This book was published in 1994, and has been in my stash of books to read for more than 10 years. I finally got around to reading it. I absolutely enjoyed reading When I Was Puerto Rican so much. The author is Esmeralda Santiago who was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. It is a lovely coming of age biography. Esmeralda was born into a family that was poor. Being poor in Puerto Rico and being poor in America seems to be two different things. Esmeralda’s family always had food to eat. I observed this in Panama too. You can be poor but one thing you can count on is having food to eat. Puerto Rico also seems to have the same colorful vibrancy that Panama has. The day that Esmeralda came to America when she was 13 years old brought back memories of my personal day of coming to America. I can remember getting off the plane with my Mom and older brother at JFK Airport in New York. At that time JFK was called Idlewild Airport.
Esmeralda does a great job of bringing you into her story. From growing up poor in Macun, to her first years living in Brooklyn, New York it brought up so many wonderfully nostalgic memories for me.
This book made me laugh out loud and get misty eyed.