What is a Puerto Rican?

Another gem from my Dad. This one is a description of Puerto Ricans made by Gabriel Garcia Marquez when asked ‘What is a Puerto Rican?’ Here is his answer, first in Spanish and then in English.


¡Ah, los puertorriqueños… que difícil pregunta!

Los puertorriqueños están ! entre ustedes pero no son de ustedes.
Los puertorriqueños beben en la misma copa la alegría y la amargura.

Hacen música de su llanto y se ríen de la música.
Los puertorriqueños toman en serio los chistes y hacen chistes de lo serio.

No creen en nadie y creen en todo. ¡No se les ocurra discutir con ellos jamás!

Los puertorriqueños nacen con sabiduría. No necesitan leer, todo lo saben! No necesitan viajar, todo lo han visto!

Los puertorriqueños son algo así como el pueblo escogido, por ellos mismos.

Los puertorriqueños se caracterizan individualmente por su simpatía e inteligencia y, en grupos, por su gritería y apasionamiento. Cada uno de ellos lleva en sí la chispa de genios y los genios no se llevan bien entre sí, de ahí que reunir a los puertorriqueños es fácil, pero unirlos es casi imposible.

No se les hable de lógica, pues eso implica razonamiento y mesura y los puertorriqueños son hiperbólicos y exagerados.
Por ejemplo, si te invitan a un restaurante a comer, no te invitaron al mejor restaurante del pueblo, sino al mejor restaurante del mundo.

Cuando discuten, no dicen: No estoy de acuerdo contigo sino ,estás completamente equivocado!

Tienen tendencias antropofágicas; así entonces ¡Se la comió! es una expresión de admiración y comerse un cable es señal de una
situación critica. Llamarle a alguien come <beep> es un insulto lacerante.

El puertorriqueño ama tanto la contradicción que llama monstruos a las mujeres hermosas y bárbaros a los eruditos. Si te aqueja alguna situación de salud te advierten ¡Mano, debiste hablar conmigo para llevarte donde un pana mío médico que es un caballo!

Los puertorriqueños ofrecen soluciones antes de saber el problema. Para ellos nunca hay problema. Saben lo que hay que hacer
para erradicar el terrorismo, encausar a América Latina, eliminar el hambre en África, pagar la deuda externa, quién debe  ser presidente y cómo Estados Unidos puede llegar a ser una potencia mundial.

No entienden por qué los demás no les entienden cuando sus ideas son tan sencillas y no acaban de entender por que la gente no quiere aprender a hablar español como ellos.

Ah, los puertorriqueños… No podemos vivir mucho con ellos,pero es imposible vivir sin ellos!
Dedicado con cariño a los habitantes del mejor país del Mundo… No hay nadie que no conozca a un puertoriqueño o, por lo menos, conoce a alguien que conoce a un puertoriqueño. De todas maneras, le preguntaron en una ocasión a un reconocido sabio maestro:  ¿Qué es un puertorriqueño?

Gabriel García Márquez

English Translation:

Ah, Puerto Ricans… what a difficult question!

Puerto Ricans are among you, but are not one of you.

Puerto Ricans drink joy and bitterness in the same cup.

They make music of their sorrow and laugh at music.

Puerto Ricans take jokes seriously and make jokes about serious things.

They believe in no one and believe in everything. Never think about arguing with them!

Puerto Ricans are born wise. They don’t need to read, they know everything! They don’t need to travel, they’ve seen everything!

Puerto Ricans are something like the chosen people, chosen by themselves.

Puerto Ricans are individually characterised by their friendliness and intelligence and, when in groups, by their rambunctiousness and passion. Each one of them carries within the spark of genius and geniuses don’t get along well among each other, therefore gathering Puerto Ricans together is easy, but uniting them is almost impossible.

Don’t speak to them about logic, for that implies reasoning and restraint, and Puerto Ricans are hyperbolic and exaggerated. For example, if they invite you to a restaurant for dinner, they didn’t invite you to the best restaurant in town, but to the best restaurant in the world.

When they argue, they don’t say : “I don’t agree with you”, but instead “you’re completely wrong!”

They have anthropophagic tendencies; such that “He ate that!” is an expression of admiration, and ‘eating a cable’ is a sign of a critical situation. Calling someone a “s**t eater” is a wounding insult.

