that's a joke, by the way).

I think the fact that their Spanish needs explanations also contributes to why Puerto Ricans are so hesitant to speak in Spanish to foreigners; they know that their Spanish is difficult to understand, what with the accent and the colorful vocabulary. Without someone explaining a lot of the conversation to you, it can be nearly impossible to follow. This causes mixed feelings. On one hand, a lot of Puerto Ricans (and other Spanish speakers, unfortunately) see their Spanish as impure, cheap, etc. On the other, it's a huge source of pride, because their unique language unites them and identifies them as members of the same community.

This, I feel, is an example of what is a huge part of the Puerto Rican sense of being: contradiction. There is a giant lack of self esteem combined with an almost exaggerated patriotism that determines the movements of Puerto Rican society. It is not unusual to see signs saying, "¿Qué nos pasa, Puerto Rico?" (What's happening to us, Puerto Rico?... it sounds more catchy in Spanish I suppose) alongside huge flags displayed with pride. Nowhere is this seen more in politics. In fact, I would dare to say that this contradiction has both decided politics in the island while also being the effect of politics on the island. Puerto Rico doesn't trust itself to be independent (an ideology cemented into society after history proved the difficulties of an independent Latin America as well as chasing away the voices of the independentistas). But at the same time, there is far too much pride to become a state, losing the language and the sense of a nation. Thus the island still has trouble committing to one side or another. However, even deeper, the frustration at seeing the corruption and inability to make change has also kept confidence down while each day more that Puerto Rico stays part of the United States the more patriotism rises since it has to counter growing American influence. This self doubt and pride, a great paradox fueled by an uncertain fate, is an important part of the Puerto Rican soul and will continue to be an obstacle for Puerto Rico in the future.

Anyways, even though I mentioned last time that I do write this blog to spread awareness about Puerto Rico, another reason is the uniqueness of the language. As I've mentioned before I feel that Puerto Rican Spanish is unappreciated. It is a very rich language that has three additional sources besides Spain to draw from, those being Taíno and African roots along with American English. Then there is just plain old creativity which continues changing the language without leaning on either the past or the future but rather serves to satisfy the present needs of Puerto Rican speech. I can't see Puerto Rican Spanish as "trashy", not only because I've been taught that there is something like a better or worse accent in languages, since better or worse is determined by social constructions and not by the sounds, but also because of the very depth of Boricua Spanish. It's too easy to write off informal language as "incorrect", and I implore everyone to forget this misconception. Informal language is what makes a community, especially for Puerto Rico, and it does have cultural and even literary significance.

For the person studying Puerto Rican Spanish, it's a victory each time a piece of the language is clarified. I think one of the most rewarding things is being able to understand the clever reggaetón of Calle 13: first passing through the accent, then understanding the slang words unique to Puerto Rico, then figuring out the (occasionally strange) expressions, then finally discovering the satire, cultural and political, below all of this, which can mock and still care for Puerto Rico--yet another example of the paradox above in popular culture. Even though I don't expect everyone to like Calle 13, these layers also apply to normal speech. A simple statement in Puerto Rican Spanish can easily have historical, cultural, political, and personal implications, all at once; yet all of this is lost on someone without the background knowledge.

My first experiences in Puerto Rico were exactly like that, which I included above as a warning not to sound condescending but rather because it's the truth. Although I had a decent level of Spanish when our plane touched the ground, I soon found it wasn't adequate. Honestly? I didn't understand a thing. So I sought out the answers to everything I didn't understand, which not only provided a new knowledge of the language but also the culture. For example, knowing the word jíbaro in all of its meanings requires knowing everything from the pre-Colombian people to the modern political parties and then seeing its purpose as a symbol during the past and today. Without help this and other more obscure terms would have been completely lost on me. Over time many similar things were explained to me. I owe my friends a lot for all that they've taught me. Even so, I still feel I have a lot to learn, but at least now I can enjoy what I have learned. It has made a drastic difference in how I see Puerto Rico and I don't think I would be where I am without it.

Overall, understanding Puerto Rican Spanish is a test of understanding culture. It's impossible to speak Boricua without acknowledging this. But learning culture is not too difficult to accomplish and it is definitely worth it in the end. And of course, I am here to help.

