Anyone who knows me knows that I often talk to the walls. But lately I have found myself silent. I asked myself: Why don't I want to talk anymore? The answer came faster than I imagined. Talking makes me think and think... Thinking makes me angry with the situation on the Island.
My favorite moment of every trip is returning to my island. Even living abroad, I've always counted down to going back. Why? Because there is no other place like Puerto Rico.
The feeling of standing in front of the sea, smelling the salt and listening to the waves. Attending a patron saint party and eating fried food. Going chinchorreo with family and friends. The taste of our food, the rhythm of our music, the warmth of our people can't be found anywhere else.
There is no other place like Puerto Rico. The feeling of standing in front of the sea, smelling the salt and listening to the waves. Attending a patron saint festival and eating fried food.... The taste of our food, the rhythm of our music, the warmth of our people can't be found anywhere else, writes Julianna Acevedo Negrón (Ramón "Tonito" Zayas).
However, in Puerto Rico so much beauty is overshadowed daily by the mistreatment of those who govern us. I have heard people say: "I don't pay attention to politics; they are all the same". Politics surrounds us in everything we live and affects everything we do. It is an essential element of living in a civilized society. Therefore, it is impossible not to pay attention to it.
Politics is not the problem, the problem is the group of people in power, who every day disrespect us, displace us, crush us. They do not serve the people, but their own interests. They do not build a future. They are only concerned with taking individual advantage of the present, without caring about the consequences of their actions in terms of what they are supposed to represent.
Uncertainty... Perhaps my biggest concern is the fear of having to leave for good. I am extremely privileged. I have lived all my life in San Juan and I have never lacked for anything thanks to the constant sacrifice of my parents. They always instilled in me the importance of education.
Politics is not the problem, the problem is the group of people in power, who every day disrespect us, displace us, crush us, writes Julianna Acevedo Negrón. (Teresa Canino Rivera)
This education, adults told me as a child, would lead me to success, to stability, to being able to live well. Today I am still studying and working full time. I am now an adult and I have not been able to achieve what I would have wanted at my age. I have student debts; I don't have my own home and I couldn't even afford a car.
For a long time, I thought the problem was me. However, I talk to people around me and there are many of us in the same situation. So, I am not the problem. It's not my generation. It is not the education I received. The problem is that Puerto Rico, my favorite piece of land, has become a place where I have no place.
I have the option to stay, get paid a little and survive as best I can or go to another country far from my family, my friends, the streets of San Juan, my grandmother's hammock, the breeze of the mountains, the beaches that were the protagonists of my childhood summers, this special island that has seen me grow up.
That's why I've lost the desire to talk.
This piece was published originally in Spanish in El Nuevo Dia.