Puerto Ricans love contradiction so much that they call beautiful women ‘monsters’ and scholars ‘barbarians’. If you are suffering from some health ailment they tell you “Man, you should have come to be so I could take you to this doctor friend of mine who is a ‘horse’ [slang meaning ‘highly skilled’]!

Puerto Ricans offer solutions before knowing the problem. For them, there’s never a problem. They know what needs to be done in order to stop terrorism, prosecute Latin America, eliminate hunger in Africa, pay international debts, who should be president and what the United States needs to do to become a world power.

They don’t understand why everyone else can’t understand their ideas when they are so simple, and they don’t understand why people don’t want to learn to speak Spanish like they do.

Ah, Puerto Ricans… We can’t live long with them, but it’s impossible to live without them!

Dedicated, with love, to the inhabitants of the best country in the World…

There is no one who doesn’t know a Puerto Rican or, at least, who knows someone who knows a Puerto Rican. In any case, a wise teacher was once asked: What is a Puerto Rican?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez…

What do you think, as a Puerto Rican, or as someone who knows a Puerto Rican? Leave your comments and thoughts, and don’t worry, I won’t tell you straight out that you’re wrong ^_^.

Boricua por siempre signing off,


Tagged , , , , , , ,

3 thoughts on “What is a Puerto Rican?

  1. j.lo's biggest fan says:

    Puerto Ricans? Comfortable with chaos and comfortable causing chaos. To them authority is just something that applies to other people. As far as I’m concerned they are nothing other than a menace.

    Always rattling cupboard doors just to see if they’re locked, showing a brazen disregard for areas cordoned off with velvet ropes, touching things explicitly labeled ‘do not touch’ (because it must feel extra nice if someone doesn’t want you to touch it). This before you even begin to mention their pyromania.

    Apparently Puerto Rican culture is littered with spirits and poltergeists causing all kinds of mischief. Sounds to me like these are rather convenient scapegoats for real, human misbehaviour.

    And another thing, they always tell you they won’t tell you straight out you’re wrong then tell you straight out you’re wrong.

    Jennifer Lopez is alright though.


    • Amaya Ramiel says:

      Well, you do know I posted this in half in jest, half in criticism. I mean, I am Puerto Rican, and although we have many faults, we aren’t a ‘menace’. I don’t think that is what Gabriel Garcia Marquez meant when he wrote this. And the truth is that this is being exaggerated for the purposes, again, of comedy; when we look carefully at various cultures and societies we find that it applies to most (especially Western societies).


  2. evilkittyrulesyou1221 says:

    I see the jest and the criticism, but I’m not offended in the slightest. Actually, I enjoyed this entry much more than I can admit with a post. 🙂

    However, oi. Whether it gets a reply or not:
    I think I’ve seen more scapegoats elsewhere than at home, to be brutally honest. Also quieter, but still discernible bouts of misbehavior from societies I never thought would really engage in doing them. Was I surprised? Very.
    Germany is a glaring example of this. I can confidently say the rest is stereotyping.

    What is authority but the exact application of something (be it force, status, law, rule, social construct, etc) upon another person?

    Let’s say I just threw my underwear out the tram window, or my house, or the drugstore, and there’s a sign specifically showing I shouldn’t throw anything, not even the undies. Authority applies to me either way, be it solely defiance and/or coming from the person, entity, that will fine me or tell me off for what I just did. It’s applicable both ways, the person or entity that enforces it and the one or many that goes or go against it.

    I can’t just take it and pass it on to someone else for every single thing I could do wrong and feel awesome about it all. Authority is not something I (or many) can cancel out for myself (or them) while everyone else keeps it.
    That’s like saying I’m the only beautiful person in the world because I declared brown eyes are amazing while everyone else gets the same or another color, regardless. Because I get to keep beauty, and the rest are ugly by default.

    What if the authority figure decides not to tell me off and I can still do what I want?
    It has nothing to do with being Puerto Rican.

    In that sense, then almost everyone I know is a menace.
    Puerto Ricans are not the only rowdy people on the globe, and shame to us if we weren’t. ❤ At least sometimes and not all the time. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: