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20 Things You’ll Learn Growing Up Puerto Rican

If there is one country you would wish you have grown up in, that would be Puerto Rico. From its amazing food to their immaculate beaches to its amazing rainforest, Puerto Rico certainly has a lot of reasons for others to be jealous of. For those born or raised in Puerto Rico, here are top 20 things that you have learned having been raised Puerto Rican.

1.  Rice and beans are everyday staples.

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Whether you have chicharrones de Pollo, bistec encebollado, chuletas, or carne guisado, side dishes will always remain rice and beans. For variation, you use other types of beans like black beans, red kidney beans, garbanzos, habas, or white navy beans.

2. You were made to believe that the gusanos will eat you if you refuse to wear shoes.

@Ben_Barefoot / Twitter

Every Puerto Rican kid, at some point, has heard his mom shouting “Vas a coger gusanos (hookworms) after he walks around without any shoes.

3. Your home is beautifully adorned with vejigante masks.

@PuertoRicoPUR / Twitter


Vejigante masks are colorful masks inspired by the folkloric character. Most Puerto Rican household have their home decorated with these artisan-crafted masks that use unique materials like hollowed-out coconuts and paper Mache.

4. Miss Universe Pageants are considered as prestigious as the Academy Awards.

@UPofBeauties / Twitter


Puerto Ricans love their beauty queens, and it doesn’t come as a surprise that comes Miss Universe pageants nights, locals will go ga-ga over the competition. Of course, some of the pageant’s title holders come from La Isla del Encanto (Deborah Carthy Due, Marisol Malaret, and Dayanara Torres to name just a few.

5. You grew up scared of Tuesday the 13th, instead of Friday.

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While the whole world believes Friday the 13th is a cursed day, Puerto Ricans say it’s Tuesday the 13th. They strongly believe this day is jinxed that they even believe in the say “Marter 13, nit e cases, nit eembarques, ni de tufamilia te apartes,” meaning, “On Tuesday the 13th, avoid getting married, avoid boarding a boat or a plane, and never separate from your family.

6. You find lots of plastics on practically every furniture piece you have at home.

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Puerto Rican natives find plastic aesthetically interesting. In fact, most households’ pieces of furniture have elements of plastic on them.

7. Your mom shouts when it’s dinner time.

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Even if you live in a one-bedroom apartment, when it’s dinner time, chances are, you will always hear your mom screaming at the top of her lungs to get the message across. The volume meter of Puerto Rican households only has one setting.

8. Goya products are staples.

@ManorISD / Twitter

Every meal you have contains up to six Goya products. The most common are Sazon and Adobo.

9. Your mom loves Ricky Martin.

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From small parties to big events and even family gatherings, Ricky Martin will never be out of the picture. Puerto Ricans love this Latino sensation so much so that his name has eventually become a household name over the years.

10. You are obliged to call your mom religiously.

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Especially if you are not physically with your mom, you must call her at least once a day so as to avoid getting reported to the missing person’s list.

11. Puerto Ricans are very interesting when it comes to plane rides.

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Have you ever been inside a plane with a bunch of Puerto Ricans? Perhaps you have noticed how they start clapping by the time their plane touches the runway.

12. Telenovelas are very important.

@TInovelasM / Twitter


Just as much as they love the Miss Universe beauty pageants, Puerto Ricans love their telenovelas. In fact, they are as important as major holiday events like Christmas and birthdays. Interrupting them while they’re in the middle of a show is considered extremely rude.

13. Puerto Rican parents are very strict.

@TopCaricaturist / Twitter


Do you plan on hanging out with your friends? Expect your parents, especially your mom to bombard you with a lot of questions. Where do you plan to go? Who goes with you? Do your friend’s parents know? How are you going out? Puerto Rican parents are generally very strict as compared with any average parent. Ask any native Puerto Rican and you will really get the whole idea about how parents ask and how you can bribe them when you really wish to go out.

14. Puerto Rican point using their lips.

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While most of us instinctively use our fingers to point on something, Puerto Ricans do it differently. They use their lips instead. When you ask them something, like directions, they just simply pout their lips to point to where you are asking.

15. Puerto Ricans can speak with their face.

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Most Puerto Ricans have this distinct quality where they can talk and express what they wish to say by making faces to each other. Say, for instance, twitching the entire face will basically translate into “what do you want?”

16. All cereals are called “con-flei”.

@CraigSetzer / Twitter


From Cookie Crisp to Apple Jacks, to multigrain and cinnamon toast crunch, all cereals are called “con-flei” in Puerto Rico. Thus, when your mamita calls you for some “con-flei”, then you’re definitely in luck.

17. You learn interesting words / vocabularies.

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Words such as “ay bandito, “chacho”, “wepa”, and “chacha” become your second nature in vocabulary.

18. Cousins, cousins, and more cousins.

@JohandriPienaar / Twitter


Puerto Ricans are closely-knitted families. It will not come as a surprise if you talk to any Puerto Rican native and ask them how many cousins they have, they will tell you they have at least 20.

19. You use VICKS to cure practically everything.

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Does your head hurt? Use Vicks. Are you breaking out? Use Vicks. Do you have allergies? Use Vicks. Vicks is practically the holy grail of any minor medical issues. Just rub it on your forehead or on your chest and you are good to go.

