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

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The When I Was Puerto Rican web site features many resources for additional work on Esmeralda Santiago. Here, you will find an annotated list of all of the resources available to you. During the course of the semester, these resources will be updated and expanded. We hope you find them useful.


About New York: New York Latino/a life and a short history of Brooklyn in the 1950s and 1960s.

About Puerto Rico: A brief history of the island and resources for research Puerto Rico of the 1950s, the time period for When I Was Puerto Rican.

About Santiago: A brief biographical sketch of Santiago and her life.

Audio recording: There are 5 audio clips collected from the National Public Radio website. You will hear Esmerald Santiago's own voice. Real Audio is needed to listen to the recording.

Maps: Here is a collection of Puerto Rico maps.

A map of the Caribbean Sea and the islands in that geographic region, a map of Puerto Rico from 1898, a map of Puerto Rico from 1920 and a map of Puerto Rico from 1976.

Opening Prompt: This short exercise was used at Student Opening Sessions on 9 September 2002.

Photographs of Brooklyn: From the LaGuardia and Wagner Archive New York City Housing Authority Collection, these photographs offer a view of historic Brooklyn from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Photographs of Puerto Rico: From the Library of Congress, and the Binghamton University Women's History Project, these photographs offer a comprehensive overview of urban and rural Puerto Rican life in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Researching Santiago: Resources for researching Santiago's life and work.


Living in History: This page explains LaGuardia Community College's "Living In History" project, which collects student stories for the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives housed here on campus.

Media Resources in the LaGuardia Library: A comprehensive list of "Immigration" and "Hispanic and Latino" videotapes available in the library.

Other Latino/a Authors: This page lists other Latino/a authors. The list is broken down into genre categories and is alphabetical by author.

Transcript of "The Social Worker's Visit" audio recording.

Transcript of "The Welfare Office" audio recording.


As you continue your studies at LaGuardia Community College, you may be interested in continuing to explore some of the issues raised in this year's Common Reading. While you may have the opportunity to read and discuss Santiago's work in many different kinds of courses this year, the courses listed below have the most direct relationship to the work you have read and will allow you to think about the historical, anthropological, cultural, literary and psychological aspects of this text. When you plan your course schedule over the next two years, consider the following courses:

ENG 265: Latina Writing of the United States
HUS 200: Latin American Literature I
HUS 201: Latin American Literature II
HUS 204: Latin American Civilizations
HUS 270: Literature of the Caribbean
HUN 194: The Puerto Rican Community Minority Group Experience
SSA 106: Anthropology of Latin America
SSA 120: Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean
SSH 232: Survey of Latin American and Caribbean History
SSN 183: History of Minorities/Urban Studies
SSN 199: Neighborhood History
SSP 220: Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean
SSY 205: Psychology of Women
SSI 210: Women in Society

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