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Puerto Rican Influence in Connecticut
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
01/02/2008
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Their influence is felt in the business community, and amongst lawmakers.

 

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52:00 minutes (24.96 MB)
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Luis Figueroa, Associate Professor of History at Trinity College: Photo Catie TalarskiLuis Figueroa, Associate Professor of History at Trinity College: Photo Catie TalarskiThe influence of Puerto Ricans can be felt throughout the politics, the business and the culture of Connecticut.

Hartford has the largest Puerto Rican community per capita in the entire country - the only Puerto Rican mayor of a capitol city - and a school population dominated by Puerto Rican students.

Social researchers say there's more than just raw numbers to back up the claim that the city - and state holds a unique place in the growing Latino culture of the US. They say sophisticated political organizing has taken place here for years - surpassing that in other cities.

Fernando Betancourt, of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission: Photo by Catie TalarskiFernando Betancourt, of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission: Photo by Catie Talarski
And, the influence can be felt in the business community, and amongst lawmakers.

For a sense of the scope of community influence and pride - just take part in the upcoming Three Kings Day celebration in Hartford - a massive festival of Puerto Rican culture that takes part in the heart of the city's Latino business district.

But the influence is more than just cultural, since the 1980's the Puerto Rican community in Hartford has led the way amongst US cities in political organization and influence.

Today we talk to Luis Figueroa, Associate Professor of History at Trinity College, and Fernando Betancourt, Executive Director of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.

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