And a final note about the original question: for Americans working in Puerto Rico knowing at least some Spanish is vital, particularly in San Juan. Because of the job market mess, there are few professional jobs and a lot of Puerto Ricans who are qualified. Therefore, most companies, even American ones, have no reason to hire a monolingual experienced American over a bilingual experienced Puerto Rican. But a little Spanish goes a long way in this case and an experienced American with basic Spanish can sometimes get preference over the bilingual Puerto Rican. So it depends. There also are communities of expats, generally on the west coast and in specific in Rincón, and while there are plenty who do speak some Spanish, I've gotten the impression that many don't. I think the safest answer is to say that it depends on the situation. It is possible to survive on the island with just English, for sure. But living there is a different story.

I welcome any comments on this because I think there are a few themes I brought up that can be explored more if there is interest. So, please, let's discuss.

15 comments:

Petra H said...

Such a great post - I will send it to some of my friends who are interested in Puerto Rico and language issues.
I am learning Spanish in Puerto Rico, which a lot of people tell me is a mistake (not proper Spanish etc) but I really enjoy learning the PR Spanish, the differences between Spanish in Spain (my husband makes sure that I know the "proper" words) and here on this island. And honestly, I'd rather go to Spain and sound Puerto Rican than Swedish, ha ha!
Today I am meeting our Puerto Rican neighbour for a chat - in Spanish! I am so excited but nervous...
It's interesting what you wrote about people insisting on speaking English to you, it happens to me and my husband all the time as we speak English to each other - but of course as he is Spanish, he always replies in that language. I lived in Belgium for over 5 years and very often people would speak English instead of French to me. In the beginning it offended me as I was trying hard to speak French, then I realised that for some Belgians is was also a matter of pride to show that they knew English (what I always wondered was, how can they be so sure that I speak English?). I would just insist on continuing in French, which sometimes would lead to weird conversations in both languages.

Minerva said...

Exaggerated patriotism combined with - ovcert or covert - inferiority complex is not a unique Puertorican phenomenon. I have worked on longer or shorter assignments in about 50 countries, visited even more and in practically each of them could observe this "contradiction". In every country, in every culture, I would venture, there are elements to be proud of and elements that should be changed, but for now provoke some feelings of embarassment, of shame.
Depending on the level of education, awareness and exposure to other cultures and systems, this might affect basically only intellectuals, like in the USA, where intellectuals are intenmsely ashamed of the way USA as a country trats its people, with millions without even the most basic health insurance, with tremendous gaps in wealth, income, opportunities. But average American lacks exposure to and knowledge of other systems, so he/she is unaware of its own system's and culture's shortcoming and thus is not ashamed of it. It's different in Europe, where practically everybody learned some of the other cultures, been exposed to other systems of governments and can asses the strengths and weaknesses of his/her own.
Thus my native Poles are fiercely proud of their rebellious attitude, yet they are ashamed of their own lack of discipline, which often makes it difficult to achieve economic and political progress. My native Germans - exactly the opposite: they are proud of being logical, disciplined, philosophical, yet they are ashamed that their tendency to being obedient, even extremely obedient, allowed them to tolerate Hitler and the Nazi atrocities. Everywhere you look, Brits, French, Italians, Spanish - they have their prides and their embarassments, their shame.
Some deal with it intellectually and actively trying to counteract the negative elements of their cultures. But the less intelectually inclined - and - unfortunately - in every country there is a lot more of them than of the intellectually inclined and able - deal with it emotionally, with a - mostly irrational - patriotism, the more fierce, the more they - underneath it - feel inadequate, embarassed, ashamed. I wish it could be changed, I wish we all - no matter of our cultural or national origin - could be able to actively work on changing the undesirable elements of our respective cultures and behaviors while preserving the positive ones. Preserving not as cultural "skansens" of sorts, isilated, but borrowing elements of other cultures, like Puerto Ricans had done with their language (and not only language). I wish they could stop being racist themselves, towards themselves and stop looking into their white, colonial, Spanish past as a model they can never achieve. I wish they could accept their Spanish dialect as a language in itself - base on Spanish, but not only and did not feel offended or attacked when someone pointed it out to them that their speak Boricua, and assume that a person doing that is a racist, (like Ylva? who, after misunderstanding my comment, spew out "I know where you are coming from" well, do you???) who does not appreciate them, their language, their culture.
Appreciating does not mean being blind to weaknesses, however, and should not provoke a need to silence any real or perceived criticism.

Speaking Boricua said...

Minerva-
What you said is absolutely true and I wouldn't dare to disagree with you about it, since only the incredibly naïve can have nothing but pride for their country. Two points I particularly agree on: the U.S. deals with this a lot less since there is a lot of unadulterated patriotism; I think that, from my perspective, it's a generational divide on many levels, since the older generation tends to be more patriotic and the younger generation feels guilt for history. But doesn't the younger generation always question the past? Anyways, point is that Americans seem more divided rather than accepting a little of both. Another thing is Germany, which obviously has huge conflicts dealing with patriotism since so many people are reminded of the past.

