Most folks in Portugal don’t know too much about Puerto Rico. Honestly most folks in the States don’t know too much about Puerto Rico (unless you are in NY or Florida). I completely understand the confusion. Are we a state? Or are we not a State? – We are neither? So you’re an immigrant? No, it’s a commonwealth- which is essentially a colony but who wants to use those types of ugly words nowadays. But they speak Spanish? Yes they speak Spanish, but in most schools they also learn English. Can they vote? Not for president, but they do have a representative in DC who does not get to vote either. The list goes on and so do the stereotypes, all of which, I find amusing, disheartening, and in some cases totally true.
Recently one of my co-workers said to me,
“Oh, one of your islands most well known exports announced he was gay!”
“Yes. I know, he didn’t really need to announce it, I think most folks assumed it, aside from his years of denial.”
But wait? Did you say my islands most well known exports? Really? Really? This is what the little island of PR is known for, good god, how do I manage to move beyond that.
I soon found out I had other infamous exports to contend with and Ricky Martin, is the least of my worries.
“Jim” came into my office to announce that the only thing he knew of Puerto Rico was Iris Chacon. What? Who? I have no idea who this is. He informs me that she is famous, was on Letterman, and she is like the Shakira of Puerto Rico! I wonder, how do I not know who the Puerto Rican Shakira is? He bounces over to my desk, and quickly gets on Youtube. Iris Chacon. Iris Chacon, is not so much Shakira like, as she is an 80’s Carmen Miranda train wreck. I love it, and as I watched the video, I told Jim- “yeah, yeah, that pretty much sums up Puerto Rican women. I also walk around in bright red lipstick and stilettos.