LaGuardia Community College 2002-03 Common Reading
Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican

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Study Questions for the "Jibara" Chapter

  1. Santiago's childhood was one of poverty and struggle for survival. List examples of the hardship in her family as detailed in this chapter.

    (Click on the photo to see a larger version of the image.)

  2. Santiago learned about the attitudes of local Puerto Rican people toward "jibara." Discuss the mixed feelings that this term carried.

  3. Being the eldest child in the family, Santiago shouldered a great deal of household responsibilities. Give examples of the chores that she was expected to do.

  4. Santiago learned about her family members' nicknames. (p. 11) Make a list of their real given names and nicknames in the form of a chart similar to the one below. You will need to add names to this list, and expand it as you come across more names later in the book.
Given Name
  1. Using these names, draw a family tree to illustrate the relationship of the family members. You may use the linked chart as a starting point.

  2. More children would be born in the Santiago family in the later chapters. Add those names to the family tree when those names appear.

  3. Web Research Assignment: There are two websites on the Internet that have very similar website addresses (in English) and (in Spanish). Explore the two sites and see if you can find answers to the following questions:

  • Who created the website? Is it a single person or an organization?

  • Can you find the copyright information on the site? Why is this an important question to consider?

  • Can you determine if the information published on the site is reliable and trustworthy? How can you find out?


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