La Respuesta

For over a century, Puerto Ricans have lived and settled in the U.S. (the “Boricua Diaspora”), but now, for the first time, there are more acá than allá. In response to our growing presence and ongoing impact, La Respuesta seeks to invoke a claim to our histories and announce our stories. This will be done by highlighting our assets and distinct experiences, agitating discussion on the crucial issues, and addressing the obstacles that we face.

Val • Humboldt Park, Chicago

Photo: Xavi Burgos Peña. Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago

Photo: Xavi Burgos Peña. Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago

Val has lived all 21 years of her life in Humboldt Park, Chicago. She was even born in one of the community’s hospitals and currently works in a local barbershop. 

“How is it working in such a male-dominated field? What would you say to other queer and women aspiring barbers?”

“Don’t give into intimidation. If you want it, go out and get it. The only thing stopping you, is you. I’m changing the world one haircut at a time.”

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Eric • Gravesend, Brooklyn

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Photo: Andre Lee Muñiz. Location: Gravesend, Brooklyn

Eric has lived all of his 24 years in Brooklyn, about twenty now in the projects. “It’s different being Puerto Rican in the P.J.s – I’m almost always the only ‘Spanish’ kid in the crew. But it’s cool because I stand out more. Also, a lot of people say P.R.s and Dominicans don’t get along, but I’m half Dominican too so I haven’t had any problems. It’s like having the best of both worlds.”

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Feliciano & Domino Players • El Barrio, New York

Photo: Andre Lee Muñiz. Location: El Barrio/ East Harlem, New York

Photo: Andre Lee Muñiz. Location: El Barrio/ East Harlem, New York

For 35 years people have played dominoes on this East Harlem block. Feliciano, in the white shirt, is originally from Loíza, but has been here over 60 years now.

“We play dominos because it’s part of our tradition and culture since we were kids. We also play because it relaxes the mind and is a good way to spend time with your friends.”

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Wanda • Gravesend, Brooklyn

Photo: Andre Lee Muñiz

Photo: Andre Lee Muñiz. Location: Gravesend, Brooklyn

Wanda was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. “I pretty much raised two boys as a single mother in the projects, first in Brownsville and then here. They both moved out of town, my oldest to Ohio and the other to Georgia, but we keep in touch and we still feel very connected. It doesn’t matter how far apart we are from each other, we’re still in each others’ lives.”

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