Family Thesis Statement

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Essay and Thesis Statement Rose Rivera University of Phoenix COM 170 February 18, 2013 Professor Manuel Hernandez This is a study of contrast and comparison of family backgrounds and similarities of two native-born Puerto Ricans living in America during the 1940’s and 1950’s. It is about their early childhood upbringing in Puerto Rico and the extreme poverty and living conditions that ultimately led to their subsequent immigration to the United States, namely New York City. Each person encountered problems due to racism and the language barrier during their early years in America and how those issues shaped their worldview then and now. My mother was the third youngest of sixteen children born to my grandmother, Natividad…show more content…
During the rainy seasons, the dirt alleyways between the ramshackle wooden homes and the main streets were rivers of mud which the population had to cross to and from on a daily basis for school and work. The extreme poverty and lack of hygienic facilities were ripe conditions for disease and despair. Life was not easy for those living in this part of town. Large families were very common and living conditions were horrendous for those in El Fanguito. Many children did not attend school as the older ones were made to work to bring food to the family table. My mother was born in 1938 and was the third youngest but her two younger sisters, Estelle and Rosa, died very young due to malnutrition and preventable childhood diseases. My mother was able to go to elementary school while her brothers and sister worked in whatever they could to sustain the family. My grandfather died in 1946 leaving behind two families of his own making. In 1948, my grandmother’s sister, Maria Torres, who had immigrated to the United States in 1929, paid a visit to Puerto Rico to see my grandmother and told her wondrous…show more content…
My father was born in 1934 in the town of Jayuya and was the youngest of 14 brothers and sisters. My grandfather had a small farm which he had his two families living on but in opposite directions of each other. Two homes and two families divided by territory but with the same last name – Rivera. There was enough food for all although living conditions were only slightly better than my mother’s family. Life was good for all until the death of Santos Rivera in 1943. Upon his death, my father’s family was forced out of the small tract of land they lived and worked on by the widow of the first family. This upheaval and loss of sustenance broke up the family into small groups as many of the older sisters and brothers were already married with their own homes. My father was sent to live with his sisters while his mother, Providencia Otero, went to live with other family members. Eventually the family settled in El Fanguito of San Juan. It is where my father met my mother for the first time as children. In 1952, my father and two of his brothers were looking for work when jobs for harvesting fruits and vegetables were available in the United States namely New Jersey. They all became migrant workers living in a shack in a New Jersey farm. As the winter approached, his older brother, Antonio, decided to head back to Puerto Rico while my father and his other brother, Pepe stayed behind. Upon entering New York City, they

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