There are 50,000 Boricuas living in the US.
Thousands of people gathered this Sunday along Fifth Avenue in New York, which was filled with joy, music and Puerto Rican culture, as well as the red, white and blue colors of its flag, during the celebration of the traditional parade Puerto Rican national.
Boricuas came from other states and the island to participate in this long-awaited event in New York, -which was the main destination for emigration after World War II- where they proudly shouted “I am a Boricua so you know it” and they sang “what a beautiful flag the Puerto Rican flag is…”.
The parade celebrates every year the contributions of Puerto Ricans in the United States where they have excelled as scientists, soldiers, musicians, artists and athletes, among other areas, said the president of the National Puerto Rican Parade, Llillian Rodríguez.
With 173 contingents and some 25,000 people marching, it is considered the parade with the highest participation and, this year, attendance has reached levels prior to the 2020 pandemic.
Last year it was the first in person after the health crisis caused by covid-19 and in this edition Puerto Ricans and other Latinos who have made it their own, took to the streets without fear early on.
This parade, which was held under the motto “Music, joy and culture” is the first outdoor activity after several events were suspended this week due to the haze caused by smoke from a series of fires in Canada, which spread through the northeastern United States.
As happens every year, the politicians did not miss the appointment, led by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams, who carried a Puerto Rican flag in their hands. Nor did the attorney general of the state, Letitia James, who ventured to take a few dance steps to the rhythm of the rhythmic Latin music.
The leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, also attended, who, with a megaphone in hand, asked in Spanish “where are the Puerto Ricans?”
There was a great presence of native music from the plena and the bomba, and a dance group from Loíza Aldea, a coastal municipality with a great tradition, brought in its float vejigantes (a carnival character that represents imps that do mischief) and Santiago Apostle, they did not stop dancing.
Loíza celebrates the traditional festival of Santiago Apóstol, in a fusion of Spanish culture and African culture in Puerto Rico. This float promoted the “Junte Boricua” project promoted by El Nuevo Día, the island’s main newspaper, with a view to bringing 50,000 Boricuas living in the United States to Puerto Rico between May 1 and August 31, 2024.
One of the most furious moments was the surprise presence on a float of the new members of the iconic Menudo group, the most successful “boy band” in the history of music in Spanish, who performed “Feelin'” while waving flags of the island.
The struggles in Puerto Rico against the privatization of the beaches and for independence also moved to Fifth Avenue with numerous groups shouting “Puerto Rico is not for sale” and signs with messages “the beaches belong to the people” while others they yelled “Yankees go Home.”