A LETTER FROM OUR CHAIRMAN
In the beginning there it was the Lower Eastside, El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) and the Bronx, north of Manhattan, west and east of Queens and Brooklyn and it was called home part of the mainland of America, a place where we could find a home, raise our children and work towards realizing the American Dream.
Where one hundred and twenty groups from five states and five boroughs, representatives of South America and the Caribbean islands will come together and march down the Grand Concourse, joined by municipal agencies, military groups and cultural organizations.
In The Bronx “El Condado De La Salsa”, only the strong survive!
There are over 300,000 Puerto Ricans, the largest minority group in the Borough and
The largest group of Puerto Ricans found outside of our beloved Island of Puerto Rico is in the borough of the Bronx.
And so in the beginning life was a difficult struggle. In the Old Bronx buildings were old, cold in the winter, and hot in the summer. Where some of the kids played in the street, at the fire hydrant, some went to the roof to fly pigeons, fly kites and others played stickball, football in the traffic and still others were lost to drugs.
But not once did we as a people lose our pride in our homeland Puerto Rico, not once did we abandon our flag or our culture.
Our Heritage and Culture is formed by three rich cultures
The Taino Indians native to Puerto Rico
The Spain/Europeans and Our African family brought to the Island as Slaves.
Those cultures give us our pride in our music, which enriches our soul; our food that nourishes our bodies and our language transcends our borders.
If we The Puerto Ricans are to be defined, let us be known as Humanitarians
We believe in the Philosophy “Mi Casa Es Su Casa”, helping others, all others are second nature to us, and we give recognition to those cultural which helped us; the earlier immigrant groups that were here when we arrived, so let’s take a little time to thank our African, Italian, Irish, Jewish and Cuban friends and family members.
And now since we arrived it has been our mission to help others,
The South Americans, The Caribbean’s
And the new immigrants from the Far East, and East Asia
And as we moved on and traveled far away from the Bronx to all fifty States, other nations and back to our beloved Island, Borinquen, we have never forgotten the sacrifices of the many and the few, Thank you Grandparents, Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers and Cousins. In their honor we created Parades through the United States.
So there we are; you, me, us facing the 22nd Century and we have a choice to make to leave our childish jealousies, our petite bickering and racism behind or
Face an uncertain future or lose ourselves and our Humanity to a lost world in the vacuum of space.
Or, let us together realize a greater world where we as humans can live together in harmony.
Where our greatness yet unseen could be reality and where others who believe that this is impossible can be proven wrong. Let us remove hunger in Africa, let’s find a cure for Aides worldwide and let’s dedicate ourselves to a better world for everyone.
Yes, come home to the Bronx and see our positive change, march with us and gain the faith that we can change the world together, Yes, man can change for the better, and together we are a Greater family, The Human family.
Francisco M. Gonzalez