But my point is that Puerto Rico takes patriotism to a new extreme. And this is not just due to the factors you mentioned but because of the political situation and it's effect on society. Because there is no clear solution to the status question and in the face of losing their culture to the overbearing American cultural hegemony, which is a threat for all countries but especially is worrisome for PR, there is an inflated sense of patriotism.

Again, that doesn't mean that Puerto Ricans shouldn't be patriotic and there is plenty to be proud of... but it is very strange to see this fierce pride coupled with self-doubt. I have had conversations where at first there is a celebration of all that Puerto Rico has done only to suddenly discuss how Puerto Ricans have a corrupt government and always will, and without the United States the island will fall apart. Many of the statehooders I know would never consider themselves Americans over Puerto Ricans, but their solution to the status problem would demand exactly that (whether or not they're aware of that depends).

My best friend from the island once explained it to me in a way I found touching: she said that in her heart she wanted nothing more for her island than a free country and people capable of governing it. But in her eyes this was something impossible for Puerto Rico because of the many problems like poverty, corruption, disease, etc--problems that only the U.S. could try to handle at the moment. Taking this a step forward, by not allowing Puerto Rico to try to find its own solutions the U.S. is making Puerto Rico more and more dependent, which will make any answer to the status question more difficult. Does that mean that the U.S. should stop aiding Puerto Rico overnight? No. But there should be a process of distancing in which more responsibilities lie in the hands of the Puerto Rican government. Unfortunately, looking at the current scandal with the governor, it doesn't seem like this is something anyone wants to think about right now. But whether the island chooses statehood, enhanced commonwealth, or independence when the day comes, any possibility will require a degree of autonomy that can't exist if this dependence continues.

Petra- thanks for sharing the post with your friends and good luck with your Spanish studies! Maybe try speaking in Spanish with your husband while out? I know it's probably uncomfortable a bit but if people see you trying they will be patient and willing. I definitely understand your perspective though! Best of luck!

Di said...

You know, it's funny, my entire family is Puerto Rican, and I've lived here for about eleven years since the age of ten. Yet because I've always preferred to speak English, my own personal tastes (go The Clash), and, most of all, the fact that my own physical attributes seem American (I don't get that, all I have are green hazel something eyes), makes people treat me like I'm from the US.

Of course, those who know me know that, though my English is only slightly altered from American English in both accent and the way I speak it, I am as much from here as ayone else.

That said, good tips, I think I might have to try this more often, especially in Old San Juan, since I work at the piers.

Vicious Misfit said...

Great blog. Really glad I found it. I just returned from my 2nd trip to San Juan (between hurricanes), and I was able to adventure out from Santurce this time around. And being a redhead, I found your commentary entertaining.

However, I actually found that once I left Condado, people were happy to converse with me in Spanish, once I'd responded or initiated a conversation in the language, although they tended to ease off the accent and expressions. Those that I met loved to talk, which seems to be yet another source of pride. Just asking for street directions could prompt a 30-minute conversation which wanders off into stories, politics, and usually will engage other bystanders. Sometimes the conversation would drift in between languages (I'm not fluent by any means), but there didn't seem to be a particular preference other than simply communicating in the way they felt would be most helpful/effective.

As for their English fluency in general, even in the tourist areas, I've only met a handful of people who speak English beyond a functional or informative level. And as far as I can tell, while English is taught throughout school alongside Spanish, it's the latter that is used in instruction and other school functions. Once I wanted to discuss opinions or anything in depth, Spanish was a necessity.

I was pleasantly surprised. As you'd stated, the culture is essentially from Taino, African, and Spanish influence, and I think it's great that the language has not succumbed to English due to U.S. occupation. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive to travel there initially for fear that the guides were right about all locals being fluent in English. I was worried to find something like Hawaii, but that can't be further from the truth.

And to get back on topic (sorry for rambling), I agree the "Boricua Spanish" is too often discounted because it deviates so far from the academy. And there's something about the tone and rhythm of the speaking which I now miss, having returned back home.

speak_english said...

woow, people are having a lot of ideas to comment!! (I mean: so long comments!)

I think language learning issues are so common and it's due to the bad methods they use to learn!!

Anonymous said...

