behind the scenes

Gaby remembers moving from Puerto Rico to the continental U.S. to attend college twelve years ago. After growing up learning English and U.S. history in Puerto Rican schools, he was surprised to find himself considered a foreigner by U.S. citizens who had never heard of Puerto Rico. “It definitely gives you this image of yourself, like where you’re at.  Like you’re not welcome.  Um … so definitely makes it harder to go through life and try to succeed and go to school and work, and try to do good.  Because you know, you’re, you’re kind of walking against a current.  And it’s just … it’s harder.  Eventually I get there, but it takes, it takes a lot longer.”  Gaby was shocked as well by the stark racial divides he saw in his Colorado college town.  “Growing up in Puerto Rico, I had friends that were so dark that they were almost purple, and I had other friends that were really, green eyes, blond hair … but I never defined them as Afro-Puerto Ricans or Anglo-Puerto Ricans.  For me, they were just Puerto Ricans.  And then I move here, and I started seeing more of that segregation and separation…and I couldn’t understand that.”

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