Author: Mark Trent (---.midsouth.biz.rr.com)
Date: 05-28-08 13:35
I think we're all being a little too hard on Gavin here. We're all proud our Puerto Rican heritage, but let's be honest, there is an American stigma that follows them wherever they go.
According to our standard the people he encountered weren't incredibley rude. But we're a different culture. If we encountered similar behavior and situations in the USA we would be equally upset.
Gavin's intentions were probably just to tell other Americans about his encounters; but, clearly his emotions took over.
An Ivy League education doesn't mean anything when it comes down to human interaction. Gavin, you should know better than that. However, he presents a good point that Americans, particularly priviledged Americans, are constantly battling: pointing out "different" things in other cultures automatically labels them as racists.
Whether or not he is racist we'll never know; however, I don't think that any of the situations he described surprise us. We have a unique and beautiful culture that is unforuntately misunderstood by outsiders at times; just as we at times misunderstand other cultures.
It sounds to me like Gavin had a good trip and particularly enjoyed Culebra and the people of Culebra, which are different from those de la Isla Grande. Different in a good way. We also can't deny our islands' "secret" desire to be a seperate entity from Puerto Rico and the United States.
Gavin, I'm sorry you didn't encounter that which you thought you would've. The Caribbean atmosphere is different from that of Europe. We love it, that's why we live here. I'm sure we'd have things to complain about from a trip in America; no place is perfect. However, next time you might want to write your thoughts down and let them sit for a day before posting. I'm not sure if you're comments would've been met with more warmth had they been edited first (as I didn't read your original post); however, it never hurts to let your emotions settle.
Also Gavin, don't worry about the camp lady... I've had the same problem with her. She's a rotten apple and definitely not a good representation of the island or Puerto Rico, but calling her names doesn't get your money back.
ciao - MT