20. You start to drink alcohol at 16.

@Dear_Booze / Twitter


Yes, 18 is the legal age of drinking. But Puerto Rico is way different. Seeing young teenagers in clubs is normal in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico’s quality of life is somewhat similar to that of the United States. Aside from its amazing tropical island landscape, a myriad of outdoor activities, sun-drenched weather, and vibrant culture, Puerto Rico also boasts of its variety of entertainment and dining options and opulent resort lifestyle.

This country is a lively mix of Spanish, Taino, and African influences. In fact, this fusion event extends to practically almost all aspects of Puerto Rican like. Puerto Rico also has captivating cultural events like the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian to mark the Christmas season and the Heineken JazzFest where international Latin jazz stars are expected to perform.

What most people are not aware of is that Puerto Rico is actually a part of the US territory. Meaning, Americans can easily travel to and from the US sans the passport. Puerto Rico uses the US currency and most of their local speak bilingual.

Whether you are born and raised in Puerto Rico, or you feel like you wish to visit the country for some rest and recreation, this country is definitely one place worth your time.


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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Running For Governor Of Puerto Rico In 2020

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Running For Governor Of Puerto Rico In 2020

Last week, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, announced that she is running for governor in the 2020 elections.

Cruz, who gained national attention after criticizing President Donald Trump’s slow and shoddy response to Hurricane Maria, announced her run at the Caguas Botanical Garden on Friday.

“I’ve been thinking for a long time, what’s the best way I can serve Puerto Rico … I’m going to do so by becoming the next governor,” she said.

Cruz, who was sporting a t-shirt that read “¡Sin Miedo!” — which is Spanish for “without fear” — began her address by discussing her great-grandfather, who worked as an agricultural laborer, and how the legacy of slavery still impacts Puerto Rico today.

“We have to break away from the chains that tie us down in order to have a promising future and break our cycle of poverty,” Cruz, speaking on Emancipation Day, a Puerto Rican holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery on the island on March 22, 1873, said.

In Puerto Rico, the political party system is linked to the island’s political status. Those who support statehood, like sitting Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, are part of the New Progressive Party, more commonly known by the Spanish acronym PNP. People who want Puerto Rico to remain a US territory side with the Popular Democratic Party, or PPD, the party that Cruz is running in. Finally, those who want the island’s independence from the US often support the Puerto Rican Independence Party, or PIP.

After the Category 4 hurricane ravaged the island on September 20, 2017, Cruz, not Gov. Rosselló, became the face of the island, wading through flood water to help those devastated by the storm and publicly feuding with the president. When announcing her candidacy, she reminded the crowd that Gov. Rosselló’s administration “was unable to count deaths after Hurricane Maria” and “stood by Trump when he threw paper towels at people [in Puerto Rico].”

Cruz also took the opportunity to voice her position on other pressing matters on the island, like repealing the Jones Act, which prevents foreign ships from embarking on the island and thus raises the cost of imported goods, eliminating the federal Financial Oversight and Management Board and calling for an audit of Puerto Rico’s $72 billion public debt.

“The reality is that we still live in an island that fights for food, liberty and land,” she said, referring to the PPD’s Spanish slogan “Pan, libertad y tierra.” “We’re building a new movement within the Popular Democratic Party.”

Last month, Cruz also announced that she would co-chair Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the 2020 presidential race, saying the candidate could create “a new path toward the resolution of many of the issues facing Puerto Rico,” including establishing a “new relationship” with the United States.

Read: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Believes Bernie Sanders Could Create A “New Relationship” Between Puerto Rico And The US

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Believes Bernie Sanders Could Create A “New Relationship” Between Puerto Rico And The US

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Believes Bernie Sanders Could Create A “New Relationship” Between Puerto Rico And The US

Bernie Sanders is running for president in 2020, and he just tapped San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz to co-chair his campaign.

The Puerto Rican leader, a vocal opponent of President Trump, told NBC News that she’s supporting the Vermont senator, who announced his second bid for head of state on Tuesday, because of their history of working together “for a path for Puerto Rico.”

“A lot of the things he’s been fighting for all his life I’ve been fighting for all my life, things like let’s not put wealth before health,” she said, noting additional shared efforts like education, the rights of people in the LGBTQ community, collective bargaining and more.

In 2018, Sanders co-sponsored, alongside fellow presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a bill to slash Puerto Rico’s $73 billion debt. He also introduced a $146 billion recovery plan for the island, though the bill never made it out of committee.

Still, Cruz believes he is the candidate that would create “a new path toward the resolution of many of the issues facing Puerto Rico,” including establishing a “new relationship” with the United States.

“In our darkest hour, he was there for us, not because it was politically convenient but because it was the right thing to do,” she said.

The mayor, who reached national fame for criticizing Trump’s slow, shoddy and insulting response to Puerto Rico’s recovery, said this election is “personal.”

“The president came and threw paper towels at us,” Cruz said. “He continues to disregard the pain of people from Puerto Rico.”

She continued: “Right now the United States has a president in the White House who is not up to the job. He does not represent values of integrity and unity, values of inclusion.”

While US citizens, Puerto Ricans living on the island are unable to vote in the general election, though they can vote in primaries.

Cruz is one of four co-chairs to Sanders’ campaign. The others include Sen. Nina Turner (D-Ohio), US Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen.

Read: Puerto Rico’s Real-Life Wonder Woman Just Announced She’s Interested In Running For Governor And We Can’t Wait To See What’s Next

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