I speak Spanish fluently but find it very difficult to understand Puerto Ricann Spanish. The words are badly pronounced, and the syntax used makes no grammatical sense at all. When I there I find it easier to speak in English.

muebles madrid online said...

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FelipeII said...

Como español os puedo asegurar que a los puertorriqueños los entendemos muy bien hablando español. Hay que reconocer también que cada país hispanohablante tiene sus modismos y vocablos.

Kepha said...

Well, I'm a large guy of Jewish and Scandinavian heritage, and always thought of myself as "white". When I was vacationing in Puerto Rico,a lot of people initially spoke to me in Spanish--although generally they were pretty gracious about using English when I explained in broken Spanish that I was a tourist; and some explained they took me for another local. Some of my father's Sefardi ancestry kicking in? I got the impression that the local people pretty much ran a gamut of physical types.

José M. López Sierra said...

Should criminals be in charge of correcting the wrong they inflicted?

Puerto Ricans vote in elections every 4 years at an 80% level of participation. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States (US) government for the past 116 years. If the US government has the final say in what happens in Puerto Rico, what is the purpose of these elections? The purpose is to fool the world that Puerto Rico is a democracy.

The United Nations (UN) declared colonialism a crime against humanity in 1960. The UN has asked the US government 33 times to decolonize Puerto Rico immediately. The US government has refused. It says that Puerto Rico’s political relationship with the United States is none of the UN’s business. The US says that it is a domestic affair.

To appear that the US government wants to decolonize Puerto Rico, it promotes the use of plebiscites to determine what Puerto Ricans want. Doesn’t that sounds innocent and democratic? So what’s the problem?

To begin with, the international community already rendered its verdict and determined that colonialism is illegal. So to have a political status option in a plebiscite that favors maintaining Puerto Rico a colony of the United States is not permitted. To have a political status option of Puerto Rico becoming a state of the United States is also not permitted under international law. The problem goes back to the beginning of this article. In order to have free elections, the country must be free. So before these elections and plebiscite could be valid, Puerto Rico would have to first be an independent nation.

What people must realize is that Puerto Rico is a colony of the US because the US government wants it that way. That is why it has used terrorism to keep it that way. That is why it refuses to release the Puerto Rican political prisoner of 33 years Oscar López Rivera. That is also why it is ridiculous to believe that decolonization is a US internal matter in which the UN has no jurisdiction over. If we allow the US government to decolonize Puerto Rico, she will remain a colony of the United States forever!

José M López Sierra
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The reason they are probably trying to speak English to you, is because they cannot understand your Spanish. No offense, but they probably think they are doing you a favor. I have done that in the past when it is too difficult or too painful to listen to someone attempt to speak either language and has difficulty or their accent is so thick I cannot understand them. You may just want to tell them you prefer to speak Spanish so that you can practice it.

José M. López Sierra said...

The Second Oscar – Mandela March in New York City 2015

We will be having our 2nd Oscar – Mandela Protest March on Monday, June 22, 2015. We will start marching peacefully at 9 AM from Hunter College on East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, to East 43rd Street and Lexington Avenue. We will then go East (turning left) to end up at the Ralph Bunche Park on First Avenue (across from the United Nations).

We will be at the park until 5 PM. We will be giving out flyers and talking to people about who Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera is. We will also be educating the public about Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the government of the United States (US).

Most people don’t know that every year, usually on the Monday after Fathers’ Day, the United Nations holds its hearing about the decolonization of Puerto Rico. The petitioners will usually join our protest after this meeting.

The UN determined in 1960 that colonialism is a crime against humanity. Since then, the UN has issued 33 resolutions asking for the US government to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. The US government has ignored these resolutions. What kind of democracy is that?

The US government tries to keep these hearings a secret. What we are trying to do is to get them out of the closet. The UN is in its 3rd decade trying to make the world colony-free. Please help us!

Most people also don’t know that the United States government takes out 14 times more money than what it invests in Puerto Rico. But, that is what colonies are for!

This savage exploitation impedes Puerto Rico’s ability to provide opportunities for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico. That is why there are now more Puerto Ricans living away from Puerto Rico than in their homeland.

Oscar López Rivera has been incarcerated for 34 years for his struggle to decolonize Puerto Rico. Since colonialism is an international crime, international law gives Oscar the right to use whatever means necessary to decolonize his homeland. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years for doing the same thing as Oscar. This is why we say, Oscar López Rivera is our Nelson Mandela!

United Partners for Puerto Rico Decolonization invites the public to be part of the tsunami of people that will be necessary to make the US government comply with the UN resolutions. These annual protests in Puerto Rico and at the UN are absolutely necessary, because, those who maintain colonies, don’t believe in justice for all!

