CLERK: Good morning. How can I help you? JAVIER: Hello. ELENA: Hi. I am looking for…Javier, how do you say it? JAVIER: It’s a thing that connects to the computer… CLERK: What do you need? I speak Spanish. ELENA: I’m looking for an adapter for my computer. The plugs here are different. JAVIER: The adapters that we have are in the aisle behind. ELENA: Okay. CLERK: Where are you from? JAVIER: I am Spanish, and Elena is Argentinian. And you, where are you from? CLERK: I’m Puerto Rican. I live here in the US, in Connecticut. JAVIER: I’m Javier. CLERK: I’m Luz. ELENA: And I’m Elena. Nice to meet you. CLERK: You too. And are you students here? JAVIER: Yes, we are graduate students, and we are assistants in the Spanish department. CLERK: You are TAs. ELENA: Yes. CLERK: That’s it. ELENA: Well, I’m studying political science. JAVIER: And I’m doing a masters in journalism. Do you also study here? CLERK: Yes. I’m in my 4th year in anthropology. ELENA: Nice. CLERK: So if you need anything, let me know. JAVIER: Perfect. Thank you very much. CLERK: You are welcome. JAVIER: Look. They have earphones, USB cables… ELENA: Here are the adapters. I think…Look. This one is good. JAVIER: Listen, doesn’t it seem a little expensive to you? ELENA: Well, but I need it urgently, and it’s good for several countries. Hey, they have pen drives. This one is good. JAVIER: Yes, it is good. ELENA: Yes, and the price is all right. Yes, I think I am taking these two. JAVIER: Let’s go. Look, they have t-shirts. ELENA: Nice. JAVIER: Hey, you have to buy yourself one. ELENA: Yes, but when I get my first check. JAVIER: Okay. CLERK: Did you find everything OK? JAVIER: Yes. No problem. Well, you have a lot of things in this store. CLERK: Yes. It’s not bad, but it’s not as cheap as online, but… JAVIER: Well, you have to pay for the comfort of shopping on campus. CLERK: Yes. The total is 65.93. You can pay with a card, cash, or through the university account. ELENA: Well, I just arrived yesterday, so I’ll pay you with a card.
Luz, the student worker at the campus store is puertorriqueña de Connecticut. 7% of the population in Connecticut is Puerto Rican—the largest percentage of all US states. There are also significant Puerto Rican communities in other Northeastern states (New York, New Jersey, Massachusets, and Pennsylvania) and Florida.
By USCG.Quazgaa at en.wikipedia [Public domain], Wikimedia Commons
Although not a state, Puerto Rico is US territory, which means that Puerto Ricans are US citizens by birth. Because of this, the flow of people between the island and the mainland is very fluid. In fact, more people of Puerto Rican descent live in the States than on the island. Puerto Ricans are proud of their mixed roots— African, Hispanic, and especially Taíno, the indigenous group that lived on the island before the Spanish arrival. From the Taíno language come the words Borinquen and boricuas, the names Puerto Ricans often use to refer to their motherland and to themselves, respectively.
Famous Puerto Ricans include Benicio del Toro, Rita Moreno, Jennifer Lopez, and the first Latina on the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
By Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Steve Petteway http://www.oyez.org/justices/sonia_sotomayor,