“We will have fireworks and food and celebrate the 4th of July, but Puerto Ricans don’t need a holiday to make a party. I taught 7th grade for 36 years. I retired ten years ago and never looked back. There have been many problems with the government and department of education since I left. I retired at the right moment. Many teachers are going to the United States because the American school systems recruit them here, especially the teachers who are bilingual. They are going for a better salary and benefits.
The government makes the life of people hard. They knew what was happening after the hurricane, but they never did the things they were supposed to do. There were supplies, water, and food that they never gave to the people. They just made excuses. There are sill people without power. I don’t think statehood will come. Not next year. Not 100 years. We are broke and I don’t think the United States wants to deal with that. Our government got loans from Wall Street and can’t pay for them. No one wants to deal with it and it is the people who pay for this. The power and water prices keep going a little bit higher. We have pensions, not social security. They are cutting the teacher’s pensions. It makes a hole that you have to try a little harder to survive. It is why our young people move away. I love this island, but I don’t know how it gets better. I hope to go to the United States in the next year or two for a visit. I have almost paid off the damage from hurricane Maria and will go after that. My nickname is Tata. I don’t know what it means or why my mother started calling me that, but it has stuck with me my whole life.”