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The Puerto Rican Northern Migration, Part 2

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The Puerto Rican Northern Migration, Part 2

Posted: 1287031309000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Blondet
An Excerpt From:

The Puerto Rican Northern Migration
Created Heroes for Us to Honor
by Ariel Blondet

American companies were eager to lure Puerto Rican men and women for the low paying jobs especially in the agriculture, hotel and restaurant industries where not speaking English was a problem. Once the contracts expired, no one was required to return to Puerto Rico and many did not. Many young women trained to work as domestics and were sent north to work in private homes also under contract. To this day, some still keep in touch with the children that they helped reared. They even danced at their weddings

However, there were those who left to find work on their own, or with a promise of a job by relatives already working in la factoría/fabrica. Many women worked in the garment industry [x6] or at home as sawing machine operators. You knew who they were because they were the ones that would interrupt a stickball game because you would want to help (you had better) them carry the shopping bags full of items for them to sew at home. (Piece work) They were also the only ones with a commercial Singer sewing machine at home, and of course, they were the ones you would go to when you needed stitching done.

Because they did not forget those who stayed behind, these heroes and heroines would pool their money and send for more relatives. This cycle would continue until all families were united and the children attending school, since children’s education was a must. [7] The passing of the torch for a better tomorrow began with the children’s education. Some parents would work day and night just to make it happen because it did not take them long to realize that the streets of New York were not paved with gold. It took hard work to accomplish their dreams, and work hard they did.

To be continued:

The Puerto Rican Northern Migration Created Heroes for Us to Honor was first published by The Puerto Rican/Hispanic Genealogical Society, Inc., in EL COQUI DE AYER, November-December 2004, Volume 9, Issue 6

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