José M López Sierra
787-429-1981
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

José M. López Sierra said...

Best 2015 UN Hearing Coverage about Puerto Rico

The alternative news media, InformaciónAlDesnudo.com, will have the best coverage of the United Nations’ (UN) hearing about Puerto Rico’s 117 years of colonial relationship with the United States (US). This year’s hearing will be on Monday, June 22, 2015.

For 3 consecutive Saturdays (June 6, 13 and 20), InformaciónAlDesnudo.com will be giving its listeners the most comprehensive coverage in order to provoke the widest involvement of the people interested in this subject. We hope to encourage them to continuously work together, so that our decolonization could occur sooner rather than later.

The total delegation from Puerto Rico petitioning the UN’s Decolonization Committee will participate on the Saturday, June 20, 2015 program from 7 to 9 PM. These petitioners will share with our InformaciónAlDesnudo.com listeners what they will tell the Committee of 24. Our listeners will also have the opportunity to speak to our panelists to better understand what they hope to gain from their petitions at the UN.

The spokesperson for United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico, José M. López Sierra, is part of the team for these 3 special programs. In addition to the petition that he will make to the UN, he is part of the committee that organized the 2nd Oscar – Mandela March in NYC. José is also a correspondent in Puerto Rico for InformaciónAlDesnudo.com.

The 2nd Oscar – Mandela March in NYC will be on the same day as the UN’s hearing about Puerto Rico. We will march at 9 AM from Hunter College on 68th Street and Lexington Avenue to the Ralph Bunche Park across the Avenue from the UN.

Help us spread the word about the media coverage, and our peaceful march to force the US government to comply with the 33 UN resolutions to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico.

The UN determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity in 1960 for being a threat world peace. Therefore, UN is convinced that there could be no peace without justice. The US government knows that too, but it is much more interested in its overwhelmingly exaggerated profits around the world. That’s why we must continue to peacefully protest as long as necessary, because those who maintain colonies, don’t believe in justice for all!

Those who demand exaggerated profits around the world, don’t believe in justice for all!

Jose M Lopez Sierra
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
787-429-1981

José M. López Sierra said...

US confesses to be a criminal
Those who really want to decolonize Puerto Rico should not reinvent the wheel. It is important that we use a decolonization method that the United States (US) government has the least control over, since it was the one who invaded Puerto Rico to make us its colony.
We should therefore protest peacefully and permanently for Puerto Rico decolonization, based on the 1960 United Nations (UN) resolution 1514 (XV). The UN has thus far issued 34 resolutions asking the US government to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. The US government’s position has been that Puerto Rico is a domestic matter that is out of the jurisdiction of international law. This is obviously a lie. This is why the UN holds an annual hearing about Puerto Rico decolonization.
Resolution 1514 (XV) says that colonialism is a crime against humanity, because it is a threat to world peace. This international law gives everyone under colonialism the right to use any means necessary to decolonize one’s homeland. Therefore, President Obama’s own White House declaration that Puerto Rico is its colony, in essence is a confession that the United States government is a criminal. To make matters worse, it is an outlaw government run by a Nobel peace prize laureate. It should therefore be the US government behind bars, instead of our Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera.
We have 4 peaceful marches and protests lined up for this year. Please join us!
1. To the Town Square with Oscar our National Hero. Oscar has been in jail for 34 years for his struggle to decolonize his homeland. Beginning on January 29th, 2016, we will congregate every 29th of the month in each of Puerto Rico’s 78 town squares, and in the diaspora to protest for his release. When Oscar is finally released, we will wait at our town squares to welcome him back home!

2. The 3rd Oscar – Mandela March in Puerto Rico 2016. On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, we will have this year’s march on the very day that we celebrate the abolition of slavery. We will march at 6 PM from the Capitol Building to the US Courthouse in Old San Juan.

3. The 3rd Independence March in Puerto Rico 2016. We will have this year’s march as usual just before the Puerto Rico UN Hearing. The date will be set as soon as we know the UN’s date for it. We will march over the Dos Hermanos Bridge into the Condado tourist area.

4. The 3rd Oscar – Mandela March in New York City. We will march again from Hunter College to the United Nations on the very day of its annual Puerto Rico decolonization hearing. This hearing is usually on the Monday after Fathers’ Day.
These protests are absolutely necessary, because those who confess they are criminals don’t believe in JUSTICE FOR ALL! www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com